Lab Coats

Brand New Lab Coat

I’m very excited to introduce a completely redesigned Mad Fientist!

I spent the last couple of weeks hacking CSS and HTML and I have to say, I’m actually very pleased with the results.


In addition to being faster, better looking, and easier to read, the site is now responsive as well so that means it will look good on all different types of mobile devices.

Try it out now on your phone to see how nice it looks!

I’ve added a mobile icon so if you add the site to your phone or tablet homepage, it will put an icon on your screen (which will make it feel more like an app than a website).

Here’s how you would add the icon on an iPhone:

Navigate to in Safari and tap the share button


Tap ‘Add to Homescreen’ button


Tap ‘Add’ button


Rejoice in the glory of mobile Mad Fientist



Since this is a short post, I figured I’d tack on a few other minor things.

Road Trip and Meet-Ups

Our house sale has been delayed so that means we’ve had to alter our travel plans a bit (specifically, the US road trip part).

I am excited that so many people want to meet up during our trip (see comments on the First Taste of Independence article) so hopefully everything with the house gets sorted out soon and we’ll still be able to hit most of the cities we were planning to.

Even though some cities are still up in the air, I should be able to set dates for the North Carolina and D.C. meet-ups soon so stay tuned (the D.C. party is going to be huge!)


Want a free designated driver to get to one of the meet-ups? If you sign up to Uber through this link, you will get $15 off your first ride.

Full disclosure: I will also get $15 off my next ride if you sign up using the above link so thank you very much if you do!

I’ve been waiting for one of these promotions to come along before signing up so when I saw one of my favorite travel bloggers post this same deal a few weeks ago, I jumped on it. After signing up, I realized I could offer the same thing so I figured I’d tack it on to this short post.

If you haven’t used Uber before, you should check it out. I’m not going to go into all the details but it’s like taking a cab, except it’s quicker, nicer, and its all controlled by an app on your mobile phone. All you do is open up the Uber app and say you want to get picked up and then you watch on the map as the closest driver comes to get you. Your credit card is linked to the app and you can preset a tip amount so you simply get out when you get to your destination and everything gets paid automatically. I’ve used it three times with friends and it was great each time so I’m excited to try it out for myself.


I’m really excited to hear what you think of the new design so please let me know in the comments below. If you find any bugs or if you have suggestions on how to make the site even better, please leave a comment or send me an email!

Related Post

First Taste of Independence

Find out how we used frequent flyer miles, hotel points, and mistake fares to travel through three continents for very little money!

Want to achieve FI sooner?

  1. Sign up for a free Personal Capital account to start tracking your net worth, monthly spending, etc.
  2. Enter those numbers into the FI Laboratory and begin charting your progress to financial independence
  3. Download the spreadsheet I used on my own journey to financial independence to determine which expenses are delaying your progress the most
  4. Reduce or eliminate those expenses and achieve FI even sooner!

37 comments for “Brand New Lab Coat

  1. Andrew C
    July 7, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Love it! it’s *so* much easier to read on my phone. My only suggestion is this: for the largest sizes, scale the text up just a little. Maybe a little like A List Apart, but it doesn’t need to be quite as smooth when resizing.

    • Andrew C
      July 7, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Also, nice-to-haves here, but allowing comments to respect line breaks, or accept some minimal amount of either markdown or HTML would be pretty sweet.

      • The Mad Fientist
        July 7, 2014 at 9:19 pm

        The comments do accept line breaks and HTML so feel free to try it out if you reply (please let me know if you have any issues).

        It currently doesn’t accept markdown but that would be amazing if it did! I’ll have to look into what would be involved to add that.

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Glad you like it!

      The text looks huge to me right now, since the last version of the site had very small text, so I think I’ll need to get used to it more before making it any bigger.

  2. July 7, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Looks great! Very clean and easy to navigate. Looking forward to more financial hacks.

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks! I’m currently working on another article that is quite hackish in nature so I think you’re going to like it :)

  3. Nick
    July 7, 2014 at 9:04 am

    It looks great on my IPhone! Thanks for the updates and hope you’re doing well!

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Good to hear from you, Nick!

      Besides the delays with the house sale, I’m doing well, thanks. Hope you are too. Looking forward to getting together down in Florida in September, hopefully!

      • Nick
        July 7, 2014 at 10:59 pm

        Sounds like a plan! Best of luck with selling the home.

        • The Mad Fientist
          July 8, 2014 at 8:15 am

          Thanks. I can’t wait to be a renter again!

  4. July 7, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I’ve been clicking around, and the new design looks great! Kudos!

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks, Camille! We’re still planning our trip out west but hopefully we can make it down to SoCal to say hello :)

  5. July 7, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Great stuff — very clean and crisp, I like the new look for sure.

    Any way to make the “Get Started!” button below the logo to stand out a little more? Cool spot for it by the way…

    I like the two-step click to signup, as I’ve been reading everywhere that it is great for conversions, but I’d think that ‘Get Started!’ might be better if it looked more similar to your green “Subscribe Now!” button at the bottom.

