Mint Review

Mint screenshot The Mint is out! Yey! Fighting hard not to give it a special treatment (I’m neither paid for writing this, nor am I Shaun Inman’s buddy), let’s start with a tour.

The promo site

The promo site is very nice – Inman’s style is well recognized. Fancy large headlines and buttons, trendy details… and Buy now button? Ouch… Somehow, I had a feeling that Mint will be freeware, or at least shareware. Oh, well – thirty bucks is a fair price for such piece of software, let’s then see what’s offered.

Watch out! Slippery!

Opening demo page… oops! Somewhat inconvenient notification:

The demo has been temporarily disabled. While Mint can easily handle recording hundreds–if not thousands–of hits a minute, it is not optimized to display data at that rate. Please check back once some of the initial interest has died down.

Okay, he didn’t expect this (or did, but had no backup plan). Downloading 7 megs movie took a moment for me, but I don’t know what a visitor with a slower connection would say about that. But then again – if the A-list guys love it, it’s probably cool.


Demo movie shows the main advantage of the Mint and – like with the Blinksale – it’s mostly about the interface. It’s obviously a trend of adding cosmetics to already existing functionality in a way Apple sells its’ products – proven solutions in an attractive package. User experience is definitely what’s hot this season, baby.

(Ed: At the time of this writing I haven’t laid my hands on it, take the interface evaluation with a reserve.)

No Firefox and Safari – no Mint for you

So, let’s take look at the requirements. Ooh! Compatibility test! Hot! Like that. But wait. Whatta?

In order to view Mint you should be using a modern browser with support for transparent PNGs, modern DOM scripting (including XMLHTTPRequest) with competency in CSS 2. Safari or Firefox, both free, are highly recommended. Internet Explorer PC support is planned but not an immediate priority. IE Mac will not be supported.

Ouch! I mean ouch! Paying for something that works in approx. 30% (and I’m being generous with the numbers) browsers? The application is probably great and all, but I fell that that was just a little bit too ambitious decision.

No JavaScript – no records

In order to record hits Mint requires JavaScript be enabled. This may be an issue for some but was a necessary trade-off that prevents Mint’s results from being skewed by non-human spiders, crawlers and referrer-spam bots.

I’m not very happy with this neither. The stats system should record all traffic and filter junk out. This way, the numbers are not accurate, which is not something I’d expect from something I’m willing to pay for. Also, making decisions for me is not something that I like very much if I’m the one with the money.

Gimme, gimme, gimme!

After reading all materials at the promo page, I went to purchase. For me, paying for a software is not a big deal, especially if I can learn a lot about how it’s done and develop it to suit my needs (there’s plug-in API called Peper, which was a great move).

A cold shower once again – payments are made through PayPal, which means I’m not able to purchase it. And I really wished it.

Maybe if someone who reads this, is a good friend of Shaun? If you are, could you please ask the Wolf to send me application on a CD and I’d cash-on-delivery since I live in a country not good enough for PayPal.


In short – if I’m not web developer interested in how it’s done, I couldn’t care less, since there’s plenty of similar (and sometimes more accurate) free tools which I can still log into from an internet caffee with plain old IE (which I do when I’m out of town). JavaScript as a requirement on the visitor’s side is just one more reason for a second thoughts. Needless discrimination, considering the hype, the popularity of the ShortStat and the Shaun Inman’s tallent.


Wait a minute! $30 is a fair price for a license, but per site? Slightly modified sentence from Jason Kottke: If one is good at everything else as she is at making a successful business plans she’s in trouble.

Marko Dugonjić is a designer specialized in user experience design, web typography and web standards. He runs a nanoscale user interface studio Creative Nights and organizes FFWD.PRO, a micro-conference and workshops for web professionals.

Interested in more content like this?