Bloomberg is “hideous”: paging Captain Obvious

In breaking news from the Obvious desk: Bloomberg Professional, Bloomberg’s $1500-a-month flagship product, is ugly as sin.

It’s a holdover from the eighties. Orange-on-black fixed-width text, control systems stuck in the dark ages (when you’re done with an email message, you hit <GO> (Bloomberg-ese for “return”) and then “1” and then <GO> again to send it – no “send” button or Ctrl+S shortcuts here, and god help you if you hit <GO> to insert a new line like every other program in the world because that’s not how we roll here), no text selection and no copy-paste…

…oh, and if you want to do anything, you have to do it through the arcane command line. Intraday graph of 1yr Chinese yuan NDFs? That’s CNY+12M <Curncy> GP <GO>… oh, wait, it’s not, those are the deliverable forwards, which is wrong. So you’ve gotta use WCV CNY <GO> 9 <GO> to find out that the code for nondeliverable CNY is actually CCN and then you hit CCN+12M <Curncy> GP <GO> but then you realise that’s the daily graph and you can’t zoom any closer than daily and what you actually wanted was GIP <GO> or GIP2 <GO>…

…sorry, got a bit carried away there. But the point is, it’s here and we’re stuck with it – and UX Magazine’s Dominique Leca explains why.

Not that its bitter rival Reuters 3000 is any better – it’s only in the last few years that Reuters has started to move away from the “80-column page” metaphor to something nicer looking and easier to use.

(PS: the best Bloomberg tip I ever learned was that CMCS <GO> brings up the comics page.)

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