Big Mac Index

The Economist released their latest Big Mac index yesterday. This view compares the current value with that in July 2007.

Curious to see the diversity in the BRICS (no measure this time for India – perhaps they decided that the Maharaja Mac is no longer fungible) – Brazil at a premium but Russia, China & South Africa all at discount in absolute (Big Mac) value, Brazil & China up and Russia & South Africa down  in relative Big Mac value. According to my very brief currency rate comparison, only CNY has devalued since July 2007.

More detail here.

The Law of Unintended Consequences – example [insert large number here]

I have been following the Basel III regulations for some time. As always with regulation of this breadth & importance, there is lot to discuss but it seems there has been an immediate impact on funding for the “real” economy, i.e., project and trade finance. Continue reading

Innovation Takes Creativity (and Commitment)

Over on TabbForum Paul Rowady, a senior analyst at TABB Group talks about the people behind innovation and how a new role – new for capital markets anyway – is emerging. The creative director.

TabbForum – innovation-takes-creativity (requires a TabbForum account)

This is a great development and can only be a good thing… Speaking as a creative within the capital markets 🙂

But based on my experience I would say that the fertile ground for design innovation needs to exist within the organisation already otherwise planting a creative person in a corporate desert will not bear any innovative fruit.

The various planes needed for successful interactive product design. From: Jesse James Garret, The Elements of User Experience (an old book and image but still easy to relate to and understand).

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Bret Victor uncovers the evils of interaction design

Over on Coding the Markets there is an interesting discussion around Bret Victor and his treatise on UI design ‘Magic Ink‘ from (2006) where he uncovers the evils of interaction design

Also if you haven’t seen this more recent video from Bret – you should:

In fact we liked the video so much we ran it as a Techtalk within Caplin 🙂

More on this topic is available on Caplin’s technology focused blog Platformability

Readership of blog at all time high – thank you!

This blog focuses on providing unique comment, views, insight and thought leadership into the rapidly evolving single dealer platform space.

We look at how, emerging technologies, changing regulatory regimes, global and regional central bank FX surveys, business and economic trends, and of course UX design all impact SDPs and their ability to continue to deliver value to clients. Although, we don’t disclose details of client projects ‘in flight’, we do provide many examples of real-world problems we help our clients solve.

It’s clearly working, as our readership has been steadily rising over the past two years, and is now at a new all time high! Continue reading

UX: Exposing the value of design research

At Caplin we don’t take a single path through design research. Like magpies we pick shiny data from multiple sources creating a rich medley of material used to build a colourful picture of the customer and their needs that brings them to life.

Occasionally we still find we have to justify the value that can be gained by undertaking contextual research and customer interviews

Here is a simple example from a recent contextual study I (Head of User Experience at Caplin) undertook in South Africa:

After a hair-raising car ride to the company’s office, we settled down to business with the group corporate treasurer and got the contextual study started.

Lorries and transporters wait to unload at the distribution hub and in jostling for position in the queue they end up taking over the whole road

Halfway through the interview the subject pointed to a white board and mentioned how he used it to keep track of his orders (as the current system has no way of tracking his orders and rates) the participant didn’t see any special significance to the board as it was just the way he worked. Continue reading

“FIX Protocol” FPL Spain Briefing, Madrid (29th November 2011)

From the day I booked this event I was looking forward to hearing the panellist’s views and opinions; I was particularly looking forward to the session about how emerging electronic trading trends are impacting the Spanish trading community. I wasn’t disappointed. The speakers were in full swing talking about algorithmic trading practices, the evolution of high frequency trading and the implications for the Spanish investor community.

Although high-frequency trading isn’t where Caplin focuses, the five highly talented speakers Continue reading

Tradeshow November

November 2011 has been a very busy month for Caplin’s marketing team. The company exhibited its single-dealer platform technology at four tradeshows on three continents and also attended an awards dinner and a networking event in London and a tradeshow in Madrid.

November 1st saw Caplin’s Asia sales team in Shanghai for the Chinamoney e-Trading Conference, presented by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) held at the Shanghai Marriott Hotel. This was probably the most complex as it involved translating both our brochures and our software into Chinese. As you can see below, Caplin established a presence at the show and some excellent contacts were made.

Trevor Jarrett and Weisheng Liu at Caplin's booth

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Competitor pushes Caplin Trader

I attended the TMX Atrium drinks last week and ran into a friend who told me an interesting story. He was at the recent TradeTech show in London perusing the stands and noticed something very odd at one stand. A streaming vendor had an impressive screenshot on their stand….but the screenshot said “Powered by Caplin”. I assume they had downloaded the screenshot from our website.

Cue much embarrassment when this was pointed out to the vendor’s staff!

Still, it’s nice to know that they think as much of our GUIs as we do. All I can say is you should see what our UX team is creating now!

Latest BIS data shows slight rise in OTC derivatives activity

Bank of international Settlements (BIS) has just released OTC derivatives market activity in the second half of 2010.

Headlines: Continue reading