Through my job, I have access to numerous research sites. I’m not an advocate of making sites identical; however, I do appreciate an easy user interface. My favorite site has to be Morgan Stanley. The UI is simple and easy to use. I manually have to look for anywhere from 20 to 50 tickers on each site I visit and not all sites cover all tickers. Granted that number of tickers is only a small piece of the global financial pie, but seeing as I am mainly concerned with company specific reports, it can get tedious. Also, imagine searching 10 different sites, each with a different UI. This thought begs the question, what makes a good research site?
For starters, a good research site depends on the design. Is the page visually pleasing and easy to navigate? Second, can you easily navigate to US Equity research? I think it’s great that companies provide research on international firms, but I’m not concerned with any of these firms on a daily basis. Next, how many tickers are presented per page? If I have to go through pages of stocks just to see what happened in the last 24 hours, I’m going to get irritated. Plus the lag time between loading pages adds up.
Next, search capability is very important. If I need information on ONE ticker, I want to type it in and have all the information provided on the front page. Moreover if I’m going to email the most recent report, its title should be legible. A title of “dv.search” doesn’t tell me anything about what I just sent. And it definitely doesn’t mean anything to the recipient. Better yet, let me add a “watch list” of securities and search by this list only. It will save me time and there will be less traffic on your website.
I know no one asked my opinion, but it amazes me how horrible some of these sites are. There is one site I visit that randomly decides not to load on a consistent basis. I would hate to admit the cost of this site. There are others that provide you with a view of 5 stocks. If you want to see more, you have to hit the “more” button. At this point, you get an additional 5 stocks. I’m not sure how many technical calls these companies receive, but if they improved their UI, the call volume would definitely decrease.