The online tax-preparation service market is very competitive. With more people switching to smarter web or mobile alternatives each day, tax preparation services (TPS) aren't only required to focus on getting the user's tax data safely to the IRS but to also create an excellent, intuitive, fail-safe and secure experience for the user during their e-filing journey. A bit of frustration and the user might switch to another service as they all provide the the same services and have similar pricing slabs.
We started our process with a survey in which we asked users if they had e-filed their taxes before, if yes, which service they had used and asked them to rate the services on 5 usability metrics.
As per the survey statistics, Turbo Tax, H-R Block and Tax Act were the most widely used software and hence, we decided to use these for our usability tests. Though usage of Glacier Prep is same as H-R Block we decided to go with H-R Block as Glacier Prep is restricted for university students
For recruiting participants for the usability test, we sent out a mail to the university list-serv and also posted an ad on Facebook and Twitter. The only requirements for a participant to qualify for the interview were:
- He/She should be living <20 miles of the University of Maryland campus (travelling limitations)
- He/She should have used a tax e-filing service at least once (preferably Turbo tax, H-R block or Tax Act)
The interview was semi-structured. The format for the interview was as follows:
- Welcome Participant
- Ask participant about prior experience with tax preparation service and rate the service on the given usability metrics
- Ask participant to do the usability task using a different service
- Ask participant about experience, to rate this service on given usability metrics and compare it with service previously used
Results and Recommendations
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