Vanguard website new look

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Issa
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Vanguard website new look

Post by Issa » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:23 pm

I hope Vanguard gets it together with their new website refresh because as it stands now it is a mess based on my account view(s). To many font types, contents shoved toward left leaving blank space on right, but the real lulu is some of my account information is just wrong (sorry Vanguard I do not have just 4% of my account in stocks - more like 55%). A company as big as Vanguard should do better before they launch their new and improved (not) investor website - and yes I did contact them with my criticisms. Now back to wondering why NBC doesn't have real time Olympics feed from UK to USA, oh wait I do know why. They want to ensure they have more USA sticky eyes on their plethora of advertisements.

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linenfort
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by linenfort » Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:58 pm

There's actually a thread for this in the Personal Consumer section. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 11&t=98983
I agree with you, though. There are some issues with the new site layout.
On Vanguard's main page, you can just start typing your username to log in.

PB
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by PB » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:02 pm

I personally spoke with Vanguard too. I think everyone should until they fix it. My Portfolio Watch is way off, as is my Performance Tab. And the numbers change when you refresh the page! Unacceptable and hard to believe, really. I'd get fired if I did my job like that.

PS: and you think a 'YTD' option on the Performance page would be too much to ask? Unbelievable...

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fishnskiguy
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by fishnskiguy » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:07 pm

Change sucks.

But the new look ain't all that bad. Get used to it. :beer

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NAVigator
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by NAVigator » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:39 pm

I check the account every month or two. Now I might have to look again to see why there is so much commotion. There shouldn't be this much activity with index funds. :)

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sscritic
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by sscritic » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:19 pm

I don't login to the website that much; I only do so when I want to buy or sell (which is rarely) or get my new share balances after a distribution or when I need to login to answer a question for someone on this board who doesn't want to login for themselves (for example, I can't see the beneficiary choices unless I login). Other than that, I have the funds I own set to display in the fund watch list on the front page (pre-login) of personal.vanguard.com/us/home I just copy the NAVs into my spreadsheet which figures out all I need to know (I have a net worth page, a bogleheads format page, and special TIAA page - but then I don't get those values from Vanguard, etc.).

I guess some of you have other uses for the website, but for me, it's just a new set of colors.* I can still buy and sell, I can still see how many shares I have, I can still find my beneficiaries. I just don't need anything else.

* If you want to complain about something, complain about all that brown. Do they think they are UPS?

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mhc
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by mhc » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:39 pm

I have 12 accounts with Vanguard. I saw the new format last night. It is a mess. It uses space very inefficiently. I have a harder time seeing the information I want to see. I filled out the survey quite negatively. I'm sure they will respond with a new interface. I didn't notice anything that was an improvement.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:40 pm

I have had the new website look for over a month now, some weeks before some of you, obviously. It didn't need changing, in my opinion, but it is acceptable to me since I now understand where every thing is located and how to use it.. Maybe you will feel the same way later.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

PB
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by PB » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:08 am

It's not the look (even though it is bland as hell), it's the functionality that's the problem. Several functions don't work, and then things like: not showing the date anywhere on the page (you have to mouse over stuff) to even see if you're looking at today's prices or yesterday's prices?

VG is the largest mutual fund company in the world; they're arguably the authority on the importance of asset allocation, and yet the website can't give you accurate data, an accurate asset allocation breakdown, and they can't even put the stupid date on the page?

I'm convinced that they're cutting corners to serve the mobile platform, and people should speak up. Respectfully, but speak up.

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Cernel
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by Cernel » Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:15 am

Based on these comments, I guess I am glad that I still have the "old look." Maybe they forgot to convert my "look."

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by gd » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:44 am

After playing for 5-10 minutes, I like lots of things on it, such as the easier way I can run through transactions for all my accounts with a simple dropdown listbox selection. If I could do that with the old one I never noticed- I always had to go into each account page. That should make it easier to manually transfer month-end income to my Quicken 2004, which I'm guessing is not a common activity. Lots of entertaining displays of performance with 50 zillion different ways to modify it, although I'm not quite sure why I need to do all that stuff if I'm "staying the course". I like the taxable income summary (although that may be present on the old format and I just never noticed/found it), and it's all zeros! No tax! Hey, wait....

Some interesting variety in page presentations-- narrow, full width, menus on right side, no menus, some right side menus colored, some not... I'm wondering if the people who fixed the year-end reports moved on to web page design.

