Journal Critique for 1300

One of my favorite mobile applications is Intuit’s Mint mobile application. Mint is a finances-tracking application; by linking up your credit cards, bank accounts, loans, and other financial data, Mint is able to track your cash flow, budgets, and investments from moment-to-moment.

After the user has logged in, they’re greeted with the Updates page — the first page that’s on Mint’s navigation bar at the bottom of the page. On the Updates page, they can see their Recent Transactions, Bills Due Next, Suggested Offers, Fast Approaching Budgets, Credit Score, Recently Used Accounts, and Mint Life Blog all on the same page. On this page, you also have the option of Adding a Transaction, Creating a Budget, or Adding an Account when you click on the + in the top-righthand corner of the page. The next page you can access on the navigation bar is called the Overview page.

The Overview page presents you with information that’s similar to that on the Updates page; however, this page doesn’t include supplementary information such as the Mint Life Blog or a lot of space dedicated to the Suggested Offers. Instead, the focus here is on the user’s Spending — a larger amount of space is dedicated to the user’s Spending chart, an element that displays the user’s cash, credit debt, and investment, and the user’s Cash Flow for the month. The third page in Mint’s navigation bar is dedicated to Offers.

On the Offers page, users can see credit card recommendations, based on the state of their credit profile and how the user’s profile compares to that of other users who own particular credit cards.

The last page, Settings, gives the user access to their bank and credit card accounts, TurboTax (if they use it), Passcode & Touch ID settings, general Profile information (such as name and home address), Notifications, and Help and Legal text. Users are also able to Sign Out from the Settings page.

There are several reasons why the Mint Mobile App is designed effectively. First, my goal as a user is to track my money as easily and conveniently as possible, with the option of customizing certain aspects of my user experience. For instance, I don’t want to have to manually input every transaction I make; however, if I want to customize the category that an expenditure falls under (for instance, classifying one Lyft ride as Entertainment because that Lyft took me to a concert and I want to lump my “concert” expenses together), I want the option to do that, too. Stylistically, the color scheme is very simple — Mint utilizes shades of green, white, and grey as its primary colors, and uses sky blue accents for action items and orange for due date indicators. The layout is also very clean and straightforward; the app utilizes strong vertical navigation on each page, with each chunk of information situated in its own rectangular block, allowing the user to see a lot of data clearly and quickly. Interacting with money can be a very stressful, emotionally-draining, and intrinsically-complicated process, but it’s clear that Mint’s design team tried to simplify in-app navigation and interaction for its users so users can focus on what truly matters (their money), as opposed to figuring out how to use the app.

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