ATO Tax Time User Experience

ATO Tax Time User Experience

Parisfirst responsible for:

  • Designing quantitative and qualitative research plans
  • Creating participant tasks and questions for each identified audience profile
  • Managing the recruitment of 200 participants for the remote study and of 45 participants for the moderated face-to-face study
  • Building and monitoring an online Loop11 study for both face-to-face and remote participants
  • Conducting the face-to-face interviews
  • Collating and analysing all findings into a recommendations report

Challenge

Parisfirst recently conducted UX research for the Australian Tax Office in order for them to better understand how people use the ATO website at tax time and how people prepare for tax time.

The audience for the ATO website is every taxpayer and tax professional in the country as well as ex-pats, returning citizens and immigrants. Creating content that is understood by such a vast and diverse audience with a broad range of literacy skills and tax knowledge is a challenging task. The ATO wanted to understand how people use, find and understand content on the website as well as what other information or tools they use to help them complete and lodge their tax returns. Findings from the study will be used to improve content as well as improve the user experience of the website with the ultimate goal of improving tax compliance by Australian taxpayers and tax professionals.

Approach

Initially, Parisfirst conducted a co-design workshop with the ATO project team and key stakeholders to create a research plan. We then built eight separate online true intent studies based on tax payer audience profiles e.g first time tax lodgers, rental property owners etc.

The moderated testing comprised of 40 one-on-one, two-hour in depth interviews with individual taxpayer participants. The tests comprised guided discussion, a series of tasks using the internet and ATO’s website, comprehension questions, questions to gauge preferences and the Standard Usability Scale (SUS) survey. In addition, 5 tax agents were recruited for individual interviews in order to understand their content and information needs.

At the same time, 180 participants completed the online remote study.

Parisfirst collated and analysed all the responses from both rounds of studies into a comprehensive set of appendices. After analysis of all the data, we documented results and findings in a comprehensive research report.

Outcomes and benefits

  • Specific content findings along with user journey maps of the tax time user experience when preparing and lodging a return for each audience profile
  • Best practice achievable content and website design recommendations for improving findability and comprehension of content and to improve compliance at tax time
  • Benchmarked the usability of the ATO site using the Standard Usability Scale (SUS)
  • Identification and understanding of tax agents’ use of the Individual section of the website and content requirements as they relate to helping individuals