Intuit Visual Design Internship
Mountain View, CA
This summer, I worked with the Small Business Group at Intuit on the Projects team, primarily with Karen Miao and Paulina Zeng. This team is working to help business owners organize their finances by project and gain insights on their profitability so that they can be more confident, organized, and successful. I worked on two projects this summer, both of which were more exploratory, and I learned a lot about visual/interaction design throughout the process.
Projects Color Exploration
SOLVING FOR: Project Based Business Owners
PROBLEM: If the Projects page were to function as a sort of dashboard for all projects, how could you quickly draw insights for just an individual project?
GOAL: To explore if tagging projects by color adds value to Projects while still remaining secondary to important information.
SOLUTION: The QuickBooks color framework already affords certain interaction and communicates specific meaning. Having an additional set of colors for tagging would conflict with the existing framework.
PROCESS: In order to come to my solution, I looked at similar products, sketched a bunch of ideas, studied QuickBooks' color framework, did many higher fidelity iterations, presented an ideal scenario, and got feedback from other visual designers.
Design for as many scenarios as possible. I was challenged to see how my design would hold up when there were things like error messages or more projects than I accounted for.
Sometimes you have to do a lot of work in order to conclude that something won’t work. It was discouraging at first that none of what I worked on would ever be in the product. However, I learned that it's part of the design process to test things and let them fall to the threshing floor. It's impossible to make a successful product without having multiple ideas fail.
Hierarchy! This project was all about trying to find the right balance between highlighting certain items on the screen. I always had to ask what was the most important thing to show and how I could visually allow it to have the spotlight.
Ask the 5 “why’s” to get to the deeper issues. Don't stop questioning.
Present the full context. When presenting, it’s good to state the problem, insights, use case, where you are, what kind of feedback you’re looking for, what feedback you’re not looking for, and the project goals
SOLVING FOR: Project based business owners and their clients
PROBLEM: There’s no centralized place for clients to view project documents and activity such as progress invoices, invoice statuses, and estimates.
GOAL: The goals of the counterpart portal is to clearly show the client’s billing progress, allow them to pay invoices with confidence, give them appropriate project context and help strengthen their relationship with the small business they’re working with. My task was to visualize progress invoicing for the client and to experiment with how different interactions/features could achieve the goals above.
RESULT: I created screens for possible features that could be added to the future counterpart portal. I looked at how invoices are viewed in the context of the whole project, what a project dashboard could look like, how QuickBooks customers can communicate with their clients, and how clients can reference the project estimate. I also created a mobile prototype for viewing progress invoices at the creation of a billing schedule, on the project detail page, and on the counterpart portal.
PROCESS: I mapped out the flow/interaction for invoice payment process, identified key goals, started with mobile sketches to think more about hierarchy, made desktop wireframes, and created a mobile InVision prototype, and collaborated with other interaction designers
Mobile first. I've never really done much designing for mobile before, and though I still didn't do much, it definitely forced me to think differently and more intentionally about how I use screen space. I'm learning more and more that constraints can be good.
Design for the near and far future. A lot of what I've done this summer has been thinking big and narrowing down. It's important to think big for the future, but it's also important to think practically for the present
What's the flow? As a visual designer, this question would sometimes trip me up. I'm more used to designing things in isolation rather than seeing how it fits into the big picture. This project has so many facets, so thinking about the flow was very important.
What will provide most benefit to the user? I constantly have to remind myself that I'm not designing for myself but for others. That means that I need to back up my design decisions with how it would benefit the customer.
If you would like to see more of what I worked on, please feel free to reach out for access to a more detailed documentation of my internship.