helped power prosperity for the self-employed as a Visual Design Intern at Intuit.

                      helped power prosperity for the self-employed as a Visual Design Intern at Intuit.

                      helped power prosperity for the self-employed as a Visual Design Intern at Intuit.

                      helped power prosperity for the self-employed as a Visual Design Intern at Intuit.

Overview

QuickBooks Self-Employed is Intuit's fastest growing product fueling prosperity for the self-employed and gig economy worker. As a QuickBooks Self-Employed Visual Design Intern, I created version one of what will be the QBSE Apple Watch application and designed 6 new widgets that will serve as companions to iOS app. Portions of these projects cannot be shared yet, but below is what I can show and what I learned.

Context

12 weeks
Intuit Visual Design Intern

12 weeks
Intuit Visual Design Intern

Contribution

UI/UX

Artboardwatch@2x

I can't tell you everything ☹︎

The QBSE Apple Watch application will ultimately give users quick and easy access to automatic mileage tracking. I spent the bulk of my summer strategizing the appropriate user experience followed by visualizing just how that interaction would work. Unfortunately, that process and those screens are a secret I can't yet share. That being said, the app will provide secondary at-a-glance information about users' tracked miles and taxes. And that part of the the project, I share below. 

The QBSE Apple Watch application will ultimately give users quick and easy access to automatic mileage tracking, though these screens cannot yet be shown. It will also provide at-a-glance information about their tracked miles and taxes. This project was created under the guidance of my Design Lead, Kim Ryu and made possible due to the effort of a small team of developers and a content designer.

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The Challenge

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Strike the right balance between the established QuickBooks Self-Employed visual design language and Apple's watchOS Human Interface Guidelines.

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Create a novel design for a new product. How can glanceable information still be unique?

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Use graphical elements, hierarchy, and color to make the most important information to users digestible in a split-second glance.

early explorations

The Process

Early Explorations

I began by adapting familiar Apple Watch layouts to Quickbooks guidelines before playing around with how graphical elements, gradients, and color combinations could be used to create a more delightful experience. 

timeline 1
What about a timeline?

While the mileage screen had a lot of information to present upfront, we quickly realized there was an excellent opportunity for the taxes screen to be more unique.  QBSE user feedback also reflected that it's helpful to see tax information for all four quarters of the year. So, what about a timeline?

Compromise

After working with QBSE Apple Watch developers, we recognized that ideas I designed around for the timeline would not be possible. Thus we featured users' most immediately prevelent tax information as a "first look" and added a simplified timeline below as a deeper dive. 

Boltify

The Quickbooks design system underwent a major change while I was interning there, and as a result, so did my designs. Large, bold type and explorations with the new system's graphical elements ultimately shaped the final designs.

boltify

The final designs provide QBSE users' their most important mileage and quarterly tax information in a quick and novel way. 

QBSE Awatch mileage
Mileage

Quickly see how many business miles you've tracked this year and the estimated tax deduction that will come with them.

Quickly see how many business miles you've tracked this year and the estimated tax deduction that will come with them.

Taxes
Taxes
Taxes

Keep an eye on when this quarter's taxes are due and check back on how much you've paid in taxes each quarter this year.

Keep an eye on when this quarter's taxes are due and check back on how much you've paid in taxes each quarter this year.

Keep an eye on when this quarter's taxes are due and check back on how much you've paid in taxes each quarter this year.

QBSE AWatch Taxes
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Hate to disappoint you again ☹︎

Users of the QBSE iOS mobile application will soon have six widgets featuring the most key functions of the application they love. They can add all six or only those that pertain to the product features they use most. But, you guessed it, two of those widgets contain top secret information I can't share with you. I hope you'll settle for four.

final widgets

The Challenge

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Strike the right balance between the established QuickBooks Self-Employed visual design language and Apple's iOS Human Interface Guidelines for widgets.

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Create a visually cohesive set of 6 widgets that highlight key features of the QBSE iOS application.

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Provide users the opportunity to customize their experience with QBSE widgets by designing each to stand alone and work together.

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Include meaningful actions in each widget that directly tie to users' most important needs. 

The Process

Before starting any designs, I spent time exploring the existing QBSE iOS app to understand what actions and information our users prioritized in each key feature.