Edit: ok, after another 10 minutes now it's a little creepy. Some accounts that were emptied 5 years ago (and supposedly permanently deleted automatically by Vanguard 1 year later) seem to have reappeared, with zero amounts-- but only some of them, not all. Zombies are still in fashion, apparently.

sscritic
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by sscritic » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:33 am

PB wrote:It's not the look (even though it is bland as hell), it's the functionality that's the problem. Several functions don't work, and then things like: not showing the date anywhere on the page (you have to mouse over stuff) to even see if you're looking at today's prices or yesterday's prices?
Price as of 07/27/2012
And I didn't even login.

P.S. That's neither today's or yesterday's price. Today is Sunday. That's the day before yesterday's price. Wait until tomorrow morning and the prices will be even more stale.

peppers
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by peppers » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:22 am

For our purposes, the new design works out fine. My 401k with Fidelity recently made some changes in their layout. It is what it is.
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by Sidney » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:26 am

Cernel wrote:Based on these comments, I guess I am glad that I still have the "old look." Maybe they forgot to convert my "look."
They will get to you eventually. Mine changed this week. I prefer the old look but I'm sure I'll get used to the new one. I don't use it much anyway.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:36 pm

Cernel wrote:Based on these comments, I guess I am glad that I still have the "old look." Maybe they forgot to convert my "look."
I finally got converted from the old look to the new look sometime in the last week, so it's slowly working its way out across the accounts.

Issa
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by Issa » Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:12 am

linenfort wrote:There's actually a thread for this in the Personal Consumer section. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtop ... 11&t=98983
I agree with you, though. There are some issues with the new site layout.
Your avatar. I used to play that card game with family ages ago. Lots of fun before everyone began spending most of their time staring at computer/handheld computer screens.

riskonoff
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by riskonoff » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:15 pm

new website is horrible.

i am on the site almost everyday. no reason to change it.

maybe i will get used to it....

PB
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by PB » Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:21 pm

How can you get used to it when things don't work?

Every time I log in, I see an incorrect Portfolio pie chart -- with added slices. That's entire asset classes I don't own. Then refresh the page, slices gone, but percentages still way off.

Every time I go to Performance tab to check YTD performance... oh wait, there is no YTD link.

So I enter the first date in the box, then I enter the next date in the second box, and... oh wait... the total return is wrong.

So I select and de-select some funds, and then... for whatever reason... the total return is correct. What?

Maybe I'll get used to it.

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dratkinson
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by dratkinson » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:38 pm

Last night's Family Guy episode seems appropriate when Stewie...

Image

"What is this? Somethings wrong with the house! I don't like change!"



My feelings, exactly. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it.)
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

cb474
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by cb474 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:56 am

Yeah, I don't like the new design either.

There are a couple new features that are nice (and which could have been easily intergrated into the old design). But some functionality is also lost (like seeing all recent transactions, from all accounts, in a single list on the overview page; or being able to look at balance trends and account performance on the same page). So the improvements are in a sense cancelled out by the steps backward.

Overall this to me is an example of a fad affecting a lot of web sites these days (Gmail did it too). It's driven by web designers who are more interested in graphic design, than actual functionality. What you get are webistes that superficially look simpler, but are actually much less user friendly. Different sections of a page tend to be less clearly demarcated from each other; information is separated out into many tabs, requiring more digging around to find it; there is an over-reliance on drop down menus; information is spaced out more over a page, making the page look less cluttered, but requiring more scrolling or clicking through tabs and menus; etc.; yuck.

In the end, to me, it's just an annoyance. Now I have to relearn a web site I already knew how to use and was perfectly happy with. It's a lot of effort, for no real purpose.

I also think that given that Vanguard is a financial institution, it does not inspire confidence to have the appearance of the website changing, for little reason. It's like bank lobby design. Banks, at least older banks, were designed to look monolithic and unchanging. This creates a feeling of stability and security. A website for a financial instution should also project a sense of stability. Going to the site and always seeing the same thing reassures users that their money is really "there" and safe. Frivilously changing the web site to follow the latest web design fad does not create a sense of stabiliity and security.

In the end, I feel the biggest beneficiary of the change is the web design company that convinced Vanguard it needed this change to look "current" and "modern."

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:59 am

Put me down as someone largely indifferent to the new or old design, the "tools" available or much else. I try to go to the site once a month to update the prices in my spreadsheet, the inclusion of the fund symbols on the accounts page is a help.

