Income Tax Simulator
Redesign of the government website's simulator which calculates income tax credit points.
What is the Income Tax Simulator?
In Israel, citizens are responsible for calculating their own income tax status, in order to get the benefits they deserve. The Israeli tax system is based upon Credit Points. Credit Points are points individuals get for their personal and family status, and will determine how much income tax they pay.
Why redesign the Income Tax Simulator?
The Simulator, at its current state, is loaded with details; the design is overwhelming, the information is sometimes difficult to understand, and the process of answering the questions is unclear.
We all tend to get anxious around themes we are unfamiliar with, and our first goal was to eliminate this fear. We tried to give the user the feeling that he’s capable of completing this task, and to design a system that would be both informative and intuitive at once.
Creating a new user flow
We have changed the user flow and divided the questions into three sections: Personal details, Children details and Familial status.
UX additions and changes
In the original Simulator, all questions are on one page, and the scrolling is very long. The user can get frustrated and quit the process. It can also create a cognitive overload.
One long page - to separate pages
In order to make the user feel more in control of the process, we added a Progress Bar that’s always visible. The Progress Bar is divided into 3 parts: Personal Details, Children Details, and Family Status.
Tracking the points earned
Another dimension of transparency and accessibility: a set-in-place element, showing the user how many points he’s earned at any given moment. We thought the user would be happy to know how much money he’s saved even before clicking the END button.
In the original Simulator, the RESTART button was at the end of the process, and the user would find it only after scrolling down the long page. We decided to add the RESTART button next to the Progress bar so it will be visible through the whole process.
Our redesign has changed the whole layout in a way that made a BACK button a necessity.
Microcopy and additional info
When dealing with tax systems, there’s no escaping some technical terms that have to be used in that exact context.
We decided to add short, bite-size explanations that will appear by the side of each relevant term, so the user will always have it accessible when needed.
Micro-copy wise, we wanted the language and tone of voice to speak the same as the user.
In the original Simulator, by the end of the process, a pop up window opens and tells the user how many points he’s got. There’s no call-to-action button or any option to save the information or share it.
We added a “Send Result to Email” button. This way, there will be stored documentation of the process and the result.
We have conducted user testing with five people from different ages and status. We have watched them while using the Simulator, asked questions, and improved the design according to their feedback.
The users did not notice the change of the calculation throughout the process
Solution: new summary screen
we have created a new screen which shows the user all of his answers on one page, with the number of Credit Points he earned at each step. The user can go back to a specific question and change it if he finds any mistake or inaccuracy.
The most important thing we learned from this project was not to be afraid of so-called “grey” and boring subjects. We actually enjoyed learning and exploring this new world.
We managed to create a friendly experience with the Income Tax in general and with the Simulator in particular. The user understood the content and managed to go through the process from start to finish with a feeling of success and satisfaction.
The project was a collaboration between Liran Hadashi & Sapir Yaakov.
Illustration: Sapir Yaakov.