The Fin24 Dashboard is an online application aimed at helping users make better investment decisions in a virtual environment. Its main goal is to educate the man on the street about the simplicity of online trading, and open up the possibility of eventually earning additional income through financial investments. It allows access to the same intel as professional investors whilst also creating a platform to compare notes with like-minded investors.
The Dashboard is available in two price points: Free and Premium. Anyone who registers on the Fin24 site has instant access to start virtually trading stocks on real companies, following other traders, and profiling their trading style to identify which kind of trader they are. Premium users can, for a monthly fee, access additional information provided by industry experts, define unique parameters when screening stocks and many more interesting features.
The system includes social elements, allowing the user to share their activity within the application and on Facebook or Twitter. There is also a gaming element built into the game, so users compete with each other for top spot on the leader board.
Extensive testing and iteration went into the UX and IA phase of the application, as there were many factors to consider – and as with any product being built in a large corporate environment – many stakeholders to please. It was a great experience going from initial ideation stages, through concepting, user flows, wireframes and prototypes, to finally crafting the actual user interfaces.
The first steps were to identify the various sections to be featured in the app, as well as pinning down the feature sets of each section. The main sections identified were:
- Dashboard: The central information resource to the app.
- Portfolios: An in-depth view of various trading portfolios a user has.
- Watchlist: An overview of instruments the user would like to keep an eye on
- Profiler: Allowing the user to identify their preferred style of trading.
- Stock Screener: Allowing the user to screen and select stocks according to very specific criteria.
- Guru Analysis: An in depth analysis on stock behaviour as opined by some of the worlds to traders, including Buffet, Piotroski, Lynch and many others.
Once we had identified these sections, we set about pinning down the feature sets for each one, always taking into account how these would interact with each other across the system. Besides searching and adding instruments to a users portfolio whilst in the Dashboard environment, we also created the ability for the user to view an instruments’ index and add it to their portfolio or watchlist from anywhere on the Fin24 site.
The Guru analysis allows the user to access in depth information provided by industry experts with various trading styles, all tailored to the types of instruments a user might have in their portfolio.
The Stock Screener is a unique tool, in that it allows the user to dynamically filter various parameters in order to identify and select the instruments most suited to their portfolio. The screener was loosely based on systems already available online, however the crude nature of these systems made them very unusable to normal users that do not have much trading experience. We therefore set about creating a friendly and fluid user interface, that allowed the user to interact with the tool in a very intuitive manner, through sliders and and drag and drop features.
The application launched in October 2011, and currently enjoys a user base of over 32 000, 23% of which are registered as premium members. The development of such a large application is always iterative, and improvements are being made on a daily basis – however the foundation has been laid for a very engaging and intuitive system that acts as a great agent to educate users about how the financial markets function.