I am not someone who tracks return or the like (It wouldn't change anything I do)and the only other thing I use the site for is to anticipate and execute tax loss harvesting periodically.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

sscritic
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by sscritic » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:12 am

cb474 wrote: I also think that given that Vanguard is a financial institution, it does not inspire confidence to have the appearance of the website changing, for little reason.
Did you lose confidence in bogleheads.org when the website design changed? I think every financial institution I use (and I use more than 10) has changed its web design in the last three years or so. Some changes make my individual use of the website better, and some annoy me, but I am not everyone. And I still have just as much or as little confidence as I did before any changes.

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G12
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by G12 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:58 pm

PB wrote:How can you get used to it when things don't work?

Every time I log in, I see an incorrect Portfolio pie chart -- with added slices. That's entire asset classes I don't own. Then refresh the page, slices gone, but percentages still way off.

Every time I go to Performance tab to check YTD performance... oh wait, there is no YTD link.

So I enter the first date in the box, then I enter the next date in the second box, and... oh wait... the total return is wrong.

So I select and de-select some funds, and then... for whatever reason... the total return is correct. What?

Maybe I'll get used to it.
Mine was updated less than 3-weeks ago and I am not experiencing the issues above. When you go to your accounts main page, immediately to the right of your first account should be Portfolio Watch and a tab at the top of it for performance, which you can check YTD, & 1-5years automatically without having to insert a date range. Mine works well and I actually like aspects of the updated site better than before. Portfolio watch has never calculated size of foreign equity and some other holdings, so I take it with a grain of salt and use other tools. It does take an acclimation period, but it's not like jumping from radio to 3D HDTV.

PB
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by PB » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:02 pm

Thanks, G12 but (1) the performance values are still incorrect on my home page; and (2) even when you select the YTD tab, once you click on the 'Performance Details' link (and are taken to the actual Performance page), presto... the YTD selection does not transfer; and as mentioned, there is no YTD link on the actual Performance page! I'm sorry, but it's 4th rate, not even 3rd or 2nd... Vanguard can do better and they should do better.

PB
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by PB » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:11 pm

To prove my point:

Link to Pie Chart 1, taken as I log-in to my account. Note the 3 slices:
http://dezigns.com/chart1.png

Link to Pie Chart 2, taken seconds later after I refresh the page. Note only 2 slices:
http://dezigns.com/chart2.png

I actually have better things to do; they should fix it. And this is just ONE of many problems with the site.

Thanks -

cb474
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by cb474 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:25 pm

sscritic wrote:
cb474 wrote: I also think that given that Vanguard is a financial institution, it does not inspire confidence to have the appearance of the website changing, for little reason.
Did you lose confidence in bogleheads.org when the website design changed? I think every financial institution I use (and I use more than 10) has changed its web design in the last three years or so. Some changes make my individual use of the website better, and some annoy me, but I am not everyone. And I still have just as much or as little confidence as I did before any changes.
Um, I think for obvious reasons I care a lot more about whether I have confidence in Vanguard, than in the boglehead website (no offense boglehead administrators--you do a great job). And I did not say that the changes to Vanguard's site significantly effect my confidence in Vanguard. I was stating that from a marketing perspective a financial institution has more at stake, than other businesses, in creating a sense of conservativeness and steadiness, then in seeming to be up on every fad and trend.

My bank website has also changed a couple times in the last several years and I would say the same thing about it. The changes in layout added nothing to the site, created only a superficial sense of being more up-to-date, but actually made the site much less usable, and required all users to relearn where things are on the site. What's the point of that? And of course it no doubt cost a lot of money to do the design changes.

As I also stated above, this is not exclusive to Vanguard or banks. It's part of a general trend in website design across the entire internet, to make websites look simpler and more graphically appealing, but in a way that almost always actually makes the web sites less user friendly. (It's also what's coming soon to the Windows and OS X desktops.) My sense from reading comments by software developers is that the web design people, who are more interested in graphic design than useability, have really taken over a lot of these decisions from the the more functionality oriented coders.

So I think it's almost entirely driven by web design companies looking for ways to make money, by creating some superficial idea of what's "new" and "different," therefore presumptively better. But which actually has little to do with useability.

