Optica Research Search

Goals

Clean up and rebrand the current experience and add additional metadata options to pre-screen fund criteria.  Show a preview of how many funds match the criteria before running search results.  Add the ability to create a quick list of known funds, performance series, indices and medians to mash up with search results in both display of search results and use for more elaborate performance and meta data comparison analytics purposes.

Discovery

The initial round of user research identified that asset class and geography are typically the most common criteria used.  The current screening options didn’t have any conclusive data that supported priorities after that original point. We investigated the topic in Google Analytics to find a priority order of current features, but when combining this with the list of new screening criteria means that there are almost 100 data points for which users could now screen funds. It was clear that the way that we needed to solve for the ability to save personal preferences to promote the fund criteria that were common for that particular user.

Implementation

The most common search criteria use a type-to-search that creates chips with  a dropdown of tree structure options, to both educate and speed the entry of known asset classes and geography. The same metaphor is used for advanced fund criteria.  The use of a donut chart is used to signify how limiting your selections of criteria have narrowed the fund options.  A sliding shopping cart metaphor was used on the right side to add the ad hoc known funds, performance series, indices and medians used to help narrow search results and also to use a “quick list”.

Outcome

The reaction from users was excellent.  The reaction shifted from “overwhelmed” before the redesign to “straight-forward” after the initial release.  The “quick list” was confusing for most users, but we added it to the main navigation and integrated like an omnipresent shopping cart metaphor and retesting this, it was no longer a frustration point.  It also wasn’t clear how some of the advanced fund criteria were used as well as the labels for some of the criteria.  We utilized a (question mark) tool tip to both define confusing terms and help define calculations and industry lingo.