Our platform Veo One uses Solr search technology. Solr is an open-source enterprise-search platform, which major features include full-text search, hit highlighting, faceted search, real-time indexing, dynamic clustering, etc. (from wikipedia.com).
Today in Veo One, Solr search is able to search for account number, client description and account group. Based on user feedback, many Veo One users request searching for positions and forms.
< image 1 - launch search >
< image 2 - searching results - clients >
When user click searching input field, the searching result board pop up with two sections, Clients and Accounts. Click "Clients" and "Accounts" will launch all clients / all accounts in consolidated view. However, it is hard for user to understand that the two links are clickable. In addition, there are two clicks for users to launch all accounts and all clients through these two links.
Every time when user type one letter, Veo One searching result board will refresh.
When user input client name, clients searching results shows on the top. However, searching results can be long, accounts results could be hidden. Many users don't know there is also accounts results. Plus, there are many repeated information.
Account search results has "account status" data column. There are some accounts been closed or blocked which users usually don't want them to show in the searching results.
During the user interview, I was surprised to find out that many users use account market value to identify account.
Based on the current problems and users' feedback, I invited 15 Veo One users to join the user interview. I user Axure to build a testing page.
My testing page includes 3 sections - searching results, search menu and quick link (Favorites).
In searching results, users are able to search positions, accounts/clients, households/grouped, forms and pages.
Search menu give user ability to select what do they want to search. For example, some users doesn't need to search for forms, they can just uncheck form menu.
Quick link (in the testing page we call "Favorites") is a quick way for helping users to navigate to some pages. This project belongs to one of my coworker. At the time I was working on Search, his team is working on quick link. One of the solution is adding quick link next to search.
Instead of going to Consolidated View > Accounts/Clients list, most of the users prefer using search to navigate to account/client portfolio page.
Many users who joined this interview, they have their working account list. They usually would like to copy account number and paste to search input field.
All of the users like "search menu".
Half of the users like "searching positions".
More than half of the users would like to combine account and client search results.
More than half of the users like "searching forms".
Most of the users don't think "searching pages" be helpful.
Many users get confused about account and client portfolio page.
Different users focus on different searching field.
According to the product analysis and user feedback, I made some feature enhancements. Based on our time schedule, we break all the features to several steps - MVP and Day 2.
We know that one of the easiest low cost way to make an old house look better is painting the wall. I always tell my team, a good visual design can solve big UX problems. During working for Solr search, we also updated Veo One visual design system. Veo One header visual updates is the first release. So I believe, it is a good opportunity for my team to update our searching board new look.
For day one release, we decided to update the new Veo One background color. The new background color gives user a fresh impression and helps them to notice that there is something changes. Also, we got a lot of positive feedback from our users about the new visual update.
Search for positions is the top requests from users. We got many comments that user needs some way to quickly search positions and launch global positions. For searching positions, we decided to leverage one of our existed feature - quote lookup.
In Veo One header, there is a "quote lookup" icon which let user to quickly search for quote information.It was done by the same team which I am the UX lead. In our bigger design map, we hope eventually we can combine quote look up into searching filed as well. So, first step is leveraging quote lookup for searching position. When user type symbol or company name, searching board shows key words results ( same behavior as quote lookup).
The image above shows the new search design.
1. By clicking "Actions" button, user can trade, check transaction history, check MorningStar rate and Y chart rate.
2. View accounts columns shows how many accounts hold this position. Because we are leveraging the quote lookup in Veo One, we are not able to search position dynamically, which means if a security doesn't have any positions, it will be still shown on the searching results. Click the number in "View accounts" column will launch global position in a child window.
3. Filter for Global Positions - Parent/Child Window
When I start to work on searching positions, we believe that the position searching results should bring users to some place. At that time, we had two options, one is landing to research page, user can see all the quote details. The other solution is landing to global positions. In the end, we decided to go to global position.
After the decision made, the next question for me is where shall we show global position? There is no certain page in Veo One. I am glad my product manager and I were always on the same page - we have "All accounts" child window.
All accounts child window is one of my favorite early project I did. Parent/child window is a very cool feature in Veo One, later you will see I use it in a lot of place.
On Veo One header, user can easily launch "All accounts" list as a child window. This child window is like a small menu, when user click account number, the parent page will navigate to this account portfolio page. This child window helps user to easily switch different account portfolio page without losing their account list.
