Making Tax Digital

Helping customers get ready to submit taxes for Making Tax Digital.

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My role
As the Interaction Designer, l led the designs for this project.

I worked in a triad alongside Interaction Designers, Product Managers and Engineers. I also consulted with a Content Designer.

The problem
For customers to become MTD ready, they need to have all of their tax returns up to date in QuickBooks before they can begin submitting their latest taxes for MTD.

The challenge
I designed a flow that strengthened the end to end customer experience of getting ready to submit taxes for Making Tax Digital (MTD).


Together with my team, I mapped out customer’s goals, tasks, pain points and opportunities on tax submission.

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Based on research conducted, customers viewed tax submission as a high risk process, as they would incur penalties if errors were made. Understanding the customer’s anxiousness made it easier to empathize with them and help solve their problem.


Having reviewed the research and discussed the problem space with my team, I focused on the two scenarios that would need to be addressed before customers could begin submitting taxes for MTD:

Scenario 1: A client has already filed their taxes directly to HMRC.
Scenario 2: Client’s books are not up to date. They have open tax periods that they haven’t submitted to HMRC yet.


During the ideation phase, I focused on the interaction, content and visual design of the flow.

Having understood the problem and scenarios I was designing for, I began sketching out possible solutions on paper.

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Conveying the urgency of the problem
Customers had to deal with the problem of open VAT returns immediately. The tone of the content needed to convey a sense of urgency as the problem required immediate attention and action.

On a high level, surfacing the problem looked like this:

a) What happened
b) Description
c) Action to take

We wanted customers to deal with their open returns now or sooner rather than later. But what if the customers didn’t want to deal with the problem immediately? What if they wanted to revisit the problem later?

Customers had the option of returning to the dashboard if they did not want to take immediate action. It was still important that we let customers know that this was an urgent problem they needed to deal with.

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Creating the content for the flow
I came up with several versions of the copy for open VAT returns. I had lengthy discussions with our Content Designer on how best to convey the information in a way that was informative and clear.

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Technical feasibility of the designs
As the flow would be embedded into the QuickBooks desktop platform, I consulted with Engineers to find out whether including a trowser in the flow would be technically feasible.

I also considered whether we could surface the ‘mark as filed’ as a button in a trowser. Again, I asked the engineering team if this would adhere to existing design patterns if I decided to go forth with the design.

Usability testing to get feedback
After a thorough ideation phase, I tested the prototype on to get some quick feedback. I tested:

a) the functionality and usability of the prototype
b) whether the information presented helped the user understand the problem.

8 participants completed the unmoderated usability tests and provided feedback. The feedback we received indicated that users thought the information presented was clear and the flow itself was simple and intuitive.

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Refining the design
I designed a refined prototype and made sure the content aligned with existing QuickBooks voice and tone. I tweaked UI elements and made final adjustments to the copy, receiving feedback from our Content Designer and Interaction Designers on how best to present the flow in its final version.

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The final flow
The flow walks the customer through set up, open VAT returns and returns that need to be ‘marked as filed’ before customers would be ready to submit for MTD. The result is a flow that is informative yet simple for customers.

The designs were handed over to the engineering team and have been built and now shipped.

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Thank you for reading!

Check out what I learnt working at Intuit.