Redesigning For A Reason: Towards Better Conversion Rates

Mint, an online personal finance site, has gotten a facelift. The new site sports a much cleaner design than the previous iteration, and appears to be focused on describing what Mint actually does rather than presenting pretty (but somewhat overwhelming) graphics. For now the improvements are mainly on the external portion of the site (for non-members), with the members’ portion switching to the new design in the next few weeks.

That normally isn’t big news, but what caught my attention is that Mint has been bucket testing various redesign formats with some users and is seeing conversion rates increase by 20% over the current site.

That equals “hundreds of thousands” of more registered users over the course of a year given their current growth rates, says CEO Aaron Patzer. When we last checked in with them, they had 350,000 registered users and were tracking $11 billion in assets. Those numbers are likely substantially higher now.

Most startups have very limited resources and are so busy building and maintaining core features that they can’t spend too much time doing user testing on various concepts. Sometimes it makes sense to just take a step back and think about usability, though. It can pay off in the end.

Since the site’s launch last year, it has added a number of new features including loan tracking and investment tracking. However, most of these functions haven’t been readily apparent to most users – something the new design is looking to remedy.

Mint allows users to keep track of their finances, presenting spending history with attractive graphs and typically requiring much less effort compared to programs like Quicken. Unfortunately, while the site serves its purpose well, it is currently unable to actually transfer any funds to pay bills – you’ll have to go to your bank’s website to do that.

As part of the update, Mint is also releasing a handful of new guides to personal finance, ranging from “reducing credit card debt” to the seemingly obvious “saving money while dining out”.

Mint, which has now raised $17 million in venture capital, was the overall winner of the TechCrunch40 event in 2007.

The new designs are below. In the first image the old is on left, new is on right.