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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
All the lonely houses stand like monuments / To thieves
— Neko Case, Tightly
October 21, 2007
User Interfaces at the Globe and Mail

It’s been a couple of weeks since I complained about the Globe and Mail in this space, so it’s about time for a new one. This time I was doing some mutual fund research at Globefund

Confession: I built many sites the competed in some way with Globefund. You may take this as a bias if you choose.

I was using the Fund Filter, as part of considering adding a new mutual fund to my portfolio. This is the Fund Filter start page:
Globefund Fund Filter Home Page I never liked the name Fund Filter by the way. It has no style. I’m not sure if I ever told them that, but I always hated it. (That’s a biased opinion.)

I was presented with the interface I’ve been using for years…too many widgets, not very clean, and difficult to use to be sure. It’s grown familiar over the years though, so I ignore 90% of it.

For the first time, I noticed the items I’ve circled in the screenshot above.

In particular, I saw this warning in the upper right hand corner of the screen:

This feature is exclusive to GlobeinvestorGOLD members. Click here to find out more

I didn’t click here.

I scrunched up my nose at this, because I couldn’t figure out how a feature I was currently using could be restricted to a club to which I do not belong. It took me a while to notice the lock on the Advanced tab on the left hand side (I’ve circled it.) Obviously the warning in the upper right hand corner is intended to apply to the contents under that tab.

How anybody is ever supposed to make that connection, I’m not sure. Lest anybody write this off to be a Mac issue (that most derisive of terms used to dismiss poor coding,) it displays the same on Firefox on both platforms. (I refuse to use Internet Explorer, so you’ll have to test this yourself.) This isn’t any issue other than just bad design, plain and simple.

What about that research, btw? I’ve decided to stay the course for the time being, until I have a bit more money and need to diversify more. The RBC Balanced Growth Fund is a pretty solid long term performer and while it’s been outperformed over the last three year periods, these other stars have a quite a bit more risk involved.

As an aside (and yes, a biased one) I’ve never figured out why the Fund Filter’s Standard performance metrics include 1 month, 3 month and 6 month. These should only be on the short term tab, and most mutual fund investors should never be making investment decisions based on such short term periods.

Posted by skooter at 4:00 PM This entry is filed under Technology.
This entry is tagged: Globe and Mail, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Investing, Mutual Funds

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