Selected Recent Clients,
Projects & Testimonials

In chronological order

Goldman Sachs: GS NYSE Broker Handheld
Key feature: Invention of “information object” representation to make interaction with orders effortless.
Richard Genna, then head broker for GS: “We’re getting more information in real time as opposed to less information with a lag time.”
Andrew Silverman, then broker for GS: “It’s hard to let go of something you’ve been doing for a long time and do something new. Brad’s given us an ergonomic shorthand. You don’t need to learn it, you just grab it with your eyes. The bottom line is that it makes the broker more productive. And that makes the firm more productive.” (Both quotes from I.D. Magazine’s June 2000 four-page feature article on the project)

Morgan Stanley: Foreign Exchange system (both sales and trading)
Key advantage: Created “unmissable” alerting visuals within the trading blotters: dangerous situations were made impossible to miss by visual layering; the risk of trading with a client at a deficit was reduced by introducing a real-time market feed that modified the trading buttons

Merrill Lynch: Equities Sales Trading System
Key advantage: Created clear visual trade tracking within the sales trading blotter: every trade’s amount filled and state was immediately visible; “unmissable” alerting visuals
Senior Project Manager: “I worked with Brad at Goldman Sachs and thought his jet-cockpit-like ergonomic approach was normal—until I tried to find a team in London to do the same. We looked at everyone we could and didn’t find a fraction of the background, insight, or capabilities. I was happy to be able to use didi once I got back to the States. The resulting interface clearly made our Equities Sales Trading more productive as well as happier using the new system.”

Morgan Stanley: Internal organization chart, HR, access control system
Key transformation: Extremely abstract representations of complex relationships among teams, people, roles, securities, systems, clients and other entities were made obvious and drag-and-drop easy; 50+ Web-based screens were reduced to to six objects & three views

New York Stock Exchange: Specialist Workstation for Hybrid Market
Key advantage: Put up to four times as much information in the same screen space, more readably if information is measured by characters on the screen; perhaps over ten times as much information on the screen if measured as inferences that the specialist can make
Lou Pastina, Senior Vice President: “Brad Paley looks at the world differently, and provides a perspective in design that is innovative and intuitive for users. He is able to combine his unusual perspective with years of proven successful design and implementation to deliver transformational change with the mastery of a minimalist.”

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New York Stock Exchange: Broker Handheld (design and prototype)
Key advantages: Sped up brokers a factor of fifteen or more (from 7 seconds to less than half a second) in the key process of “refilling” an order; greatly sped up cancel-and-replace operations for moving one or more orders to a different price point
Gordon Charlop, then President and CEO of WJ Dowd: “Apart from his great skill as a designer, Brad has a unique ability to develop a design by listening and understanding what clients want and need.  At the NYSE, Brad was asked to design a state of the art portable order management system.  His constituency was a broad group of high level brokers with disparate needs.  By combining his communication skills with his design knowledge, Brad developed a remarkable product.”

Lehman Brothers: Prime Brokerage Web site, client Report Access system
Key advantages: Simplified client and internal definition of customizable reports and automated report delivery, organized immediate access to financial reports
Senior Project Manager: “Our Prime Brokerage Web site was complicated but the didi redesign made it both simpler and clearer. The didi approach made our highly-functional (but complicated) client-access Reporting system much easier by applying unique didi information-object technology, and the paper prototype-based design process we learned from didi saved us uncountable development hours and business-side frustration.”

Rosenblatt Securities: Custom advanced charting package
Key advantages: Integrated interactive Java Applet charts quietly into a Web page; allowed them to zoom out of the page for closer analysis; innovated point-query and curve comparison techniques to reduce misinterpretation risk (based on visual/cognitive principles)
Dick Rosenblatt, founder and CEO Rosenblatt Securities: “The Rosenblatt Securities business model requires an innovative, often unique, approach to the trading process utilizing the best technology. Brad not only takes the time to understand our ideas, but creates amazing technology to make them a reality. The result is functional, easy to use, and visually appealing. The fact that Brad is a pleasure to deal with, and works at close to light speed just adds to a positive experience at every level.”

