American Express Homepage Redesign – Centricity meets Simplicity

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment


April 20, 2011. A couple of days ago I noticed that American Express debuted a new homepage. At first I was ecstatic…I am literally not kidding. I have been an American Express client for over 5 years and in that time the homepage has remained largely the same.

While the rest of the logged in site remains intact,  the homepage now offers a very warm and inviting experience. It feels clear that the owners of the site (and those responsible for the redesign) took a user-centered  approach. By this I mean thinking about 3 simple rules.

1) Who is the user,
2) What are they trying to accomplish, and
3) How will the site help users achieve those goals.

The homepage below (screen shots  taken April 12, 2011) prioritizes 3 goals for a visitor aside from its main branding message – signing in, getting the card, and accepting the card. The homepage also offers clues that a variety of other goals such as information on other products, rewards, and company information can be accessed from the homepage. This uncluttered and clean approach focuses on usability versus the common pitfall of littered links that represent every product group.

On my next visit to the site, I was presented with a different treatment. In this case, the same area that was used to notify me of the new experience (see above), is now being used to present me with an offer (see below). I would love to say that American Express chose this offer because they know I don’t have their mobile application, which is true, but that might be a bit too idealistic. In either case, they are not continuing to give me the same message, namely that they have a new homepage, over and over again. I know that now so a new message/offer provides me with additional value.

Am Ex Homepage after Logging In

Lastly, the other evidence of a truly user-centered approach on this redesign is through asking for feedback directly on the success of the redesign. The following as an example of the form, provided by OpinionLab, that is promoted on the homepage as “We would love to hear what you think of the new American Express Homepage”:

Opinion Lab Survey

This short form survey asks some key questions of a user-centered design approach – what are you trying to accomplish and how did the site help, or not. I would note however, that presenting this link on the homepage might be misplaced, especially for the first time visitors. It is akin to asking someone how they like the party while standing in the front door. I believe (in my opinion) a more effective approach would to email a random set of users asking for feedback or providing a pop-up invitation in the site. There are additional alternatives if either of these methods are unsavory, but bottom line is that I applaud American Express for highlighting the new experience and asking for immediate feedback.

Overall, I think American Express did a fantastic job of balancing simplicity and centricity with this latest version of their site. I rank American Express up there with job well done as I did Delta.com last year (see review here).

As usual, any thoughts, opinions, and opportunities to carry on conversation are welcome!

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