In the end, I do think that Vanguard has actually done a worse job than my bank did. I find the new Vanguard site harder to scan to find the information I want. And there is very little new functionality (none of which required the totally revamping of the appearance). And the fact that Vanguard redesigned its site, which I use a lot, to seem "new" and "up-to-date," but is just following design fads, does a little bit effect that way I perceive Vanguard (and the decision making process of those in charge), even if not in a substantial way. Appearances matter. I think any serious business knows that.

And ultimately it's tellling that the comments in this thread (and another thread about the new design) are almost 100% negative and/or something to the effect of "meh."

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:28 pm

cb474 wrote: Overall this to me is an example of a fad affecting a lot of web sites these days (Gmail did it too). It's driven by web designers who are more interested in graphic design, than actual functionality.
That's unfair. I've been doing web development for quite a while and let me assure you, there is absolutely NOTHING on the new site that is in any way in adherence to any current or recent fad. Additionally, web developers are almost never interested in graphic design, so I'm not sure where you got that from.
cb474 wrote: What you get are webistes that superficially look simpler, but are actually much less user friendly. Different sections of a page tend to be less clearly demarcated from each other; information is separated out into many tabs, requiring more digging around to find it; there is an over-reliance on drop down menus; information is spaced out more over a page, making the page look less cluttered, but requiring more scrolling or clicking through tabs and menus; etc.; yuck.
It's only less user-friendly if you're so used to the old design that you don't have to think. If that's the case, you can easily become just as used to the new design. Give it time. The old design was crap. It was not user friendly by any stretch of the imagination.
cb474 wrote: In the end, to me, it's just an annoyance. Now I have to relearn a web site I already knew how to use and was perfectly happy with. It's a lot of effort, for no real purpose.
The purpose is to make the site simpler and easier to maintain for Vanguard. It's also meant to reduce support costs. This lowers our expense ratios, so there is a very real benefit.
cb474 wrote: I also think that given that Vanguard is a financial institution, it does not inspire confidence to have the appearance of the website changing, for little reason.
It inspires more confidence than a financial institution with a site that looks like it was designed circa 1995.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by cb474 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:49 pm

KyleAAA wrote:That's unfair. I've been doing web development for quite a while and let me assure you, there is absolutely NOTHING on the new site that is in any way in adherence to any current or recent fad. Additionally, web developers are almost never interested in graphic design, so I'm not sure where you got that from.
Well this is based on my own observations of websites. But to me the graphical idiom of the new Vanguard site is obviously following the same idiom used in the Gmail redesign and many other websites. Oftentimes people are not aware of the trends of which they are a part.

In any case, my understanding from software developers that I've communicated with is that web design has become more and more driven by graphical design and less by the actual coders.
KyleAAA wrote:It's only less user-friendly if you're so used to the old design that you don't have to think. If that's the case, you can easily become just as used to the new design. Give it time. The old design was crap. It was not user friendly by any stretch of the imagination.
I gave many specific reasons above why I find the new design to be far less user friendly, which have nothing to do with my having to relearn the site. What looks superficially simple, sometimes is (much) less useable. Sometimes it's better to have a bit of a learning curve. So I completely disagree with your take both on the new site and the old one. The old one was not the best site ever, but the new one is no improvement.
KyleAAA wrote:
cb474 wrote: In the end, to me, it's just an annoyance. Now I have to relearn a web site I already knew how to use and was perfectly happy with. It's a lot of effort, for no real purpose.
The purpose is to make the site simpler and easier to maintain for Vanguard. It's also meant to reduce support costs. This lowers our expense ratios, so there is a very real benefit.
I don't see how it will lower support costs, if people have more trouble using it and turn to the phone more. And improving the backend functionality of the site, for maintaining it, does not necessarily require all the interface appearance changes
KyleAAA wrote:
cb474 wrote: I also think that given that Vanguard is a financial institution, it does not inspire confidence to have the appearance of the website changing, for little reason.
It inspires more confidence than a financial institution with a site that looks like it was designed circa 1995.
To each his own. But you are ignoring my entire argument above about why financial institutions traditionally have an interest in projecting a more conservative appearance, than other businesses. Simply asserting that the opposite is true, without giving any reasons, does not make it true. And suggesting that the previous website looks like a design from 1995, when graphical web sites barely existed and they were mostly dominated by textual hyperlinks, is simply absurd and suggests a deep misunderstanding of the history of the web. (Here's an image of Yahoo from 1995, for those interested: http://thechive.com/2012/01/24/when-web ... ahoo-1995/.)

