Design System Pattern

When completing taxes, accuracy is crucial. The existing errors experience was both inconsistent and redundant and did not instill confidence leading to confusion and possibly inaccurate return.

Hypothesis:  An improved errors experience will increase return accuracy, improve confidence, and decrease abandonment.

Original state


  1. Protect me from myself
  2. Don’t unnecessarily block me
  3. It’s ok to enter data in the order I want


  • Error prevention – Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action.
  • Visibility of system status – The system should always keep users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within reasonable time.
  • User control and freedom – Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked “emergency exit” to leave the unwanted state without having to go through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo.
  • Help users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors – Error messages should be expressed in plain language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem, and constructively suggest a solution.