16 CFR Part 610 Amendments to Rule to Prevent Deceptive Marketing of Credit Reports and to Ensure Access to Free Annual File Disclosures #545091-00226

Submission Number:
545091-00226
Commenter:
Michelle Novak
Organization:
mNovakDesign, Inc.
State:
NY
Initiative Name:
16 CFR Part 610 Amendments to Rule to Prevent Deceptive Marketing of Credit Reports and to Ensure Access to Free Annual File Disclosures

I wish to thank the FTC for asking for input on AnnualCreditReport.com. I regularly monitor my credit report and have personally found the site confusing in the past. I believe the FTC has a unique opportunity before them to define the vernacular of public-private programs by creating a bold brand, layout and function. As it is now, I feel that the entire site looks disjointed and there are a number of design, layout and programming details which immediately sends out red flags to users. (I've used the site in the past and was confused by who was behind it - fearing I would be scammed.) Specifically, some the red-flags to me are: lack of solid, "official" looking branding, use of generic "friendly" stock images, forms actions that to not function as well as they should, sponsor advertising, lack of clarity in instructions for using the site, lack of contact information on the home page, messaging is too wordy and not directive enough, and lack of a .gov URL - to name a few. I feel the site should have one purpose - to direct users through to requesting their report - and all information should be directed to this goal. Design and layout-wise, the site should reflect the gravity of the task. I would also add a self-running whiteboard presentation that helps some of the key FAQ information come alive, provides a short overview of credit reports, debunks some of the myths of accessing your reports, an identifies the reporting companies. Secondary information (About Us, etc.) should be summarized on one page, easily printable by the user. I encourage the FTC to take a bold stance with this site as I believe it is THE most important financial tool consumers possess. I would also like to extend our services to the FTC to help them work through this process. We have extensive experience in designing brands and websites for financial services (retail and b-to-b) and understand the nuances of design inherent in financial services as well as the importance of delivering a quality experience. I did not begin this note to solicit our services, but I believe we could help the government immensely to reinvent the site and define a new model for government to consumer services. As visual people who understand the vernacular of finances, we could greatly help the FTC with this reinvention process, and would welcome to be part of the discussion. Please let me know how we can be of service to you. Regards, M Novak