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:35 am

cb474 wrote: In any case, my understanding from software developers that I've communicated with is that web design has become more and more driven by graphical design and less by the actual coders.
This is false. The trend is in the other direction. Actually, the trend is to do as little design as possible and just test everything live on the site. Much more efficient and yields better results.
cb474 wrote: I don't see how it will lower support costs, if people have more trouble using it and turn to the phone more. And improving the backend functionality of the site, for maintaining it, does not necessarily require all the interface appearance changes
Don't forget they have actual user data. They tested the new layout for quite some time before launch. It's inconceivable they would have launched if there weren't significant usability improvements. Just because YOU think it's less usable doesn't mean the majority of users do. This is the pitfall of asking people their opinions on new designs. Most people don't know anything about it and will give flat-out wrong advice. It's much better to measure actual use than ask for opinions. Perhaps they are just optimizing around different variables than what you prefer. If people actually picked up the phone more, believe me, the new changes would not have been made.
cb474 wrote: To each his own. But you are ignoring my entire argument above about why financial institutions traditionally have an interest in projecting a more conservative appearance, than other businesses. Simply asserting that the opposite is true, without giving any reasons, does not make it true. And suggesting that the previous website looks like a design from 1995, when graphical web sites barely existed and they were mostly dominated by textual hyperlinks, is simply absurd and suggests a deep misunderstanding of the history of the web. (Here's an image of Yahoo from 1995, for those interested: http://thechive.com/2012/01/24/when-web ... ahoo-1995/.)
I'm well aware of what Yahoo looked like in 1995, as I was using it heavily then. It was just a random example designed to make a point, not meant to be taken literally. But I assure you, graphical websites were quite prevalent. Not most of the large sites everybody used, but neither were they rare. I was a teenager at the time and I even built some. I don't buy your argument to begin with so I don't feel the need to refute it. You also ignore the fact that conservative ARCHITECTURE is completely different from an antiquated, unusable website. When people see a classic art deco building they say "ohhh, classy!" When people see an antiquated website they think, "why can't this giant bank afford to maintain their website properly?"

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FabLab
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by FabLab » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:32 pm

Sidney wrote:
Cernel wrote:Based on these comments, I guess I am glad that I still have the "old look." Maybe they forgot to convert my "look."
They will get to you eventually. Mine changed this week. I prefer the old look but I'm sure I'll get used to the new one. I don't use it much anyway.
Just noticed the website change this a.m. when I logged in to check some exchanges that I had set up yesterday. My take: it was slightly jarring, but then again I hadn't downed my first cup of coffee either. Decided to return a little later this morning, set aside some time, and give the thing a more thorough look-see and a chance to impress. Went back with the idea to go through several typical activities (check the day-before transactions so recorded, beneficiary listings, addresses/phone numbers, portfolio watch stats, taxable/nontaxable dividends and interest, etc., etc.). The 15-20 minutes I spent doing that little exercise was all it took for me to gain comfort with the new design. No big deal and no errors did I find. In a week, I'll probably forget what the old setup looked like.
The fundamental things apply as time goes by -- Herman Hupfeld

cb474
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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by cb474 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:24 pm

KyleAAA wrote:This is false. The trend is in the other direction. Actually, the trend is to do as little design as possible and just test everything live on the site. Much more efficient and yields better results.
Hmm. You think that is not a design trend? As I said, simple is not always better. But that is the current design trend with web sites.
KyleAAA wrote:Don't forget they have actual user data. They tested the new layout for quite some time before launch. It's inconceivable they would have launched if there weren't significant usability improvements.
So because they launched the site, for the purpose of usability improvements, that means there necessarily have to be usability improvements? That is a completely circular argument. In any case, remember New Coke? Lot's of launches like this have all kinds of data backing them up and turn out to be complete mistakes. I've seen plenty of website redesigns I like. This is not one of them. And I still don't see anyone here saying they love the new site. The response is, again, almost 100% negative or netural.
KyleAAA wrote:You also ignore the fact that conservative ARCHITECTURE is completely different from an antiquated, unusable website. When people see a classic art deco building they say "ohhh, classy!" When people see an antiquated website they think, "why can't this giant bank afford to maintain their website properly?"
Conservative does not necessarily mean old. I don't think the old Vanguard website looked old and in need of updating purely because of its appearance. So we disagree there. I do think that following trends for the sake of following trends has it's own downside and, for the reasons I state above, does not necessarily instill confidence either. And yes I understood that your 1995 design comment was hyperbolic, but it was exaggerated to the point of being meaningless.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by cb474 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:25 pm

