ExpressSteuer Sales Funnel and Dashboard Redesign

Experts believe that up to 12 million taxpayers in Germany have never filed a tax return, practically leaving an average of €800 in tax refunds on the table.

ExpressSteuer wants to change that. The company's intuitive online service captures basic tax information to calculate the expected tax returns within minutes. Once users decide to proceed, the platform connects them with tax specialists who complete the process on their behalf.

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User testing
UI design
Design systems
UX KPIs and metrics setup


Tal Engel
UX researchers
Front-end developers


The main pain point was that it took too long for users to complete the form funnel. This resulted in high bounce rates which ultimately caused lower conversion rates given the high traffic of users. The original user journey was divided into 3 main flows connect with each other incrementally:
1. A form funnel to collect all basic user data needed to generate a tax return estimate

2. A sign up form from which users would practically initiate a tax return submission request

3. A dashboard where users could have an status overview including personal info settings


The main approach to solve this issue was divided into 2 main clusters:

1. To shorten the time it took users to get a tax return estimate and sign up. By cutting out data needed in the funnel and moving it to a (new) user dashboard we managed to generate more conversion without compromising on the business's value propositions. We actually managed to reinforce one of the main USPs which is fast form completion.

2. Re-designing the dashboard to be more personal, playful and interactive in order to improve user retention and satisfaction. It included all features the original dashboard had to offer plus form funnels for user data needed to submit a tax declaration.

Both the funnel and dashboard were designed using a new design system tailored to meet product and brand needs.
To learn more about ExpressSteuer's Design System case study click here

Project timeline
Double Diamond design process model

Process & timeline

As is often the case in the world of startups, we only had little time to complete the project, so it was crucial to set up a clear timeline, milestones, and process upfront. Our goal was to quickly generate qualitative insights that can serve as the foundation for an iterative design cycle.

We based our process on the classic Double Diamond design process model, using a structural orientation that incorporated the different stages: User analysis, prototyping, hand-off, etc.

Research, analysis and KPIs

The first step was understanding user behavior. We did that by gathering qualitative and quantitative data about the current UX. This approach allowed us to cross-validate any UX/UI issues that emerged from each data source and then set specific KPIs, which would help the design team monitor and optimize performance in the long and short term.

A heat map analysis provided even more accurate and actionable data, showing how users click, scroll, and move around the page. Using Google Analytics for cross-validation guaranteed we were targeting relevant UX issues.

To define our KPIs, we analyzed data from Google Analytics and picked out the most notable metrics. Then we used Google's HEART Framework to determine which metrics to measure moving forward.

Qualitative and quantitative usability analysis
HEART framework, metrics data, and heat-map analysis
Conducting interviews and live usability tests

Usability testing

As part of the qualitative measurement, we conducted customer interviews and regular usability tests to review the data we had already collected. Our target audience profiling was based on actual traffic data and a reasonable hypothesis of potential users.

The usability tests helped us discover problems in the existing design and measure the performance of the new version. The quantitative analysis helped the team evaluate what users actually do and cross-validate their behaviors with the collected data.

Flow analysis & redesign

As part of the product research, we mapped the current user journey to spot opportunities: Where and how we can improve the UX. It helped us ask the right questions, uncover hidden issues, and better understand the product architecture before developing the new flow.

The result of the analysis and the user research was a revamped user flow map that had a remarkably positive impact on conversion rates.

Flow analysis of the old design
User flows: Improved vs. old
Early-stage performance predication

Early-stage performance

This extensive study of user needs and technical opportunities enabled us to reduce the submission form to its bare minimum, significantly shrinking the funnel. We used interactive prototyping to test and calculate how easy it would be for users to complete their tasks and convert them into new customers. Early results from internal tests were stunning: The new time-to-task was cut by 50%, and the app generated the return estimation three times faster.

ExpressSteuer’s new design system


Our motto for the app re-design was - 'keep it simple, consistent and scaleable'. Keeping this in mind helped us tailoring the best solution in a short time while ensuring a smoother user experience then ever before. Based on this approach we have established a design system in parallel to the UX process in which we laid the structural foundation for the design. Step-by-step we infused components from the design system in the new design layouts, a process which enabled a gradual and healthy, on-demand, UI library development.


The data indicated that most users accessed the platform via mobile, leading us to focus on mobile-first scenarios, like using the app while riding the train after work. However, we ensured that the new design is fully responsive and adapts well to any device, be it a laptop or a 27-inch screen.

Fully responsive design

New funnel design

You need more than just a component library to achieve consistency. The crucial part is implementing those components in patterns shared across all platforms.

‍Our model was a form that users had to fill out to complete a task. We developed slide patterns with opening, question, and closing screens, each featuring several content elements (text, visual assets, and sub-components), depending on the context.

With this approach, we managed to create a seamless, consistent experience throughout all interface touch-points—from the sign-up to the dashboard—and boost user trust and retention.

A scalable, consistent, and unified questionnaires design
The redesigned sign-up funnel

Our earlier analysis indicated that the old UI was too complex and content-heavy: Users had to provide many personal details before receiving a tax return estimate and signing up for the service. The process involved long forms spread across multiple slides, causing a high bounce rate.

We tackled the problem with Hick's Law: we reduced the number of questions and designed an interface that requires users to complete a single task at a time, keeping them focused and productive and providing a smoother sign-up process.

new user dashboard

The old dashboard was barely functional. While users had no way to follow up on the status of their application or provide additional details, ExpressSteuer couldn't collect all the data necessary to submit customers' tax declarations.

Our redesigned dashboard solved this by inviting users to a fun, personalized experience. We introduced gamification elements, including literal and visual feedback on tasks, delivering higher customer engagement and retention.

The new dashboard

Data-driven results

The new design system that would mitigate fundamental UX problems hasn't rolled out yet, but preliminary findings already confirm our hypothesis: A/B testing conducted during the first week after implementing the new user flow indicates that the conversion rate increased by 16% while the exit rate dropped by 5%.


A/B test results
Old vs. new design: time to convert
Old vs. new design: conversion rate

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Natalia Bulashenko

Head of Design