Financial Desktop Connectivity: Navigating FDC3 UX

Financial desktop connectivity, often referred to as FDC3, stands for Financial Desktop Connectivity and Collaboration Consortium. It's an industry standard that enables different financial applications to interact with each other seamlessly on a user's desktop. Think of it as a common language that allows these applications to "talk" to each other, share data, and launch functionalities from one another. User experience (UX) is absolutely crucial to the success of FDC3 in different ways.

In this article you will find the interview, an on-demand podcast, where you can hear our specialists Cortney Stauffer and Chuck Danielsson speaking on the importance of UX to FDC3 and the financial trading technology landscape.

Here's how FDC3 works:

  • Interoperability:
    Applications built with FDC3 standards can share information and perform actions regardless of their developer or platform. This eliminates the need for users to manually copy-paste data or switch between applications repeatedly.
  • Collaboration:
    FDC3 enables applications to work together on tasks and workflows. For example, an analyst can pull market data from one app, analyze it in another, and then send trade orders directly from a third app, all within the same desktop environment.
  • Efficiency and Productivity:
    By streamlining workflows and automating data transfer, FDC3 helps financial professionals work faster and make better decisions.

What is the importance of UX to FDC3?

FDC3's success hinges on its ability to provide a seamless and user-friendly experience, and that's where UX plays a critical role. It's like building a robust highway system (FDC3) but forgetting about user-friendly exits and signage (UX). Without good UX, FDC3's potential for streamlined workflows and collaboration will be significantly hampered.

  • Usability:
    FDC3 aims to streamline workflows and collaboration between financial applications. Without good UX, these applications could be clunky and difficult to use, defeating the purpose of FDC3.
  • Adoption:
    If financial professionals find FDC3-based applications confusing or frustrating, they are less likely to adopt them. Good UX makes the applications more user-friendly and encourages wider adoption.
  • Collaboration:
    Effective collaboration relies on clear communication and shared understanding. Good UX ensures that different applications present information and functionality in a consistent and intuitive way, fostering seamless collaboration.
  • Data accuracy:
    Poor UX can lead to user errors when inputting or interpreting data. Good UX minimizes these errors, ensuring data accuracy and reliability within the FDC3 ecosystem.

Listen on-demand: FINOS Podcast on Navigating FDC3 UX

Back in October 2023, our very own specialists Cortney Stauffer (Head of UX) and Chuck Danielsson (Head of UI), were interviewed in the FINOS Podcast on Navigating FDC3 UX by Grizz Griswold. They discuss the importance of UX for FDC3, and suggest some ways that UX can be improved. It is worth listening to if you are interested in either of the topics listed above.

Here are some key takeaways from the podcast:

  • FDC3 is a standard that allows different applications to work together on the desktop.
  • UX is the design of products and services that are easy to use and enjoyable for people.
  • It is important to consider UX when designing applications that will be used by multiple people.
  • Open source software can be a good option for FDC3 applications.

Cortney Stauffer

Head of UX Practice
Adaptive

Cortney is the Head of Adaptive’s User Experience Design team in the US, bringing a decade of expertise in designing applications within the FinTech sector. Her collaborative approach involves closely partnering with clients to materialize their visions to create impactful user experiences. She holds a master's degree in Information Technology/Digital Media Design from Harvard University Extension School.

Chuck Danielsson

Head of UI Practice
Adaptive

Chuck is the Head of Adaptive's Web and UI Practice in the US, with over a decade of experience across a variety of technologies and asset classes. He works as a consumer and producer of open source technologies that drive much of what is shaping FinTech today, incl. FDC3 standards. Holds a double major in Mathematics & Economics at New York University.

FDC3 at the Open Source In Finance Forum, 2023

Following the podcast, Chuck joined Michael Lynch, CPO at Symhony, to explain more about FDC3 in the Open Source In Finance Forum which took place in November 2023 in New York. This panel is titled "Navigating FDC3 UX: A Call for Universal FDC3 UX Patterns for an Improved Interop Landscape", and here's the abstract:

In this panel talk, we will discuss the current-state of FDC3 UX patterns, the common pitfalls we see in today’s solutions, as well as the need for contributions from across the community to form more mature UX patterns. As more and more vendors ship batteries-included components that are FDC3-enabled, the need for the community to form stronger, more mature UX patterns to support complex FDC3 workflows is greatly needed in order to ensure a sane user experience where FDC3 actions are discoverable, predictable and universally recognized. This panel talk will be geared to raising awareness around the issue of UX & FDC3, encouraging the community to rally around this problem and encourage participation in a number of practical ways.

Further reading on FDC3

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