Designing for the Fed

Designing for the Fed

The problem.

"NTAAPS" is the name of a series of proprietary process software used solely by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the U.S. Treasury to receive and monitor securities bids made by Wall Street's largest investment banks. This is literally the tool used when the Fed is trying to balance the U.S. economy—billions of dollars pass through this system every day.

Our meager task was to integrate over a dozen complex, proprietary software apps used for the primary securities auction bidding process used by Wall Street investment traders, and the administers from the Federal Reserve Bank and the U.S. Treasury, who monitor the process.


Design and build one seamless system providing secure access for multiple user-types to the task-oriented system. The system needed to provide access to traders making bids, as well as Fed and Treasury staff for monitoring activities.


Based on older interfaces and business requirements, we took sketches with us to interview investment bank users - making rapid prototypes with subjects.

We conducted numerous workshops with Treasury and Fed stakeholders for the purpose of data gathering, as well as gaining consensus and validation around designs and data elements.


Over several months we designed with high-fidelity wireframes to expedite stakeholder design review meetings.

Edits to over 200 design "comps" were made mostly on the fly for instant validation.

I also produced a style guide describing page flows, templates, modular components, all design elements.

My role

Early phases shared all user research duties with senior IA, user Interviews on Wall Street, and stakeholder workshops for the Fed and Treasury in New York and DC. I worked in direct support of the senior IA throughout.

Eventually splitting our duties ( IA & Design), I also ran several smaller design workshops while my IA wrote hundreds of use cases and functional specs.

Once the style guide was complete, I worked closely with developers to maintain design integrity, answer questions they have about functionality, and update the style guide contributing bi-weekly releases.


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