Introducing Status: A New Industry Standard from Traders Platforms
Technology adoption is unpredictable, says Traders Platforms’ Ran Cohen
By Ran Cohen, Founder & CEO, Traders Education
Technologies evolve in peculiar, seemingly irrational ways, making it incredibly difficult to predict which ones will prevail and which will be consigned to the history books. Somewhat counter-intuitively, it’s often not the most technically advanced product that wins the day, as evidenced by VHS, which beat Sony’s superior Betamax technology by virtue of its affordability and its ability to make longer recordings.
Sometimes it doesn’t even come down to superiority or cost, just sheer force of habit. Did you know that the QWERTY keyboard was originally designed to actually slow typists down?
The keyboard configuration of almost every computer you have ever used was popularised by the Remington No. 2 typewriter, which was released in 1878 and whose keys were actually laid out to prevent typists from going faster than their machines could handle.
There are other keyboard layouts out there, such as Dvorak and Colemak, which many believe to be way faster than QWERTY, but how many of you are willing to reprogram your fingers and fine motor neurons to take advantage of them?
The inspiration behind Status
We started working on Status with many of these technological anecdotes in mind. It’s always humbling to study those who have come before you in order to get a feel for which elements all successful technologies share. Our industry’s go-to is no exception, MetaTrader 4, is as formidable a software as it is ubiquitous.
So, when we hit the drawing board, it was important that we approach the problem from a different angle than everyone else. We see Status as the platform that the online trading industry needs right now. Status has been designed to appeal to an untapped demographic of potential traders who I believe far outnumber our current client bases.
However, it’s not just for newcomers, Status will also provide existing traders, new and old, with some pretty innovative features that they won’t find anywhere else. We believe that its streamlined design and ability to integrate all the interactions traders have with their brokers, will prove to be irresistible for all types of retail traders.
Our brief was to create an optimized trading interface that’s as intuitive to use as your favourite social media app, while being as powerful as anything else on the market. It will provide a gentler learning curve for new traders, do a far better job of retaining them when they hit the first bumps in their trading, while also offering a host of new features and possible interactions for more experienced users.
Less cluttered, more focused
Why don’t you see more people messing with the ECU settings of their BMWs? I’d guess it’s because the manufacturer’s settings work best for most people. In the same way, Status has been tuned to meet the needs of most traders right out of the box. We didn’t want each and every feature to require its own instruction manual. We wanted everything to be up and running the very moment you fire up the platform.
No need for a million redundant indicators and an overwhelming array of settings.
In our experience there is zero correlation between the options a trading platform provides and the quality of the trades made by its users. Quite the opposite in fact, an over-abundance of options impedes decision-making by shifting the focus away from the markets being charted and onto the platform itself. Good for analysts perhaps, not so good for everyone else.
Status has been designed to be a hub that simultaneously provides users with different types of confirmations that can be easily understood and compared to each other, while allowing them to perform all the actions and interactions they require without having to navigate away from it. We believe this approach to be far more successful at eliciting actionable trading decisions, and this is what Status is all about.
Confirmations are key
What really helps a trader take a position? It’s not, as many think, the latent ability of their trading platform to slice the data in any of million different ways. In our view there are four essential confirmations that retail traders look for before taking positions on any market. These are what every trading platform should be making available front and centre by default.
Status divides these confirmations into distinct categories of analysis and allows the user to simultaneously run any combination of them simply by tapping the relevant buttons.
1. Social – See where other traders are positioned directly on your chart as well as their success rates and the aggregated buy/sell split of the market being charted.
2. Signals – Access trusted data from your preferred signal provider and view it as an attractive and easy to trade chart overlay.
3. Technical – Choose from a selection of the most effective technical indicators that have been pre-set for you and apply them to your chart with a simple tap.
4. News – Status’s embedded economic calendar not only matches the next data release to the asset being monitored, it also plots the upcoming indicator onto the chart and provides you with a countdown to its release.
Education and integration
My initial experience in the brokerage business and then later as founder of Traders Education, has taught me that the point of conversion is not the be all, end all. What you do for your traders after they deposit and are let loose on the markets can be even more important because it will determine their overall value to your business. This is why education is so important.
However, it’s also important to integrate educational material to provide a seamless connection between what you are offering in the way of trading facilities and what you are offering by way of content. Failure to do so basically results in your traders having to turn to other content delivery platforms that are smarter than your own, like YouTube for instance.
The most successful online ecosystems provide everything the user needs without requiring them to navigate away to another service. Status does just this, constantly suggesting relevant educational videos that change depending on the actions that the user is taking on the platform.
Through a unique interactive side panel, your traders have access to this vital fifth type of confirmation to help them rapidly fill the gaps in their knowledge and boost their confidence.
The interactive panel also provides them with alerts, a LiveChat window to connect with your customer service team, a message board where you can send them important updates and finally the ability to call a customer service agent.
As you can see, we’re shifting away from a one-sided focus on technical analysis in favour of a comprehensive user experience that makes the trading platform the very centre of your clients’ interactions with your brokerage.
Technologies tend to start out in a fragmentary manner, before they reach mass adoption and are then integrated into fewer dominant platforms. We’re currently seeing this with apps like Instagram, which started out as a photo sharing network and has since grown to include other functions such as Twitter-style social SMS, micro-blogging, chat, live streaming and more.
With Status we want to bring this kind of app-like integration to the sphere of retail trading, which we feel is more than ripe for such an innovation.
The thesis is simple, the more integrated your technologies, the “stickier” they are, especially in a sphere such as trading where quick wits and an ability to draw conclusions from an overwhelming amount of data gives you a very definite advantage.