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a n a ly s i s

What We Like

loveyourmoney.org

D/UX

• Color Palette The first thing we noticed that we were really drawn to was the subtle color palette. We liked the muted greens, dark greys, and light neutrals. It works well for your subject.

• Roll Over Flourish On the top navigation bar, there is a subtle roll over effect that is really nice, and really uses that muted green color palette to its advantage. It is not distracting, yet lets the user know exactly what the navigation is doing.

Critique Home-Page: • Logo The logo’s appearance does not fit the site particularly well. The colors are very different than the rest of the site, and the “.org” at the end should be reconsidered. The stroke around the logo is too thick, which makes it distracting. We also find it a bit outdated and kitsch.

It also looks very similar in color and style to VH1’s “I Love Money” reality TV show, which is probably not a show that we want to connect the site with in people’s minds.

a n a ly s i s
Critique Con’t

loveyourmoney.org

D/UX

• Text and Typefaces There seem to be about six different typefaces. These could be reigned in to two or three choices. This would help keep the site consistent and streamlined.

Also, the text in the middle of the homepage seems to be floating, and therefore doesn’t make much sense. If it is going to be there, it needs to command some presence on the page, and look as if it is meant to be there and that it belongs.

• Flash Animation The Flash animation is generally distracting. It frustrates the user when the speech bubbles pop up, and especially because it covers up text that they may have started to read. Also, the animation automatically has sound, which is annoying for the user when they are not expecting it. The user could be in class or in a quiet area when the sound goes off. What is the point of the audio? How does it serve the user and audience? Also, the flash is programmed in the site so that if the user blocks flash, it actually blocks the entire page. The only thing that is then visible is the footer. Firefox has an issue with this. If flash is going to be used, it should be able to be blocked without interfering with the rest of the page. Flash can be replaced by certain scripts, which can achieve subtler graphics and a more desirable message. • Get Started Now Button The “Get Started Now” button does not look clickable; it looks more like a banner. Also, once the user does realize that it is a button, they are not sure where it is going to take them in the site. It should be labeled with something that is clearer to the user.

a n a ly s i s
Critique Con’t

loveyourmoney.org

D/UX

Main Site Content: • Navigation The hierarchy of the information as the site stands does not match with the importance that you have given it. The point is to get the user to the modules, yet the user seems to have a hard time navigating to them. I remember the first time being on the site, I thought the module information was the information that was in the top navigation bar.

• Module Accessibility The “Learn to Love” links are too ambiguous. Where are we being directed?

Also, since they are on each page, it is confusing that they go to the same place. Users expect those to go to a different place on the site, and may think that the modules are broken up in each of those categories at the top. It seems difficult for the user to access the modules. They need to be accessible from the very beginning — within one click. • LYM Acronym The LYM acronym is used inconsistently throughout the site, and it really isn’t working. Stick with the full name, and allow the users to shorten it as it comes naturally to them. Modules: • Layout of the Information As stated earlier, the modules are far too deep in the site, making it difficult for the user to get to the information. On top of that, there is then no typographic hierarchy within them, which makes it more confusing.

a n a ly s i s
Critique Con’t

loveyourmoney.org

D/UX

• Navigation Within Module It is difficult to navigate the modules. It is confusing and counterintuitive. We can’t navigate easily between them, they aren’t streamlined, and we aren’t sure exactly what we need to complete as part of the assigned course. • Videos The Videos are dated and take forever to load. • Profiles Since users are generally unaware that their information is being shared with the public, this option should be default to off. In reality, what purpose does this feature serve? All unneccesary features should be eliminated.

