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overview - During this project I revised the 1040 tax form in a way that made it easier to understand and therefore more enjoyable to complete.
understanding the math - In order to ensure correctness in the redesign, I had to fully comprehend the math used in the existing form. My classmates and I annotated a large copy of the 1040 to help us find and understand each discrete mathematical step.
finding pain points - I observed people filling out the form to find problem areas. Here, you will find direct quotes from my particpants that are associated with the portion of the form that they found difficult.
final design - Many steps require for the user to have additional forms, but the only way to find out if you need them is to look it up in the manual (which is 150 pages long)! This section allows for users to quickly reference what forms they need for each step. This change necessitated more horizontal space, so I changed the orientation to landscape. Additionally, definitions are provided along the left margin to help users understand the overall goal of the independant sections.
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redesign of the 1040 tax form
Stefanie Danhope-Smith
Experience Designer Seattle, WA