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Bold headers (Design patterns as told by the engineer) 2007/11/14

vanguard_fidelity.gifBeing a Yahoo, I win the ability to suffer through both Vanguard's and Fidelity's online money management websites.  This post is not to gripe about those, though.  This is simpler.  You see, I couldn't figure out how to log out of the Vanguard site.

As illustrated at right, Vanguard does provide a logout link on every page at the top right corner but its colors, being fairly similar to the browser chrome and pretty low contrast, prevented me from noticing.

Fidelity, for all its flaws, has a bright lime green header that makes it impossible to mistake for anything but the most awful of Firefox themes.  The logout button there was easy to track down.

The lesson here?  If you tuck important stuff too close to the browser chrome and don't differentiate it from said chrome, no one will see it.  I know many designers that design websites without the context of a browser window surrounding it.  Better is to design your site to jump out from the browser window so that everything is noticed according to its importance.

Comments (105)

  1. Hear hear! On top of those two, I also use Scottrade for personal investing. It's yet another UI nightmare.

    Good thing Vanguard and Fidelity aren't everyday websites. I probably won't visit either one in at least 6 months.

    Dimitry — 2007/11/14 8:50 pm

  2. I hear that. Unfortunately, after spending the past couple months developing a website for a big ass old school company I think the chances of them actually giving a shit are pretty low. The chances of someone from Vanguard actually looking at their website in Firefox are only slightly higher.

    Mike Malone — 2007/11/14 9:26 pm

  3. [...  Bold headers (Design patterns as told by the engineer) [...]

    design patterns — 2007/12/02 10:27 am

  4. I found someone else talking about the same thing on the apple site:

    David Hall — 2007/12/04 5:38 am

Richard Crowley?  Kentuckian engineer who cooks and eats in between bicycling and beering.

I blog mostly about programming and databases.  Browse by month or tag.

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