loveyourmoney.org

r e s e a rc h

D/UX

Audience • Current Audience Currently, the site is marketed towards teachers to present to their students (Marketing for teachers, Website and content for students). Currently it is used as a freshman studies or in other freshman classes. Often these students are still supported by their parents. Even if they aren't, they are living in a dorm (as required by the university), have a meal plan (as required by UT), and walk to class. They have limited expenses. They don't need to worry about money, as they are in their own little freshman bubble. They might have student loans, but those are paying for everything essential (Tuition, Rent, Food) and they don't have to worry about paying them back until after college. • Older Audience If this was presented to college seniors, or even juniors, they would take it much more seriously, as they see the impending independence. They know they are about to have to pay for everything, maybe pay back college loans, and support themselves. • College-aged Audience Characteristcs Regardless of the age of the student, as a generation we are used to short chunks of information and very interactive material. We are used to videos (I have literally never even seen a series of stills as a video until this website). YouTube makes videos accessible to everyone. Anyone can make one. It is no longer an expensive or limited media. We want streamlined and condensed information. Our generation is so used to technology that we want information instantly, we have no patience, and we use Google to find any information we may need. We rely more on our parents versus generations of the past. The baby boomer generation tried to give our generation everything that they didn't have, and it has made us more reliant on them. Not to mention, the lack of jobs available is causing young adults to return to their parents after they finish college. We have an interesting generation, that will come up with some amazing inventions and innovations, because we were told over and over again as children that we can do whatever we want. Generally, we think big, we expect a lot, and we think more than we act. • Audience Views on Money In regards to money, we, as an audience, NEED to be more financially independent and to avoid debt. We need to pay for college. We need to understand money and especially investing. We WANT to be able to live affluently, in order to keep up with the newest technology. We are used to having the newest gadget about every two years. We LIKE financial security, and the idea of being rich and buying anything we want. • Why Does this Audience Come to the Site? Currently, our audience comes to the site because they are assigned. As the site currently stands, the audience won't come back to learn the information, even though they might understand that they need to further grasp it. They don't trust it, and they don't see it as current. They complete the modules because it is required for a grade. They have no other motivation to come to the site or return. The site needs to look trustworthy to the student as well as the professor (or else they won't assign it!). Insight from Other Websites • Secure Sites The first thing we noticed is that many sites that have to do with money are secure sites (HTTPS). Even if you wouldn’t be taking personal information in regards to the user’s bank account info, it still would automatically make the user feel safe right off the bat if the site was secure.

loveyourmoney.org

r e s e a rc h

D/UX

Insight from Other Websites Con’t • Simple and Streamlined Generally we liked streamlined information and interface and aesthetics. We liked it best when information was direct and to the point, and the design mimicked this approach. We want consolidation, and not to have to read through, participate in, or simply experience in a visual way, a bunch of unnecessary fluff. This applies to streamlined log in/sign up pages as well. Simple is good. Examples from Other Websites • Mint (https://www.mint.com)

The side navigation is beautiful and very easy to use. This would be a good solution for how to navigate through the modules. We also like how all of the content is scrollable, and it is all given to you at once. It is consolidated, yet it is still in bitable chunks of information, broken up by the images. They also have a subtle use of color palette and use beautiful typefaces (Helvetica Neue Light, Bold, and Georgia). Very reliable fonts. • Billshrink (https://www.billshrink.com)

Although we don’t necessarily like the bright green color palette, we do appriciate Billshrink’s nice clean three column layout.

loveyourmoney.org

r e s e a rc h
Examples from Other Websites Con’t • Smartypig (www.smartypig.com/)

D/UX

Smartypig is an example of a site that deals with money and still gave the site a “cutesy” twist. Although we aren’t suggesting that you design your site for sorority girls, the site does do a good job of keeping their aesthetic throughout the site, as exemplified by these icons towards the bottom of the page.

• Mind Bloom (www.mindbloom.com/)

This is a really great example of visualizing information, which the site does in a very different and innovative way.

loveyourmoney.org

f o rwa r d p r o g r e s s

D/UX

• Be Simple. • Since modules seem to be the most important aspect of the website, have all modules organized by a universal navigation bar which users can jump ahead at their own pace. • Include a LYM FAQ. • Top navigation is pointless. • Streamline content. Multiple pages should not all link to the exact same page. Scrollable? Streamline content without losing any of it, make more unifying. • Not having dynamic content, students and other users should be able contribute to the website whether that includes testimonials or forums where people can communicate and interact with others that are sharing similar problems and solving similar solutions. • Link to blogs and various online articles that can compliment the static content but still making for a more dynamic experience. • Each module could be Facebook or G+ "likable". Videos should be improved upon or eliminated. • To save on loading time, host (hopeful) videos with Youtube to be streamed more efficiently. • Be aware of typeface choices. Try to keep to three or less. • Audience may or may not be as young as originally thought. Consider directing content to Jrs and Srs since they are more likely needing this help. Closing Thoughts Focusing on a freshmen audience is problematic. This audience has limited expenses. The content in the modules is more applicable for juniors and seniors in college. Autonomy is impending for this demographic. The reality of student loans and credit card debt is much more tangible. This demographic needs to be financially independent. This demographic needs to understand money and their investments. Finding visual solutions that do not involve the use of Flash will be helpful. Flash is a temperamental format that presents of number of issues. Load time is the biggest factor. Your target audience has an increasingly short attention span on the web. Your target audience is the most internet savvy audience you could address. They recognize bad navigation quickly. They are accustomed to simple and streamlined structures and visuals.