The Bloomberg terminal is a staple in any financial institution, providing real-time data about pricing, analytics, and print and multimedia news across a number of financial markets. Despite an estimated 75,000 machines in use worldwide—including one in the Vatican—users find the aesthetic is dated and the interface synonymous with MS-DOS.
Conde Nast’s Portfolio magazine asked IDEO to address the aging Bloomberg terminal and create a speculative and disruptive new interface design. Drawing from expert users and insights gathered over years of ethnographic research in the financial services and computing industries, IDEO set out to create a simple and pragmatic design that avoided being overly fanciful or appearing dumbed-down. To enable ready adoption of such an interface, IDEO minimized complexity to avoid the inherent switching costs of changing to a new interface. At the same time, the design also incorporated certain “badge of honor” elements inspired by expert users of the previous system…