Maria Turk

Maria Turk

freelance ux designer

HSBC Wealth Management

To simplify complexity you first need to understand it

Of course the kind of understanding I’m talking about here is not simply how trading works or what transactions are involved, what the backend can handle for example.  These are all important questions but what I really needed to get to grips with is how trading works for traders.  Do do that I needed to understand who these traders were.

These products had had a few UX Research sessions before I came on board.  These sessions identified two types of users.  The novice who knows very little about investing but wants to try it out and the trader.  The interesting thing I found, however, is that traders fall into two camps:  The fundamental trader and the technical trader.  The fundamental trader buy and sell stocks and funds based on their fundamental beliefs while the technical trader will trade a stock purely on the shape of certain graphs.

This meant that designing different graphs for the app was important.  I worked closely with the client to design the graphs from an information point of view.  I also worked closely with the VD crew to make sure the visuals captured this information.  This involved a lot of rapid sketching:

But so what including historical information and news items:

So how did I understand how traders worked?  Apart from the documentation I ran workshops with the clients where I got them to explain to me how they thought these products should work.  I then sat down with actual traders and had them explain the same thing.  The results weren’t always pretty but they made sense.

Another key element of the process of the competitor analysis.  We looked at so many different trading apps I can almost name them all.  Some even the client hadn’t yet discovered.

Everything was prototyped using Axure for the website designs and Invision for mobile.  I even got to try some fancy Gif Axure animations.  I love that stuff.

Mainly the key to this project really was rapid iteration.  There were many many many version of wireframes, workshops and scamps.  So I’ll leave you with some images of some wires from those many phases.


The HSBC Wealth Management project consisted of five main products.  Two of those products were aimed at low use novice users while the other three were aimed at expert traders.  The products consisted of long and short guided journeys into a more general and novice way of investing as well as complex trading applications for funds, equity and structured projects.  If you think this description is complex you should try getting your head around trading.