Developing modern apps for financial markets – part 1
I've wrote this article some time ago, as a way to describe the application design process in GFT, you can find the full version of those articles in the link below.
However, it is sometimes difficult to talk to clients about our work when nearly everything that we create is confidential and guarded by a set of restrictive IP laws, which is a common case when working for investment banks.
This creates a big challenge when we approach a potential new client and want to present our skills and capabilities. We are not allowed to demonstrate our actual achievements, we cannot show and describe details of our projects and we do not have an actual portfolio of our work. Everything is stuck in the client’s silo.
Therefore, we are forced to present only a high-level overview of our work. Some generic terms, PowerPoint presentations, catchy advertisement slogans. Those are useful, but we already know that clients are not always fully convinced by those means. What they want to see are specific, concrete examples of our work and processes that we use, and the know-how that we provide.
What is more, there are specialisations that are particularly hard to sell without concrete deliverables to present, such as UX Design, Frontend Development, or Business Analysis.
As people often participating in sales processes, we have experienced those difficulties multiple times, and finally, we’ve decided that it is time to do something about it.
For this project, we have created an alliance of two Job Families at GFT Poland: Business Consulting and Digital (UX and UI).
Our goal was: Create a working, meaningful application that will serve as an efficient and understandable presentation of the skills and processes that we use in our projects.
On top of that, we wanted to include some additional, ambitious requirements:
- The application should cover an actual, useful business case – we didn’t want to create a shiny, but ultimately useless application. We work for the financial industry and we wanted to have an example of a real financial application that would be understandable for our clients. In essence, something that will represent what we do every day.
- Easily accessible and mobile-friendly – the application should be as easy to use as possible. The idea is that Sales, a client, DM, or any of us can simply open the application on any compatible device and present it wherever they want. Therefore, we’ve decided that we will create a responsive web application, which is accessible on any device.
- Data heavy – our commercial applications are usually data centric. Dealing with huge volumes of data is one of our everyday challenges, so it was crucial for us to prepare something that reflects this. But we wanted more. Instead of just displaying tons of data in grids and lists, we pushed towards a modern approach of data aggregation and visualisation. We wanted to create an intelligent tool for data analysis, not just a “display all the data” kind of application. Additionally, we wanted to show how the combination of proper Business Analysis and UX processes makes it possible to achieve.
But our idea is not only about the application. Visualisation of our work is one thing, but we want to be able to show our potential clients something more than just a plain set of skills. One of the biggest values GFT brings to the projects is the knowledge and processes that we use in our daily work. Those are bullet-proofed and battle-tested processes, carved in years of working for the investment banking sector – and we can win contracts with them. What is more, selling processes and services might be a good way to convince clients to engage entire teams of consultants, with their combined knowledge and experience, instead of cherry-picking resources for their projects, positioning GFT as a skills-based services provider.
To achieve this, we’ve decided that we will also create a set of deliverables that will describe and represent the processes that we’ve used to create this application. Something with which we will visualise, describe and explain the details of how a project is created, how the particular members of the team cooperate (for example BAs with UX, UX with Developers etc.). Something that will be a representation of our experience and know-how – that a client can benefit from.
This series of blog posts, combined with the video clip, is the set of tools that we’ve created and we would now like to present them to you.
Read the rest of the article on GFT Blog