So how can we use all accounts list to show global positions? Can we filter by position even we don't have that column data shows? I brought my question to the dev team, and the answer is "yes".
We add filter for position for all accounts. After applied the filter for position, table grid will be refreshed showing all accounts hold this position. In addition, column "Position Quantity and Value" will be displayed on the right side of grid.
Since now our position filter is only able to search for symbol, for user who is not sure the security symbol can use hyper link "Symbol lookup".
When position filter is applied, the yellow bar shows market summary about this security such as price, total market value, change and total quantity.
Position quantity and position value is available when position is applied.
For some security doesn't have position, grid will be empty with message. Market summary is still available.
Back to "Search for positions". After we done about "Adding position filter for all accounts", we started to work on search for positions. When user click the hyper link under "View accounts", all accounts child window will be launched with position filter applied for the symbol user is searching.
4. Combine Account and Client
Like I mentioned, our legacy searching system, we show searching results - accounts and clients separately. In that way, the searching results get very long and there are many repeated information.
Users are not able to see the content below this pink line without vertical scroll.
For example, if client Mike Brady has two accounts, when advisor search for "Brady", there are two place shows. Our searching results board has max height, so sometimes users miss the information they are looking for.
In the new design, account and client are combined, which largely reduced the vertical space. Plus, the new design not only shows the searching results, it also gives user a clear image for the client/account structure.
Legacy search shows all accounts status, include active accounts, blocked accounts and closed accounts. Based on the user feedback, users barely search for closed and blocked accounts, but those accounts can also take big vertical space. In the new design, I add one check box "Show active accounts only" to filter out blocked and closed accounts. In this way, it helps user to focus on what they are looking for.
5. Expand/Collapse Each Search Section
Although I did a lot of work to combine accounts and clients for saving space, our searching results still can be long. Imagine how frustrated it can be if user wants to search for different position, but every time when he/she type the symbol, it always shows a long accounts/clients list first.
I wish we eventually can build a search landing page which can solve a lot of problems. But for now, I have to face to reality.
My first solution is letting user re-arrange these three sections. For example, if a user is focusing on position management, he/she can drag Accounts/Client section to the bottom and move Positions to the top. However, this drag and drop will cause performance issue. What we can do is having a "setting" feature to let user set up their preference in future, but for now I still have to solve the problem.
In the end, I decided to add those arrows to make all the section collapsible. If users doesn't need to show accounts/clients search results, they can collapse that section. Search results counter still shows when section is collapsed.
6. Search Results Delay and Hot Key Short Cut
Legacy Veo One search results gets refreshed every time when user type a new letter. That causes a big issue was that the search result board keeps on loading.
In new design, I changed this logic. We make the results shows a little bit delay, search result board won't start to refresh until user stop typing letter.
One of the search rule we set is if there is only one result, when user hit "enter/return" it will directly navigate to the page. According to our user research, we found out that most of users when search for account, they prefer to copy account number and paste on search field. So if user pastes an account number and hit "enter/return", user don't need to wait to search result shows, it can directly refresh to account portfolio page. That way can reduce one click and avoid waiting time.
After MVP done, there are few features we are sure to add later.
1.Customized Searching Field
In the user interview, all of the users who participated show their interest about search customization and none of them has problem to figure out how to use that feature.
The new design has a drop down menu. Select "all" is default. User can deselect the section they don't need to show on the search result board. This design can help user to focus their search target in the limited space.
2. Add Recent Viewed Accounts/Clients
Today in Veo One, there are three icon buttons on the header (marked area above) which are "All accounts", "Marked accounts/clients" and "Current account". We have many user feedback that users get confused about these icons. Since we are going to enhance search accounts and clients, it will be a good opportunity to clean up these icons.
We want to add "Recently Viewed" or "Recently Searched" on the searching board. After discussion with product manager, we believe that recently viewed is more valuable than recently searched. Because recently viewed accounts and clients is already available in Veo One, we decided to move that to searching board. Instead of using a confused icon, I changed them to texts (I don't think there is any icon can express these three features).
All accounts will keep in the same place, change icon to text hyper link "All accts."
Recently viewed accounts/clients will move to search result board.
Current account change to directly showing account number. Hover account number will show account description and account type. This way reduced one click.
3. Ability to Search for Forms and Household
Last, we want to add ability to search for forms and households.