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:45 pm

      Nice, glad you like it!

      I tried a few different options for that button and my wife actually liked a bright green one best but I felt it was a bit too distracting for the top of the page so I went with the dark green instead. I guess distracting is good though, since I want people to click it, so since both you and her agree, I’ll test out a few brighter colors tomorrow to see if I find one I like and I’ll make the change. Thanks for the suggestion!

      P.S. I’ll also reply to your email tomorrow so look out for that as well!

  6. July 7, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Looks great! Clean, simple, super fast, and easy-to-navigate. LOL I was a little shocked when I first came to the site. I like it though.

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks, Big Guy. Yeah, it is definitely a big change but I’m really digging it (especially right now as I reply to all of these comments…it feels like a whole different site!)

  7. July 7, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Looks much cleaner, give great options to subscribe and follow. I’ll also second using Uber, living in Chicago when we travel it’s just so much easier and more of a professional feeling to Uber at almost the same price as a regular taxi, plus it’s all charged to your credit/debit card including tip so no awkward talk of how much you should tip the driver.

    Side note are you heading anywhere near Chicago on your trip, I’m all for grabbing a tasty beverage if you are.

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Yeah, I was sold on it the first time I tried it. We were in Philadelphia and my friend ordered an UberX on his phone (i.e. the cars driven by ordinary people, not professional drivers). A really nice lady turned up in a nice clean car, she gave us each a bottle of iced tea, we got stuck in traffic and the entire trip took nearly an hour but somehow the price was only $40 or something like that (it was my friend’s phone so I don’t know how much exactly but it wasn’t the fortune that I thought it was going to be after sitting in traffic for so long).

      I agree that avoiding the awkward tipping moment is also a huge benefit (just being able to get out of the car as soon as you stop is great as well).

      I’ll definitely let you know if we stop in Chicago!

  8. Melissa K
    July 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    The social media and email box is the only one that looks funky on my phone.

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks, Melissa. I just fixed the social/email box so hopefully it looks okay now (your phone may cache the stylesheet so it make take a little while for the change to appear on your phone but I promise it’s there!)

  9. July 7, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    The new design looks great! Very easy to read on my iPhone as well. Looking forward to the DC gathering – hopefully I’m still here and can come by!

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      That’d be great if you were able to make it! It’s looking like it could be at the beginning of August but I’ll let you know when I settle on a firm date.

  10. Joe (arebelspy)
    July 7, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    New design is dynamite. Well done.

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks, Joe! Hope all is well with you.

  11. July 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Very nicely done, MF.

    Huge improvement and easy on the eyes!

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks a lot, Jim. I usually shy away from doing any sort of design work but I’m glad I took this on because I’m really liking how it turned out.

  12. July 7, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Looks nice and clean on Chrome and my Android.

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks for reporting back, Scott. I don’t have any Android devices to test on so I was just hoping for the best :) Glad to hear it looks nice there as well!

  13. Joe
    July 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Just signed up with your link! I’ve been needing to sign up for Uber to try it out. I’m glad I got in on that $30 sign up bonus. Thanks.

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      My pleasure! I’ll get a free $30 ride too (apparently) so thanks for using the link.

      I’ve been waiting for another one of those $20 sign-up bonuses I had seen to come along before signing up so I was excited when I saw this $30 one a few weeks ago. Now I’ll be prepared when I get out of the Vermont wilderness and go somewhere where Uber actually operates :)

  14. G-dog
    July 7, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    On the iPad – easy to read (font size, font selection, type, etc.), simple layout, but clearly not barebones crap defaults!
    It is difficult to get a clean, simple style but still look professional – I think you did it!

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Thanks a lot, G-dog! Clean and simple but still interesting, attractive, and professional is what I was hoping to achieve so it’s really great to hear you say that!

  15. Davey Pockets
    July 7, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Congrats!! Looks awesome now! Have been contemplating giving my site a facelift as well. Did you do the work yourself or hire someone?

    • The Mad Fientist
      July 8, 2014 at 8:24 am

      I’m actually a professional web developer so I just did the work myself. I’m not really a designer though so I found a simple, free template that had the structure/fonts/etc. that I was looking for and then I just did some major tweaking to get everything else I wanted.

      Let me know if you need any advice or anything when you decide to redesign your site.

      • Davey Pockets
        July 8, 2014 at 11:01 am

        Oh wow that’s impressive you did this yourself. Will definitely take you up on advice when I go to redesign. I’m thinking something similarish. I like they really simple clean cut look that is easy to use and navigate.

  16. July 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Looks awesome on my IPhone.
    Did you use Html5 and JavaScript?
    Kudos to you,


    • The Mad Fientist
      July 8, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks, Shilpan! The theme is built on the Twitter Bootstrap framework so it is mainly just a bunch of HTML and CSS (media queries are used to make it responsive).

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