Redesigning tax exemption sign-up for customers

See it live


Design Lead


Q2 2020 - Q3 2021


Mobile, Desktop, Email



Product Summary

I worked cross-functionally with business, engineer, and product leads to create a strategy and vision for the revamp of the tax exempt legacy systems. With a human and customer-centric approach, I researched, designed, and helped bring the first steps of that vision to life in a platform that receives 800+ users a day.

The Need for UX

The system that existed was a product of its time, and needed to evolve if we wanted to stay on top of the industry. The customer base had changed drastically since the application first launched, along with their needs and expectations. It was time to start changing with them. The team had some idea of what needed to be changed, but unsure of what the new experience should look like.

OLD Experience
View of retired registration site


Interviewed 6 teams across Enterprise

Gathered insights through customer surveys with 400+ responses

Presented research to stakeholders in product kickoff

Past, present, and vision

The beginning of the revamp consisted of a high level understanding on how the current state worked. What does the customer's journey look like from end-to-end? Who are all of the actors involved? What are the gaps from every user's end?

We also wanted to learn about the past, when the product first launched. What were the roadblocks that we'd have to keep in mind? What about lessons learned? All of these conversations naturally shifted towards the vision every former and existing team member had -- we could do much better.

UX beyond UI: Tech & Compliance

I focused not only in learning the existing user experience, but also of the system blueprint that worked behind the scenes. I dove deep into the world of tax and finances, and understood the complexities from the business and tech angle. Majority of the redesign will be to help the product be at a better standing users, business and product.

I presented these learnings in the form of process flows, system blueprints, and journey maps.

Problem breakdown


Customers are only able to provide proof of their exemption through email or fax. This is not communicated clearly in the UI, resulting in multiple generic automated emails being sent to customers every few days, reminding them to submit something they didn't know they needed.


Customers would either receive the same emails, or none at all. This gave them little transparency on the progress of their submission approval.


Systems lived in silos and didn't work together to provide insight. The tech stack was no longer supported. The UI followed outdated design paradigms, did not match the company's branding, and faced usability issues.


Facilitated design thinking workshops

Crafted desktop, mobile, and email experiences

Iterated based on user and stakeholder feedback

Turning user needs into product strategy

We created a vision for the product based on all of the research, value statements, and technical opportunities. This served as our North Star for the remainder of the revamp. We focused on telling the customer and associate's story by showcasing the current landscape they were in and how this vision can make it better. This proved to be very useful when presenting to stakeholders.

Based on this vision, we prioritized based on value and compliance the features we needed for MVP.

Enhancing the sign-up flow with consistency and human language

We made sure not to reinvent the wheel when designing for this new UI. The flow kept all the fundamentals of a sign-up. The colors and styling were modified to fit with the company's branding.

We addressed error prevention, maintaining consistency, and placed a large focus on providing friendly human language (rather than excessive tax jargon). TurboTax's UX writing was a big inspiration.

TurboTax's tone turns a dreadful experience into a delightful one.
We wanted to take a similar approach so we followed a casual yet respectful tone. Similar to as if a store associate is guiding the customer through the process.

All of this with the goal of providing a UX that will keep the user believing they are always in control. We also added a feature that streamlined how customers provide their tax exempt documentation, one of the biggest pain points that we wanted to address for this MVP.

Keeping accessibility in mind

We ensured all text and color contrasts followed a minimum of WCAG AA Level. Slower internet speeds are also considered as part of the site's design and development.

Cross-team collaboration

Our new system was heavily integrated with other Home Depot services. In order to maintain cross-channel consistency, we partnered with several different teams across the enterprise.

We partnered with over 10 different teams, some more closely than others. This taught me when to send emails over meetings, how to balance the needs of various teams, and how to pitch what our product can do for them.

Evangelizing UX and design thinking to non-designers

I pitched the necessity of user testing and research to the tax director and obtained the buy-in and budget to conduct research in a field that never had user research before. This was critical for the recruitment of testing participants. In the end we received the budget we needed and proceeded with testing within the anticipated timeline.

All of my collaborative workshops were hosted in Miro, where I brainstorm with engineering and business different ways we can solve a problem, conduct retros, generate assumptions, and many more activities. This led to both engineering and business members creating their very own workshops, following similar design thinking practices.

Feedback loops from designers and users

All the feedback from The Home Depot's designers and customers has contributed greatly to the site's design, and product strategy. These took the shape of design crit workshops, simple slack channel posts, A/B testing, and moderated testing.

The Home Depot's design community has been a pillar to my growth. Feedback was not just limited to the design's visuals and experience, but also how it was communicated. Storytelling became a key factor when sharing the design.

We're continuing this feedback loop post-production to address existing gaps and find opportunities to make the experience even better.

New Experience
Radio buttons were used to select business and exemption type. Card layout was used to show that changes in selection impacted the results.
Select exempted states using checkboxes instead of dropdowns
Inline validation to ensure customer enters the right format. Legally we're unable to auto-format on the customer's behalf. Regardless, we still took every opportunity to guide the customer on their input while also being careful not to enter anything on their behalf.
Provided document upload feature for customers to seamlessly provide their tax exemption documentation. Previously the only choice was fax or email.
Clear error handling if an error occurs during upload.
Email communication upon submission. We followed the company's standard email templating, but also lowered the brightness of the images for a better contrast. Note: some text was modified or removed.
Email communication if customer's submission was denied. Note: some text was modified or removed.


Customer's approval time was reduced by 500%

Security measures in UI reduced company's audit liability


Cross-collaboration is KEY

I would not have been able to get as far as I did without the collaboration of everyone involved in this project. Our team communicated constantly with one another, and this in turn kept everyone aligned on the problem and action items. We also became friends, and oftentimes enjoyed virtual game nights and had casual 1:1s.

Beware Analysis Paralysis

Whenever you enter a complex space there is always a bit of hesitancy that there is more that lies beneath the surface. Usually that is often the case, but that shouldn't prevent one from continuing to move forward. I learned this from a great PM friend that at a certain point you have to keep moving and learn.

Fail Fast

In the Finance space it can get scary to experiment and try new things. The risks seem so much higher. That does not mean that it can't be done. Move forward with the experiment, get feedback, learn and iterate. If it failed, then we learn and make it better in a shorter timespan.

Iterate, iterate

There were many learnings that came our way well past the initial discovery phase. Based on this, we had to modify the original design many times before it was finally at a good place for launch. This is to be expected, therefore it's important to not get married to a single idea. Even after launch, there are still many opportunities to make the product better!