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The Harmony Ecosystem & Toolkit

Creating a cohesive, multi-device user experience that customers love to unite Intuit’s small business products

Using a design system to create awesome products.

This is how it looked before - different look, feel and behavior across apps and devices.

This is how it looked before - different look, feel and behavior across apps and devices.

Two years ago - Intuit's Small Business Group had lots of products that didn’t look alike, behave alike, or share data and services. We began to branch out into cloud-based products, and our users expected these products to work together, but our businesses (120 designers, 1200 engineers, 200 PMs, many product teams) all had different priorities, roadmaps, and resources, and all worked in silos. 

So the small business experience design team (SBGXD) led a huge 1 year effort to build a cohesive product ecosystem, using a design-driven approach.

The QuickBooks ecosystem now integrates all of our small business products together. They all share a common look, feel, behavior, and data across platforms and devices.

We reinvented ourselves as a design-led company, something we couldn’t have done without reviving our design system. Our design system helped us create some really awesome products.

We started with a vision, used Intuit's design for delight methods to have empathy for our users, and then created design principles.

Create a cohesive, multi-device user experience that customers love to unite Intuit’s small business products.
Our customers have different goals  and needs.

Our customers have different goals  and needs.

Design Principles

  • Be simple, easy to use, and guiding.

  • Design for the customer and instill confidence.

  • Establish modern and iconic ownable moments.

  • Celebrate data while respecting user and device context.

This is the new homepage. The design offers instant insights to your data, and is targeted to small business owners and their accountants.

This is the new homepage. The design offers instant insights to your data, and is targeted to small business owners and their accountants.

The app is full of complex forms, and our mantra was enter data once and use it everywhere.

The app is full of complex forms, and our mantra was enter data once and use it everywhere.

The whole SBG XD team worked together to make this effort happen. We "harmonized"  the main areas of QuickBooks Online in six months, and I led the effort to create the design system while we were designing. In effect, we were building the train while we were riding on it.

And we prototype interactions to test with users, get the right feel, and communicate with our developers.

And we prototype interactions to test with users, get the right feel, and communicate with our developers.

We Harmonized across platforms and devices: Web, Mac client, IOS & Android.

We Harmonized across platforms and devices: Web, Mac client, IOS & Android.

The Harmony Design System & Toolkit.

Our toolkit, which is open to the public, contains everything teams need to build the QuickBooks ecosystem. My team maintains the toolkit, working with all of SBGXD to make sure we design for the ecosystem, and that the design system grows as we grow. We facilitate worksessions, hold office hours, and provide design feedback so that our user's experience with our apps is cohesive and delightful.

The foundation of the design system.

The foundation of the design system.

Patterns can contain guidance on when to use, how it looks and behaves, related patterns and specs.

Patterns can contain guidance on when to use, how it looks and behaves, related patterns and specs.

The toolkit also has downloadable psd, sketch and axure assets for folks to use in their mocks/wires. And privately, we have code to speed up development and let us easily update the UI.

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