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BIDS Trading UI Gets Facelift

10 May 2010
Vol 6 No 50
Bids Trading UI Gets Facelift

NEW YORK-Users of alternative trading system (ATS) Bids Trading's Bids Trader front end will see some major changes to the platform's user interface (UI) as the ATS operator rolls out its latest version, 6.22, of the trading platform.

As part of the update, the system now can automatically place orders into the trade blotter based on the user's previous instructions. Also, the access menus have been redesigned to better respond to the way people comprehend information presented visually, explains Paul Hanson, tactical advisor for Bids Trading.

"When traders activate Mirroring, a feature in the service, the front end goes through their blotters and picks orders and places the orders based on what it understands the traders' instructions to be," says Hanson. "They can give us fairly complex instructions that we will capture and turn into rules. We then can mirror their blotters into the system. However, there will be orders on the blotters that traders won't want to trade on Bids, so we won't see them. We only want to get orders they are willing to trade on Bids."

The new version of the front-end system uses behavioral-based filtering, according to Hanson. "Our model is that your potential counterparties decide what quality of counterparties with which they're willing to interact," he says. "If you have a low quality rating, other traders won't interact with you."

As part of the release, Bids developers designed the access menus taking into account how people process information visually, both in presentation of data and in animations to open or close items on a screen. "Items don't just blink open," says Hanson. "They open in a way that the human eye can see them transition from one state to another."

Working with Brad Paley, consultant at Digital Image Design (DIDI), Bids developed methods to manage interaction between the actions of traders, the actions of systems and recognition by traders last year with release 6.0 (DWT, Aug. 3, 2009).

"Most systems show a view of the database," says Hanson. "But your order is an object, a thing-you don't think of it as a row of data in a database. We needed object-oriented interfaces that speak in terms relative to a human's cognition process. We stopped thinking of it as tables, rows of data and blinking colors and started thinking of orders as objects that got through transitions based on their state. We are not talking about just changing colors, but changing shapes and textures, three-dimensionally, when needed."

Beside the graphical changes, Bids has also tweaked its front end to accept different minimum order sizes based on the average daily volume (ADV) of individual stocks.

Tim Mahoney, CEO of Bids Trading, says that since a key challenge of using a crossing network is setting minimum size, version 6.22 also has added the capability to set different minimum sizes based on ADV. "If you have 10 orders on your desktop and don't want a 10,000-share minimum, it would be painful because ultimately you would be getting a lot of trade invites you wouldn't want to trade," says Mahoney. "Ultimately, we allow you to customize it to say that for a large-cap stock, you want the minimum share size to be 2 percent of its ADV."

Michael Shashoua


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