UX Hall of Shame: Venmo Email

I just got this email. It has several major UX issues.


  1. Alignment. It is harder to read centered text than left-justified.
  2. Contrast. Gray on white is hard to read.
  3. Size. Text is too small and hard to read.
  4. Serif. Serif is harder to read than sans-serif, especially when small.
  5. Disconnect. The words reference things that aren’t nearby. (Follow the link above). Also, links don’t look like links.

Overall, this is a difficult to read and unhelpful email.  Here is my redo:

Account: Glen Lipka (email@email.com)

Your transaction history for January – March 2016 is now available.

If you have any questions or concerns about your account, contact support@venmo.com.

As required by law, we are providing you notification of your transaction history. Learn more.

Venmo is a service of PayPal, Inc., a licensed provider of money transfer services. All money transmission is provided by PayPal, Inc. pursuant to PayPal, Inc.’s licenses.

PayPal is located at 2211 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95131

See, bigger font. Easier to read. Fewer words.

Get it together Venmo. Srsly.

3 replies on “UX Hall of Shame: Venmo Email”

If you look at the source of the email they specify the font as Helvetica Neue and the fact that it’s centered most likely is a design team that really only cares how this looks on an iPhone and doesn’t really give a shit about other use cases I guess.

You could also blame the engineer/integrator for not having a proper font stack. “Helvetica Neue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif” is pretty standard.

These types of transnational emails are frequently a terrible experience, there are few companies that do it well.

Perhaps it is great design, if the purpose is for your to ignore this email. It says they are required by law to send this notification, which means they probably don’t want to. They probably don’t want you to find your link and review your account. Perhaps they have to show some due diligence to make the email functional, but were creative with a design to discourage people from using it. Is this an entirely new UX field. The art of making people not be interested. Maybe Jeb Bush is going into the field.

Whatya think?