Building ComX 2.0
The Tech Team Speaks
With a new set of innovative upgrades tucked firmly under its belt, the newly improved ComX 2.0 is ready to redefine the trading experience for users. We interviewed the brains (or fingers) behind the app, to find out how the journey from the initial ComX to 2.0 went, and some of the thinking behind the changes.
The ComX by AFEX app is an online trading platform for commodities launched in 2020.
ComX’s story began almost 10 months ago when we at AFEX saw the need to build an inclusive exchange platform that supports wealth creation and efficient markets through the trade of commodity-backed instruments.
Every day people are discovering the enormous investment opportunities that are available in the agriculture sector in Nigeria, but the surface has barely been scratched on the types of investment products that can come out of this sector. Securitizing agricultural commodities creates a path for the investing public to unlock an untapped range of alternative investment products, and this is what our marked experience in the world of financial markets and agriculture enables us to provide.
ComX users can and will be enabled to trade and invest in such instruments as Spot Contracts, Exchange Traded Commodities (ETC), Input Notes, Forward Contracts and Asset Backed Commercial Papers (ABCP). The best part is that different classes of investors can access this instruments in the comfort of their homes, workplaces, or anywhere with access to a smartphone and internet.
Why Upgrade the ComX App?
It all started when we rolled out ComX in January with basic trading features that we believed users needed quick access to.
ComX had initially been built around a full web browser experience to navigate the app and monitor trade performance.
It was good but we wanted something better for our customers.
So we got in touch with our retail and institutional investors as well as brokers, gathered feedback from them on what they needed and that led us back to the drawing board.
__ Yusuf Oguntola, Head Business Technology at AFEX.
In response to this, we re-imagined the design and navigation of the ComX app to make it more interactive and user-friendly with a myriad of innovative features to ease transaction.
We took a user-first approach, improving the user experience that was lacking in version 1.
It started with a design thinking workshop to spark innovation and out-of-the-box thinking. The goal was to infuse empathy in the app, introducing a nice UI and exciting features to aid unlimited transactions, Green describes.
After we got the list of ideas, we collaborated as a cross-functional team to produce a design prototype, continuously reviewed to ascertain its capabilities to capture trading and become a more engaging app effective on the web and mobile version.
That’s how we started the journey for ComX 2.0.
__ Green Onyeji, Mobile App Developer at AFEX.
Bringing the Picture to LIFE
We had a number of usability improvements we wanted to integrate into ComX 2.0 based on what our customers wanted. It’s one thing to have interesting ideas, it is another thing to build it into an app that delivers what you need where you want it the most.
We built the ComX 2.0 on the python and Google Flutter framework. Every mobile app has a back-end system. For the Comx app, behind it is a power-trading engine to match up all trades and that’s powered by the Python- running activities behind the scenes. But on the front-end, we built it on Google’s Flutter for an improved interface.
Going further on the upgrade, we picked a simple, concise user interface with a simple navigation design to prevent users from bugs/lag while using the app.
Emphasis was placed on branding for the app design. Since AFEX uses two beautiful executive colors, grey and red, we adopted it as the app colors, which makes it appealing and outstanding.