FabLab wrote:
Sidney wrote:
Cernel wrote:Based on these comments, I guess I am glad that I still have the "old look." Maybe they forgot to convert my "look."
They will get to you eventually. Mine changed this week. I prefer the old look but I'm sure I'll get used to the new one. I don't use it much anyway.
Just noticed the website change this a.m. when I logged in to check some exchanges that I had set up yesterday. My take: it was slightly jarring, but then again I hadn't downed my first cup of coffee either. Decided to return a little later this morning, set aside some time, and give the thing a more thorough look-see and a chance to impress. Went back with the idea to go through several typical activities (check the day-before transactions so recorded, beneficiary listings, addresses/phone numbers, portfolio watch stats, taxable/nontaxable dividends and interest, etc., etc.). The 15-20 minutes I spent doing that little exercise was all it took for me to gain comfort with the new design. No big deal and no errors did I find. In a week, I'll probably forget what the old setup looked like.
Hey FabLab. I agree that it doesn't take much time to figure out the new site. But, I'm curious, do you feel like you've gained anything from the redesign?

I still don't see anyone here saying that they think the new design is great or adds a lot. As I noted above, it seems like the responses here and in another thread on boglheads are almost 100% negative or neutral. In which case, it makes me think, what's the point? There should be some positive benefit for users. Otherwise, even if people feel neutral, it's a waste of their time to have to learn a new design.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by G12 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:37 pm

PB wrote:To prove my point:

Link to Pie Chart 1, taken as I log-in to my account. Note the 3 slices:
http://dezigns.com/chart1.png

Link to Pie Chart 2, taken seconds later after I refresh the page. Note only 2 slices:
http://dezigns.com/chart2.png

I actually have better things to do; they should fix it. And this is just ONE of many problems with the site.

Thanks -
PB, the graphical display for my accounts does NOT do that, and that is including a 10% "other" component which I have manually entered in Outside Investments, resulting in 4 "slices" on the front page and Port Watch pages. It would be worth emailing VGD to communicate the glitch and have them fix it for you. They were very receptive to feedback offered on the manual default settings of taxable accounts I mailed them a few weeks ago.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:42 pm

cb474 wrote: So because they launched the site, for the purpose of usability improvements, that means there necessarily have to be usability improvements? That is a completely circular argument.
Not at all. I am specifically saying they probably did NOT launch for the purpose of usability improvements. But they have plenty of data to go on, so how likely do you think it is they would have launched if there weren't any improvements? Keep in mind they had most of the data BEFORE even starting the redesign, so it's not an issue of sunk costs. They knew the old site was horribly unusable.
cb474 wrote: In any case, remember New Coke? Lot's of launches like this have all kinds of data backing them up and turn out to be complete mistakes. I've seen plenty of website redesigns I like. This is not one of them. And I still don't see anyone here saying they love the new site. The response is, again, almost 100% negative or netural.
People loving the site isn't the goal. People being able to use the site without getting overwhelmed, minimizing costs, and maximizing modularity are the goals. People almost never react positively to new designs when they come out, but they almost always forget their complaints after a few weeks. Look at Facebook. They do it several times a year and people always get used to the new changes after a while. Even the hated timeline feature is now generally thought of as a success.

This is absolutely not comparable to New Coke. The amount and quality of data involved here is astronomically higher.
cb474 wrote: Conservative does not necessarily mean old. I don't think the old Vanguard website looked old and in need of updating purely because of its appearance. So we disagree there. I do think that following trends for the sake of following trends has it's own downside and, for the reasons I state above, does not necessarily instill confidence either. And yes I understood that your 1995 design comment was hyperbolic, but it was exaggerated to the point of being meaningless.
Vanguard isn't following any trends. I know the trends because I work in the field. Vanguard is not being trendy. Not sure how I can convince you of that, though. I also don't think the site needed updating because of its appearance. The overall style of the site was fine. It needed updating because it was old and clunky and didn't work very well.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:45 pm

