In the quite of the night, the U.S. Mint flipped their virtual switch to unveil a website for both their main site and their online catalog and e-commerce site. The new design used the new logo and branding features the branding consulting firm Siegel+Gale and the U.S. Mint unveiled in August.
When visiting the redesigned site, the front page is simply laid out and more striking. The black background and updated design is more inviting. Half of the opening screen is dominated by a rotation slide show with images that general visitors and other collectors would find inviting. In fact, the image used to guide the user to view their coin and medals programs features classics such as a Morgan and Peace Dollars. Under the slideshow is a sliding visual menu with the current coins that are links to their information page. It is is a nice element.
The new design appears to be with the theme only and not the underlying organization of their site. Text and other visual features of each page are the same as they were yesterday except surrounded by the new theme. Even though they were designed using the old theme, they visually fit with on the new site.
Everything that was said about the main U.S. Mint website also goes to their online catalog and e-commerce site. The new darker theme works with the current catalog information and seems to work as it did prior to the change. Hopefully, the U.S. Mint changed the backend of the site in order to make their customer service better.
No change was made to the America the Beautiful® Quarters Program microsite. It was well designed from the beginning and used the same basic theme as introduced today.
One nit on the catalog site is that the Product and Services lists on the left side has no order to them. Reordering those menu lists to be alphabetized would be beneficial to the site. If they want to put the “Last Opportunity” menu item at the top of the list and highlight it in some way, that would work. Otherwise, an alphabetized list would work better.
Overall, the U.S. Mint’s redesigned site gets a grade of MS 66 for its freshness, luster, and striking visual balance. They earn points for keeping the underlying structure while there are some little things to work on, including adding additional historic information. Kudos to the U.S. Mint for a job well done!
Logo image courtesy of the U.S. Mint.