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Stupid Usability #35

The struggle when paying back student loans

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 3/17/2014

From the mind of Terri Ebert, Graphic Designer at High Monkey:

Paying back student loans isn’t my idea of a good time. To add to this “fun,” the user experience on most loan sites is just awful. Loan companies want me to pay them back, but they don’t make it very obvious for how to actually make a payment. I’ve been paying this loan company for close to 6 months and struggle every single time to find the “Pay Here” button. I’ll walk you through the steps I have to take.

Step 1: (after signing in) I use the left side navigation to click “Make a Payment” (This is the easy part)

Step 2: Clicking “Make a Payment,” brings me to this page (below). I would expect to find an obvious “Pay Here” option, but this doesn’t happen. Much to my surprise, I find the links in dark blue, hidden among the black content (the circled options in the second image). Dark blue and black are very close to the same shade, in case you were wondering.

Step 3: After choosing “pay here,” I am taken to the page that showcases my loan(s). I like that they show all the loans so I can see how much I owe on each one. BUT again, figuring out how to actually pay takes a couple minutes. The “links” are all in the very left column. I have the option of paying each one separately or paying the whole thing.

If Firstmark Services knew anything about user experience, they’d know that links should be very distinct in comparison to the other content. The company should also be aware that borrowers do not enjoy paying off loans. This process should be made simple for us, in effort to ease the pain of spending a lot of money. If Firstmark would create buttons or differentiate the links with a brighter color so I don’t have to re-learn how to pay my loans every month, the user experience during this process would greatly increase.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 3/17/2014 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments