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User interface and experience engineers play critical role in finance – Business Insider

April 10, 2024

Hey there! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC, and we’ve got an update on the cocaine hippos, which are now wreaking havoc across Colombia.
Today, we’ve got stories on why JPMorgan stands to benefit from its acquisition of First Republic, another big warning sign in the real-estate market, and all the weird stuff people leave in their Ubers.
But first, is it easy to use?
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1. Looks matter.
A tool is only as good as its ease of use. 
And on Wall Street, where the volume of information continues to rise, application design and user interface is taking center stage.
User interface and user experience have long been underappreciated in finance, which is ironic considering the public nature of the work. But firms are quickly catching on to the importance of making sure the tools they build are easy to use. 
Just look at one of the most powerful hedge funds in the world.
Citadel, the $57 billion hedge fund run by billionaire Ken Griffin, is increasingly focused on UI and UX in recent years, setting up a specific team to focus on the efforts in 2020. 
Insider’s Bianca Chan has all the details on Citadel X, the team making sure the hedge-fund’s high-powered tools are built to fit seamlessly into employees’ workflows. Bianca spoke to people across the firm about the impact Citadel X has had, from helping the firm move away from Excel to streamlining the work of portfolio managers and traders. 
Working on user experience can be a thankless job. When a tool works well, you might not think to credit the person who designed it. But the second there is any issue, you’ll be quick to curse them out.
The process-driven world of finance makes it an interesting use case for those focused on design. As Bianca’s story highlights, engineers need to balance the importance of enabling users to access the information they need with the risk of overburdening them with too much. 
If this all seems unimportant to you, consider the stakes. Better UX and UI means a more efficient employee, which means being able to do more with less, which means better margins and more revenue. 
Read more about Citadel X, the $57 billion hedge fund’s user experience and interface team.
In other news:
2. What does First Republic’s failure mean for Wall Street? If you’re still trying to understand the collapse of yet another regional bank, we’ve got you covered. From why First Republic failed, to the potential knock-on effects at other banks, here’s a full rundown.
3. Speaking of First Republic, there’s already one clear winner. JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon might have you believe the bank was just doing its civic duty by acquiring First Republic from regulators. However, JPM stands to benefit big from the purchase. Here are five reasons JPMorgan comes out a winner. 
4. The canaries in the coal mine that is the real-estate market are starting to die. Lenders are shoring up their provisions to protect against loan losses, a sign of their concerns about the sector. More on why lenders are preparing for losses.
5. Deutsche Bank doubles down on dealmaking. The German bank is building out its investment bank as it eyes a potential return of M&A, the Financial Times reports. More on Deutsche Bank’s strategy.
6. Lessons learned from Y Combinator. Three founders who participated in the startup accelerator’s most recent class share what they learned from the program. Get the rundown.
7. More people keep asking for their money back from Blackstone’s real estate investment trust. For the sixth consecutive month, Blackstone limited withdrawals from the $70 billion BREIT, Reuters reports. More here.
8. We’re all helping foot the bill for rich people who fly private. Despite now accounting for one in every six flights, private jet travelers pay just 2% of the taxes that fund the FAA. A new report highlights how commercial flyers are subsidizing the jet-setting lifestyle of the ultra-wealthy. Click here for more.
9. The strangest things left in an Uber. The company released its annual “Lost and Found Index” that details the most interesting items left behind in cars. Here’s a rundown of some of the most-unique finds.
10. Where it actually pays to go to college. As the cost of tuition continues to rise, some have derided college as a waste of money. But these 31 schools actually offer a good return on your investment. Check out the full list. (You’ll be surprised by the top three.)  
Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London. 
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