Trading Platform User Interface Design


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I am currently studying Information Systems Engineering at University, and as part of my 'User Centred Information Systems' course I have been tasked with designing a user interface for a system/task of my choosing. After some discussion with my partner we agreed on designing a gesture/touch controlled interface for traders for usage high resolution touch screens or products similar in concept to Microsoft Surface.

The system is primarily aimed at retail Forex traders so I am after your opinions! I should stress that the system is for the moment only going to be created on paper, so programming complexity and economic considerations for a final product are not relevant. Basically it is 'design the ideal interface', and whilst this will obviously differ from person to person I expect there will be certain issues with current platforms and ideas for implementation that recur.

I've put a couple of questions below to help focus ideas but there is no need to answer them all if you don't have time, or indeed do not feel the need to limit yourself to just these if you have more to say. Any and all input will be a big help and greatly appreciated.

In your day to day usage of MT4 and/or other platforms what usage issues have you come across? In what scenario/under what circumstances do these occur? E.g. I like to trade range bars. Each bar is only 1 pip however, so bars print very quickly during large movements. This makes it difficult to enter orders (and their corresponding SL & TP levels) if I need to type in the levels.

What information do you feel must be visible at all times to a trader? Under what circumstances? E.g. Whilst a trade is in progress information about that order is desired, but the area showing this info could be re purposed if no trades are active. What information is less important and could be excluded in both scenarios? Can you think of any better/improved ways to represent this information. E.g. Shading of area displaying stop loss price corresponds to proximity.

What features/abilities of current platforms would you feel must be present in any future software? Which are rarely used?

What do you think is the best way to maintain an overview of current market activity across all pairs? The interface would likely be on one screen, with part of it devoted to market overview. E.g. an icon for each symbol that changes size/colour depending on strength. The strength algorithm for which is customizable.

Is 'what if' analysis a feature you would use? i.e. before placing a trade information showing your new total margin in use and current account leverage. This 'what if' analysis could be implemented in other ways, it is the general usefulness of the feature I am interested in.
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