cb474 wrote: Hey FabLab. I agree that it doesn't take much time to figure out the new site. But, I'm curious, do you feel like you've gained anything from the redesign?
If Vanguard gains a lot, why would it necessarily matter if most customers don't think they have? In any event, most customers probably wouldn't realize what they've gained anyway.
cb474 wrote: I still don't see anyone here saying that they think the new design is great or adds a lot. As I noted above, it seems like the responses here and in another thread on boglheads are almost 100% negative or neutral. In which case, it makes me think, what's the point? There should be some positive benefit for users. Otherwise, even if people feel neutral, it's a waste of their time to have to learn a new design.
People who dislike something are more likely to speak out than people who like something. The response in this website shouldn't be used to make any sort of conclusion about what the average user thinks. Besides, a neutral reaction is a very good reaction from Vanguard's point of view. I don't particularly care for the new layout, but then again, I hated the old one. It's definitely an improvement. The benefits to Vanguard are blindingly obvious to me, though. I'd have done the same thing in their position. It would be irrational not to.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by PB » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:04 pm

The problem is that several functions don't work. Period. I don't care that the site looks bland; I don't care that it's poorly designed and that information is harder to find; I don't even care about the take-aways, like no 'YTD' option on the Performance page. I do care that the Portfolio Watch is WRONG, and that the output of the Performance page is WRONG. The site is broken. I care about that, and IMHO, you should too.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by grabiner » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:18 pm

PB wrote: I do care that the Portfolio Watch is WRONG, and that the output of the Performance page is WRONG. The site is broken. I care about that, and IMHO, you should too.
Is Portfolio Watch any more wrong than it was in the past? (That is, it still says that my REIT Index is 100% small-cap value, and that my Vanguard emerging markets index holdings in Taiwan are emerging markets but my iShares emerging markets ETF holdings in Taiwan are developed markets.)

I have had problems with the Performance page in the past. For example, when I converted a fund to Admiral, this was once counted as a new investment, and the brokerage numbers were not initially converted properly when Vanguard took over from Pershing. However, I don't see any issues now; what are your problems, and have you reported them?
Wiki David Grabiner

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by Dandy » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:31 pm

Most times changes in web designs or statements are not well received. so I am trying to get used to it. However, looking up on Internet explorer works but using Firefox the web page is shrunk to half my screen and some info at the far right does not display. Worked fine in Firefox before the change.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by PB » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:50 pm

I have spoken with Vanguard and get the impression that they really don't care. To start, no acknowledgment that there are any problems, which does not bode well.

I will continue to say this, too: it does matter that the Portfolio Watch doesn't work. How can Vanguard pay tribute to the importance of asset allocation, and then allow shareholders' portfolio breakdown's to be off by more than 5%? See my earlier postings -- my pie charts includes a whole asset class that I don't even own. Stop defending them. Great business/legal structure? Yes. Competitive pricing? Absolutely. Minimally decent website? Nope. They should be embarassed.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by SurfCityBill » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:50 pm

Dandy wrote:Most times changes in web designs or statements are not well received. so I am trying to get used to it. However, looking up on Internet explorer works but using Firefox the web page is shrunk to half my screen and some info at the far right does not display. Worked fine in Firefox before the change.

Try Google Chrome.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by sscritic » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:57 pm

PB wrote:How can Vanguard pay tribute to the importance of asset allocation, and then allow shareholders' portfolio breakdown's to be off by more than 5%? See my earlier postings -- my pie charts includes a whole asset class that I don't even own. Stop defending them. Great business/legal structure? Yes. Competitive pricing? Absolutely. Minimally decent website? Nope. They should be embarassed.
I agree they should be embarrassed, but then I would be embarrassed to admit in public that I use pie charts. :)

The truth is that whenever I see a pie chart I quickly avert my eyes. Seriously, I can see the difference between a bar that is 36 long and a bar that is 40 long, but I can't tell a 36 degree pie slice from a 40 degree pie slice. Maybe I need to take geometry again.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by PB » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:42 pm

SSCritic, it's fine if you want to make jokes, but Vanguard puts the pie chart right in your face every time you log in. The pie chart that is wrong; on the page they don't allow users to customize.

The data is flat-out wrong; why do you persist in defending them?

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:47 am

PB wrote:The problem is that several functions don't work. Period. I don't care that the site looks bland; I don't care that it's poorly designed and that information is harder to find; I don't even care about the take-aways, like no 'YTD' option on the Performance page. I do care that the Portfolio Watch is WRONG, and that the output of the Performance page is WRONG. The site is broken. I care about that, and IMHO, you should too.
The portfolio watch is working perfectly for me. My guess is there's something somewhat unusual about your account that's making things behave screwy. No idea what it is, but there's probably some corner case they haven't had a chance to address yet. I would submit a bug report and give it time. If you hold non-Vanguard funds or ETFs I suppose that would be one thing that could screw things up. The vast majority of their customers probably only own Vanguard funds, so that was likely their first priority.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by sscritic » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:32 am

PB wrote: The data is flat-out wrong; why do you persist in defending them?
I am not defending them. If they choose to put a pie chart in my face, they should get it right. Right or wrong, I don't look at it, but I understand the frustration of someone who depends on it for information to find that the information is not correct.

