PRODUCT | QuickBooks UK Payroll

ROLE | Product designer (Research, Content, Interaction, Visual)

YEAR | 2018

PROJECT GOAL | To reimagine the first time use experience for small business owners to get set up to pay their employees for the first time. The project scope included reimagining the landing UK payroll dashboard page along with all of the steps required for small business owners to accurately and efficiently pay their employees.


  1. Conduct research: As I am a native-Californian, I was unfamiliar with the legislative landscape of being a small business employer in the United Kingdom and only had hypotheses as to how employers felt about employing people and all of the tactical bits of paying their employees accurately and compliantly. So, I talked to over 30 small business owners located in England and Scotland over 1-hour remote video-conferencing schedules to better understand their thoughts surrounding getting set up to pay their employees for the first time and spent over 15 hours purely understanding the legislative landscape surrounding compliant payroll practices.

  2. Understand the requirements & issues today: Based on my research, I worked with the engineering team to better understand the product capabilities and sandbox that the team would be able to work within for the experience that they’d be building. I worked directly with our dedicated compliance team member to make sure I was fully understanding and capturing all of the legislation and information required for businesses to be properly set up and ready to legally and soundly pay their employees. In addition, I went through the pre-existing product experience to get set up and pay an employee for the first time to document all of the pre-existing tasks, questions, and choices.

  3. Simplify the tasks: After understanding all of product capabilities/requirements along with employer mentalities/capabilities, I identified the need to dramatically simplify the experience and to include additional in-context support. Through the documentation I identified how to group similar tasks related to the benefit for the employer to bucket the jobs into three main jobs based on what the employer would find enticing. Within those jobs I identified the different questions/tasks that would need to be asked, included logic so employers would only have to answer relevant questions, and included guessing at the most common attributes based on their responses to further simplify the number of tasks the user would have to go through.

  4. Identify pre-existing patterns: As the payroll experience is embedded in the broader QuickBooks small business management tool ecosystem, I wanted to make sure the experience paradigms and interactions would be familiar from the rest of the product. In thinking about the simplified tasks, I mapped out the right patterns and components to use in order to maintain experience consistency and speed to build.

  5. Simplify the experience: Pulling together the simplified tasks/questions/content, mapping them to pre-existing patterns, and improving upon experiences where fit, I then mocked up frameworks for the different pages to allow for fluidity for logic when my engineering partners were building the experience.

  6. Add delight: As there are fairly standard questions that the user needs to go through in order to get to their real benefit (paying their employees accurately and efficiently) I knew I wanted to add in moments of delight to continue to entice and motivate the user to go through the experience. Where fit, I added in moments of delight to celebrate the user’s work and accomplishments for their investment of time and effort.


  • Improved the company setup rate from 30% to 77%

  • Improved the customer effort score from 65 to 77

  • Increased the product recommendation score (PRS) from 38 to 43

  • Fully-flushed out end-to-end designs created in under 2 months that the UK payroll engineering team continues to use to build out remaining experiences

Engineering release video of reimagined first time use experience