Taxfix chat bot pilot

Published on 01 April 2016

This is a project about web and mobile.

Can you do your taxes on your mobile phone?

What it is

A mobile web app with a chat UI

A web-based mobile-first web app using a chat metaphor. Users are asked in simple questions about their lives. The app then calculates their likely tax rebate so they know if it's worth filing a tax return.

The pilot was developed and deployed in a couple of months with a small team of designer, developer and product owner. I worked closely with a designer to map out the user journey throughout the question flow and to add features to make the app quicker to use.

The web app was launched online and publicised to:

  • gauge user interest in this approach;
  • understand the problem space and gaps in current knowledge;
  • evaluate the chat bot metaphor as a way of navigating complex information.

Once the user answers all the questions, a results screen estimated how much money the person could get back with links to helpful guides about filling in their tax return.

The pilot was a success and now the app is being developed further to allow a full tax declaration submission.


Web technologies allowed the project could be developed quickly, with rapid iterations and improvements.

Preact was used as the UI framework and I wrote a custom engine to figure out the next question given a set of the user's previous questions. Other features included:

  • local storage for returning users
  • PDF email templates of user's tax calculation
  • income tax rebate calculation
  • UI animations
  • English and German language support
  • Responsive design for mobile and desktop