Similarly, I never look at the Portfolio Watch.* It does nothing for me. I own Total Stock Market and Large Cap Index. Portfolio Watch tells me that I am overweighted in large caps. Well duh! I think I knew that. I was the one who bought TSM and LC; I know what I own. The same for Total International and Emerging Markets. The whole Portfolio Watch page is useless to me, but I understand that some people might need Vanguard to help them figure such things out, so Vanguard should get it right.

P.S. Just out of curiosity, do you give Vanguard your passwords to your other accounts so that they are included in Portfolio Watch? Since I don't have any interest in Portfolio Watch, I don't know the answer, but without the information from my other accounts, I don't see the point of PW.

* Another of my lies. I looked at it a year ago after a mention on this site, but never since.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by hollowcave2 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:07 am

I like the new look. Apparently, everything is current quotes. I haven't explored all of the features yet, but I've had no problems with functionality or accuracy of my holdings. So I'm good with it.

I like the expense ratios listed with the accounts.

It takes time to get used to change, but I think they did a good job.

Steve

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by Sam I Am » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:42 pm

Well, I'm not crazy about the new site, but I can live with it.

However, they give two figures for our account balance. One is correct, the one that lists each account by funds double counted three of the four sub-accounts in our annuity.

I was excited when I signed in tonight, as we had been shopping and I didn't know what the market did today.

But, I soon found out the balance in one view was incorrect. Oh well. easy come, easy go.

If it isn't correct tomorrow I'll give them a call.

This is the second time my balance has been incorrect, but both times it has been for more than I actually have.

Sam I Am

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by SurfCityBill » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:16 pm

sscritic wrote:
PB wrote: The data is flat-out wrong; why do you persist in defending them?

P.S. Just out of curiosity, do you give Vanguard your passwords to your other accounts so that they are included in Portfolio Watch? Since I don't have any interest in Portfolio Watch, I don't know the answer, but without the information from my other accounts, I don't see the point of PW.
I included all my "Outside Investments - Accounts That You've Added" to my Balances and Holdings. These show up and can be included in Portfolio Watch analysis. However, I did not give Vanguard any direct linked access to these accounts. Thus, VG will update price/share. I'm responsible for changing total shares held from time to time.

-B

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by PB » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:21 pm

Sam I Am, thanks for taking the time to post... to confirm that I'm not the only one having problems with actual data -- that the issue here is not simply the look and feel of the site, it's the functionality.

Of course, there are whole other threads on the Board with a large number of posters saying they're having data problems too, but I'll tell you, it's spooky, because sometimes people can be cult-like... blindly defending, when it fact, the "authority" here has botched it. And they simply need to admit it, and correct it. That's all, no more, no less.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by sscritic » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:14 pm

SurfCityBill wrote: I included all my "Outside Investments - Accounts That You've Added" to my Balances and Holdings. These show up and can be included in Portfolio Watch analysis. However, I did not give Vanguard any direct linked access to these accounts. Thus, VG will update price/share. I'm responsible for changing total shares held from time to time.
I don't think that will work for my annuity accounts at TIAA-CREF (no ticker symbols). Even if they could update the others, TIAA Traditional is like a CD. There is no updating of per share values, only of number of "shares," which I would have to do manually as I do today on my spreadsheet.

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Re: Vanguard website new look

Post by BHCadet » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:08 am

I include outside investments to my Vanguard account too.
However, when I view the Market capitalization details, I found Vanguard doesn't break down the percent holdings in large, medium, and small for funds outside of Vanguard.

For example, it shows the Vanguard Total Stock Market as:
Large capitalization stocks & stock funds -
Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx Adm (66%)
Medium capitalization stocks & stock funds -
Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx Adm (27%)
Small capitalization stocks & stock funds
Vanguard Total Stock Mkt Idx Adm (7%)

But, for the Fidelity Spartan Total Market Index Fund, it is 100% Large capitalization stocks & stock funds.

Locked