Quicko is a fin-tech platform focused on taxes for individuals and small businesses. From the beginning, the focus has been on DIY products and to motivate users to stay tax compliant with its four major products for Direct & Indirect taxes and a tax planning product for investors.
People have been trying to solve taxes in India for the past 6 to 7 years now. There are a few companies that provide complete DIY tax filing and all of them are web-based platforms. The main problem lies in varied target audiences such as small businesses, investors and salaried class. It becomes very difficult to engage and cater to such a varied target audience when it comes to taxes.
Taxes are something people run away from, Quicko and any other platform has been struggling to engage and encourage people to file their returns. The existing web app serves the purpose of filing taxes very well for motivated people but it fails to attract a younger target audience because of its form. Some of the common problems we see with the web app are, they are less accessible, People usually do their tax filing in multiple sessions, less engaging, difficult to get people to web apps and many more.
To answer the question of taxes being boring, we came up with a very new form of taxes in a form of the mobile app. More than solving a problem this project was an opportunity to explore another form and redefine taxes because there are very few mobile apps that exist in the taxes space. The app is designed keeping in focus the following things :
The idea was to capture the audience at the onboarding stage. We did a ton of iterations for an onboarding process because we wanted to keep it short and sweet at the same time we wanted to make that first impression on the user.
Income Tax Return has many entities in it & as a whole is a lot of information So in order to simplify it we decided to go with card-based layouts where every entity has a separate card or has its own space with cards in it.
We observed that users were completing their return in multiple sessions, so it was important for us to explicitly show the pending actions so that users can pick up from where they left.
We have extensively used the bottom sheet for secondary action such as choosing the income source while adding incomes because user journeys could be long and bottom sheets help in retaining the context as compared to navigating to a different screen.
We designed a swipe to e-file microinteraction because we wanted to create that signature moment for the app where the user is all done and all he has to is swipe to e-file their return.
Being at a startup we don't really get a chance to do research for a long duration and we do research as we move forward so for the first two months we looked at a ton of other apps in this space, I did a lot of design iterations as I was also designing a mobile app for the first time. Along with the UI design part, some of the objectives major objectives of the research were to understand the following things:
After secondary research and 10’s of brainstorming sessions with various teams, we came up with key challenges that users were facing while using the web app. These challenges were a goal for us to solve for users with this mobile app.
We did some digging in the data of the income tax department to narrow down on an audience for the first version of the app. We wanted to test our product before we put in a lot of effort and quicko being a startup we always believed in building MVP as soon as possible and later work in iteration to mature the product
We conducted competitive and market research to identify current design conventions and product features that other apps had in this space, This helped us understand the scope of the app and prioritize different features of our app.
After doing market research, we got to know that nobody was focusing on one thing, and because of that mobile apps were becoming hubs for different services. So we decided to build an app that resonates with the ideology of google pay ( razor-focused on payments) and defined the scope of the app to be only tax filing and tax payment.
Once we had the final scope of the app, we then prioritized the ideas using the MoSCoW model approach and started designing user flows. This was a very challenging task as some of the add workflows were very complex and we wanted to create an intuitive experience that would not overwhelm users with a lot of information. This helps us build trust and confidence in users.
This was my first time doing mobile app design and it took me a while to capture the essence of mobile design. While doing design iterations I learned about information architecture, thumb zones, different types of native mobile interactions such as swipe, pull to refresh, haptic feedbacks, breaking information into contextual chunks, and many more such things. I also had the full liberty to experiment with the visual design so as you can see how it evolved during each iteration.
Till now taxes were considered very boring with those monotonous old systems and that was one of the reasons why everyone hated doing taxes. So we wanted to spice it up and create that immersive and fun experience of doing taxes. The dark mode is something very popular on dribbble but there are very few live apps that do this, the dark theme is something that gives that premium feel as well so we decided to experiment a bit and go dark!
This was my first project for mobile app design, It took me some time to get hang of it. I learned a lot of things about this form and the opportunity it has to offer in terms of different interactions. Along with the visual design I also learned about designing consistent navigation patterns & interaction patterns and how it shapes the overall experience of the product.
Also learned about the Flutter framework while designing the app because it's really important to know what you can do with the technology so that you don't restrict yourself from designing awesome things.