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Intuit Quickbooks Desktop

Intuit QuickBooks

accounting & payroll 


QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit.


QuickBooks Desktop is a one-time purchase accounting software to be installed on your office desktop computer. It is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks Desktop products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and offer on-premises accounting applications as well as cloud-based versions that accept business payments, manage & pay bills. The product also has a plugin that helps in running employee payroll.

My role

I worked on the project as a Sr. Product Designer. I handled the UX and UI of the QBDT (QuickBooks Desktop).

The initial UX started understanding the product requirements and analyzing the user research insights provided by the user research team. The project is focused on the adding new employee and running payroll for the first time.


Intuit Pvt. Ltd.


2018 - 2019

Product type

Desktop Software


Interaction design

Information design

User research 


Visual design

User flows design


User testing

Tools used


The global rise of Payroll software


Growth of payroll software is contributed by North America 


of the budget is allocated by large organizations to purchase and maintain HR & Payroll software. 

$13 Bn

The cloud-based payroll software market is estimated to reach around US$ 13 Bn in 2022

Research & Insights

Employer's Pain points - All the research was provided by the centralized research team.

I was not prepared to answer all these questions. It’s an information overload. And then I have to repeat the whole thing for_ EACH employee?

What is happening? Why are there so many progress bars – and it does not tell me what it is doing. It complains about Missing Info’ and yet allows me to run payroll?

ideally, the ‘system’ should just process payroll and employees, should keep their info updated.

You don’t want to mess around with IRS! Setting. Tax deduction and documentation is the most tedious job to do.

Employee Pain points

I keep switching multiple jobs and have to sit with their payroll department every time to give my tax info.

I have to keep all my pay stubs and payroll information in a file. Sometimes it gets lost.

I like to be in charge of my tax data but then I am not sure if I am filling in the correct data or not.

It is my first job I don't have a bank account the employer is unable to process my salary through the payroll software.

All the user research was done by the research team in California & provided the insights. 


How might we help the employer to process employee information and run payroll for the employees easily?

HiFi Screens

Ideal state: What does “truly awesome” look like? 

In a perfect world:

As a customer, who purchases QBDT Payroll service, He should never enter data, the employees should be able to upload directly or send the employer older W-4, I-9, State Tax forms, pay stubs, etc and the system will just scan it all and get the employee set up, (of course after that the employer can review and approve all the data). If the employer is switching from another payroll software, QuickBooks will just import all data from, say, ADP, Paychex, Gusto and the employer works become easy and smart. 

Design Solution for MVP

How it will work in QBDT:

The employer will send the invitation to the employee to provide information regarding personal, bank account & tax submissions. The software also provides the feature of tracking & approving the data and helps the employer to run payroll.

The biggest benefit to the employer will be: 

They don't have to spend hours to set up and run their first payroll process after purchasing the software. 

Future sate: Automated Data Entry via OCR of the Payroll Forms Scanned by Employer, within QBDT (Quick Books desktop) setup payroll process itself. 

Pros for MVP

  • Achieves the most reduction of employer pain point for larger SMBs, by distributing the data entry to all employees. 

  • Speedier to Market (Q4 FY19) 

Cons for MVP

  • Non-converged standalone solution within QBDT.

  • Employees still DO have to enter data. 

User Testing

Employer screens

UT 01.jpg

The problem in the design

To edit the information, the employer has to approve the data sent by the employee. While testing the users did not like the experience. It was not the logical approach as employers needed the freedom to edit before they approve anything.

Reason for this approach?

The reason for this approach was technological constraints. The QBDT software was not able to pull the data from the cloud to edit it without downloading it into the system.


After user testing feedback - Conclusion

  • The employer needs to edit every section before approving the data.

  • The experience should not suffer because of technological constrain.

Employee screens

UT 03.jpg

The problem in the design

It became difficult for the employees to identify the entry fields like Filing status, Allowances & Extra withholding without any reference or image representaion.

Reason for this approach?

It was an assumption from our end that these entries would be easily understandable by all the employees.

UT 04.jpg

After user testing feedback - Conclusion

  • As the users were getting confused with these details we had to provide an example of the actual tax form (state and federal).

  • We also highlighted the sections in the tax form reference which would be helpful to complete the form.

My Takeaways

This was a very interesting experience and had its own unique challenges. Some of my key takeaways were:

  • I learned how to work with design systems and how they provide consistency to the product.

  • This was the first time that I worked on a Fintech project and realized how complex are the user flows.

  • There was a lot of information that the employer & the employee need to understand while making financial transactions. 

  • I also understood how tax collection works in the USA, & what is the difference between state tax & federal tax.

  • As QBDT is a legacy software so I faced a lot of challenges in visual design. 

All data and information is copyright & trademark of Intuit Pvt. Ltd.

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