Bloomberg - SpeedDial

Realigning the contact management system called 'Speed Dial' alias 'SPDL' for the Bloomberg terminal.

My Role

I was primarily responsible for facilitating the initial research and creating the designs based on the findings. I also was responsible for iterating the designs through a series of user testing and review sessions.

In order to know more about the concepts and the design decisions taken in this project, feel free to contact me at writetoamrutha[at]gmail[dot]com.


May 2013 to Dec 2013

Domain Knowledge

In order to understand the problems of the users and to empathize with them, we had to get familiar with the Bloomberg terminal. Using the unique hardware (Bloomberg terminal and keyboard) and software not only helped us understand the target users, but it also prepared us for the user interviews.

Photo courtesy 'Bloomberg'


SPDL was an important tool used by traders and brokers to maintain their contacts, to set aliases and to share their contacts with others. Additionally, this tool was also used to share pricing information with all their contacts. Since SPDL was a key communication tool it was essential to identify and fix all the underlying usability issues that were present in this legacy application.

Importance of SPDL

Project Phases

This project was completed in two phases. The first phase of the project was exploratory and was aimed at understanding the user needs and designing the ideal product.

The second phase of the project was aimed at understanding how we could combine the findings from the user research and design explorations with the requirements from the various other stakeholders in order to create a desirable and viable product.


In order to understand the domain of our project, we decided to do a literature review and a comprehensive competitive analysis.

Research papers referred for the literature review


We conducted contextual inquiries using semi-structured interviews of 29 internal and external users across a period of three weeks. The users we interviewed also had different job roles which helped us understand the variations in usage.

User setting for conducting research

Data Analysis

We analyzed the data by using open coding and affinity mapping which helped us understand the granularity of the data by studying each quote from the users in detail.

Affinity Mapping

Idea Generation & Design

Based on our findings, we generated a number of design ideas which were then reviewed by domain experts. The feedback provided by the domain experts was then used to create three main concepts.

Initial Design Sketches


The three main design concepts created were later tested using paper prototypes. The tests were conducted with the users who had participated in the interviews conducted at the start of the project.

Three concepts created

Design at the End of Phase-I

The results of the user testing sessions not only helped us understand the strengths and weaknesses of each design, but it also helped in creating a single cohesive design.

First Proposed Design

Collaborating with Various Stakeholders

The final design showcased at the end of Phase-I received a lot of positive feedback and this further bolstered our efforts to realign SPDL.

This kick-started the second phase of the project which required us to understand the needs of the various stakeholders and the vision for the product.

Reviewing the Proposed Design

Meeting with the PM and the dev team helped us understand the product requirements and the inherent development issues. Therefore, we needed to iterate on the best and most viable design solution.

Layouts Explored


A few of the design iterations are as shown below.

Wireframes created for the left panel

Wireframes created for the right panel

Final Design

Final Wireframes created for 'Group' and 'Individual' Views

Samples of the final specs provided