Before starting any designs, I spent time exploring the existing QBSE iOS app to understand what actions and information our users prioritized in each key feature.

Mileage Explorations and Early Questions

To determine a visual language that would be consistent across all 6 widgets, I began with explorations of just one. Iterating on the mileage widget helped answer questions that would pertain to all the widgets that followed.

What priority would actionable tap targets have?
How much glanceable information would we include? How concise would each widget be?
How "Quickbooks" would these widgets be? Aside from the topline and icon, how easily could users identify the widget they needed?
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Invoices Explorations

In the invoice widget, we wanted users to have the option of addressing any overdue invoices, but every variation of a table felt clunky and intimidating. Eventually, through collaboration with developers, we found a solution in "auto-replacing" cards. A single card featuring an overdue invoice would be shown at a time, and if a user took action on it, it would be replaced by another card with a new invoice, eliminating the requirement of a clunky table.

Designing For Every Edge Case

Designing For Every Edge Case

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Is a user is signed out of their QuickBooks SE account, this message is shown.
If a user is signed out of their QuickBooks SE account, this message is shown.
If a user is signed out of their QuickBooks SE account, this message is shown.
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What a first time user would see in their Mileage widget. Since there are no trips to review, the review button is removed.
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The Invoices widget when a user has no overdue invoices.
The Invoices widget when a user has no overdue invoices.
The Invoices widget when a user has no overdue invoices.
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The Transactions widgets when a user has no transactions to review.

The final set of widgets allows users to customize their widget dashboard and optimize their QBSE experience.

The final set of widgets allows users to customize their widget dashboard and optimize their QBSE experience.

mileage widget 4
Mileage

Stay up-to-date on your mileage tax deduction and quickly review the trips you've tracked or manually add a new trip. Expand your widget to turn on and off Automatic Mileage Tracking.

Stay up-to-date on your mileage tax deduction and quickly review the trips you've tracked or manually add a new trip. Expand your widget to turn on and off Automatic Mileage Tracking.

Invoices

See how much you've been paid this year and quickly create a new invoice. Expand to take action on overdue invoices. You can mark them as paid or send a reminder to your customers.

invoices
Transactions Copy@3x
Transactions

Glance at how much you have made and spent in expenses this year, and have easy access to reviewing your transactions, manually adding an income, and manually adding an expense.

Receipt Capture

Quickly snap a picture of your receipt and take care of any past receipts that require action.

Receipts

I Met People and Learned Things

I took a job I expected to dislike in an area I had long ago decided never to move back to

I never thought I'd end up working in Silicon Valley tech, an industry that grew up in the same time and place as me. As a visual designer studying political science whose dream has always been to work for the news media or a social impact agency, I really didn't think I'd end up working as product designer in financial tech, let alone enjoy it. Luckily, I had the opportunity to work with an incredible team at a company that truly values its customers and employees proving preconceived notions are often wrong.

I did some work between trips to the snack bar

I was beyond fortunate to be trusted with two truly unique projects. I'd never designed for the Apple Watch or iOS widgets, and beyond their physically small size, both provided really interesting challenges in navigating Apple's strict guidelines and applying Quickbooks' design system. It was humbling to learn under the guidance of lead designer, Kim Ryu, and to otherwise be the main designer on these projects. I re-shaped what I thought was a sub-optimal user experience, even though I was the visual design intern, and I sat in critiques with incredible designers who taught me how to give and receive feedback with grace and tell a story about my work.

Working with developers and content designers was a new experience for me too, and I learned so much about how to communicate my ideas clearly and how to fight for them. Content designers are AMAZING. They have the best words! 

Beyond my projects, I also sat in on user testing and participated in a war game to help figure out Intuit's company wide strategy. 

The most valuable thing I learned from my internship had nothing to do with design at all

I learned that the most important thing you can bring to work is a humble attitude and integrity, and to never pass up on forming lasting relationships with your peers. From the Chief Product and Design Officer to my New York Times illustrating design lead, the people around me were far more incredible than their nine-to-five, and they all wanted to help me succeed beyond my time at Intuit. In a summer full of incredible adventures and all the free espresso I could dream of, I think I’ll miss the people most of all.

Next project

Roo

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