Earl Industries: Intelligence community analyst’s workstation prototype
Key innovations: New interaction techniques allow instant association of disparate data objects in “blobs” or categorized relationships with links; the design allowed several analysts to work together, in the same room or globally; the concept of two-sorted multiple logical analysis was directly visually supported; scenarios organize information related to a developing “story”; and different stages of the formation of a story are visually represented in a kind of active audit trail
Ted Goranson, Project Director: “We came to Brad because common sense in cognitive flow is apparently rare. We needed someone to guide some conceptual thinking very early on in the project and have found his approach invaluable.”

Rosenblatt Securities: Flexible report-generation code and TCA visualization
Key contributions: Compressed report length and made data more easily readable; developed clear typographic layout

BIDS Trading: Trade Blotter (trade input, tracking, alerting)
Key advantage: Combination of three screens/operations into one; visual clarification of the transaction-related business structure this “dark pool” offers to to clients.

Tim Mahoney, CEO: “It is a transformational piece of software for us. The first generation was clear and easy, but it was not nearly as simple as it is now... If you were to look at our version 5 and version 6, other than the fact that it says ‘Bids’ on it, you wouldn't know [it was the same system].” (Quote from Dealing With Technology article; August 3, 2009)

Tora Trading: Redesign of entire EMS front end
Key Update: We isolated and improved individual screen layout to better follow expert trading behavior, adding impossible-to-miss alerting and second-nature multi-key filtering capabilities.
Deliverables: The design itself, plus working and tested code for an enhanced Java widget set that simplified visual presentation, allowed better information layering, and injected interface innovations

Fixed Income Broker: FFI, A broker-centric trading front end prototype
Key Innovation: "Consoles" of information are arranged in a grid that feels like the usual spreadsheet-like table but can hold 20-50 times as much information—immediately visible without horizontal scrolling to see hidden columns

JP Morgan Asset Management: XTL, An equities trading front end
Description: A fully-functional prototype of a category-changing EMS, starting the transition to also cover OMS functionality
Key Architectural Change: Equities consoles, plus a dozen task-specific tools that gather all the data necessary for a task, and allow all necessary actions to be taken; this obviates the need for a four or six screen setup—most operations could be made on a tablet. The tools are direct visual illustrations of the cognitive steps an expert takes to complete a task; as such they look completely different from one another and facilitate faster task-switching.

Risk Management Solutions: Portfolio management and risk analysis workbench
Key Transformation: We re-factored the entire "Cat Analyst" interface, relinquishing a data-centric screen designs in favor of task-centric tools. In the process dozens of entities involved in risk analysis were made more concrete, therefore easier to manipulate and think about; this allowed screens to carry and integrate more information yet be more comfortable to understand

DIT-2014: Risk Atlas
Support for an Overlooked Audience: Allows C-suite insurance executives to browse portfolios on a 4k Ultra-High-Resolution touch screen, split out by business division, geographic location, or any other relevant data-cube dimension. Executives can simultaneously see up to a thousand half-inch glyphs that graphically illustrate strategic business issues, such as risk concentration or balance or premium vs. expenses vs. expected loss.
Key advantage: It has never been possible to break down a portfolio into so many cells while retaining a global overview that allows finding trends and outliers.
Key Innovation: Supports the hand-off of executive or board-level questions to direct reports: facilitating faster and more exact communications between them

Other Testimonials

Legal constraints at some financial institutions prevented clients from going on record with quotes but they wanted to weigh in regardless. Here’s what they said.

Head of Product Development, highly visible financial service provider:
“Brad is unusual in this space in that he combines three often unrelated things: a very well developed design sense, a deep understanding of human cognition, and computer science. His work with us has had a remarkable effect.”

Project Director, consulting firm specializing in financial risk:
“Words simply cannot do justice to what these techniques are capable of, and in a very practical vein how advanced this work is relative to the commercially available data mining / presentation software packages such as Cognos and Business Objects.”

Senior Project Manager, Merrill Lynch:
“Brad gave a seminar in the didi design methodology that left my development team inspired and motivated.”