MOMO Rethinks How Stock Alerts Should Work

Current stock alert implementations are too unreliable and unpredictable to serve their intended purpose.

In their current form, existing stock alert apps are either trying to be all things to all people or were developed as an afterthought. We haven't figured out which, but we are certain there wasn't a lot of thought put into how they should best serve their customers.

If you’ve ever tried to create alerts from one of the big stock brokerages like E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, or Scottrade you know what we are talking about. They are clunky, hard to set up, and don't work across even their own platforms. We also went out of our way to try a few others from independent developers and didn't fair much better.


Etrade Alert Window: Can you determing if an alert is configured or not?

When we decided we wanted alert functionality added to MOMO we first set out to understand the core purpose of an alert. After a bit of reflection and digging we came up with the following defintion to help guide us:

The purpose of an alert is to allow people to focus on other activities while remaining confident that something important won’t be missed in the event that it occurs.

If we can all agree that is the fundamental reason or at least a solid start for the definition an “alert”, we then wanted to define the main attributes of a “stock alert”. We came up with these five:

  • Reliable - Never left wondering if the alert is active, working, or configured properly. If not able to be reliable, then the ability of being able to focus on other activities is eliminated or greatly diminished.

  • Simple - Complex configuration prevents using on a regular basis and is prone to error and ultimately will lead to discontinuing use of the stock alert feature.

  • Unambiguous – When an alert is triggered, if you are left wondering why it is triggered on a regular basis you will begin to question its relevance.

  • Purposeful – By doing its job, an alert should be mindful that you are doing other activities and should only be alerted to activity you wouldn’t expect or that is different from that which you last knew.

  • Accessible – Whether at your desk or on the road, the alert should be with you otherwise, by definition, it isn’t serving the purpose of an “alert”. Additionally, the alerts should be available during market hours and after hours (extended hours).

In designing MOMO’s realtime stock alerts, we set out to ensure we addressed all these attributes. We wanted alerts that were reliable, simple to use, unambiguous, purposeful and accessible.

By incorporating the MOMO's breakout logic into triggering alerts MOMO naturally would only alert users to new change that had not previously occurred during the day. Since most people reflect on their positions on a daily basis this seemed like a natural fit and addressed two of our desired attributes – Unambiguity and Purposefulness. MOMO alerts always will appear for a material reason and there is no ambiguity as to why they were sent.

We also designed MOMO alerts to be highly reliable. Our alerts utilize a dedicated messaging server that only serves alerts. Once an alert has been set, the MOMO alert server sends the messages regardless of whether MOMO is the current application in view or in the background via push notification. Further, by being designed for your phone they are accessible wherever you are. You don’t need to be tied down to your desk for fear of missing one.


MOMO Stock Alerts using iOS Push Notifications

Lastly, MOMO stock alerts are very easy to use. In two-taps you can create a stock alert and in similar fashion you can remove them. The alerts stay active until you remove them. The only other setting provided is our “Alert Sensitivity”. This setting allows you to reduce the interval of the alerts based on the change in price. The default is $.10, but if you adjust the sensitivity to $.50, the alerts will only be sent for every $.50 change in price.


MOMO Alert Window: Simply Adjust Sensitivity or Delete

Certainly, there could be more options added, but at the risk of complexity. We are happy the way the first version turned out and find the alerts to be a great balance for people who rather not spend 12-hours a day at their computer.

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