UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 392 October 15, 2008

Barack Obama Tax Calculator

Regardless of what U.S. candidate you support there is little debate that Barack Obama has been rocking the web. This well designed tax calculator is the latest example. Policy debates are never clear enough to show how an individual will benefit. This makes it dead simple and visually shows the differences. Even the URL helps make it clear. Nicely done.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

User Profile

Howard Mann is the founder of Brickyard Partners, a business strategy agency based in Portland, OR. Prior to founding Brickyard Partners in 2001, Mann owned a premier international logistics company with over 140 Million in revenue, six U.S. offices and a global network of over 40 agents worldwide.

As that business came under severe pressure from the previous economic downturn and industry consolidation, Howard lead the company out from those treacherous times by returning to the basics that make every business great and completing 6 acquisitions that re-imagined the business so it was highly attractive to buyers. Finding that “secret sauce” did not come easily but has fueled his purpose to help other business leaders to never have to go through what he endured. 

Through real world experience and those hard times in the “trenches” of business he has learned that it is not following the latest fad, copying competitors or adding complexity that makes a business truly great. His pragmatic approach and knowing what it feels like to sit in the CEO/Owner chair is what makes his work so different and effective.

In addition to his strategy, marketing and communications work, Mann coaches a select group of entrepreneurs, CEO's and business owners. His highly focused workshops and keynotes help executive teams take aggressive action to unlock the true potential of their organizations and build remarkable businesses that endure. In good times and bad. Online and off.

Howard is a sought after speaker both in the U.S. and around the world. He writes frequently on his blog about the importance of the basics and reconnecting to the passion that too often gets lost as businesses mature.

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Comments

37
40

I’ll believe the tax calculator when the cash is in my bank account. You can hope for change all you want but he’s just another politician. How’s Obama going to pay for all of his new programs with this economic crisis? By taxing the upper middle class ($250,000+)? When companies start sending their business overseas to take advantage of lower tax rates, Obama will change his tune. Venture capitalists will be reluctant to fund web projects with FAT TAXES? Wise up, HOPE all you want but nothing will CHANGE.

34
41

Appreciate the feedback Quetzal. UX Mag is not a political site and the post is not meant as an endorsement. What I was impressed with was the design and user experience of the calculator and its ability to simplify an issue.

36
37

“UX Mag is not a political site” you are just looking at functionality. It is a calculator. The interaction with a calculator is not that impressive. You have not taken into account that the calculator may not even be displaying correct information? This is a really weak attempt trying not to be political. For god sake you have Al Gore on the homepage saying: “Trust me on this. If audiences had an unlimited attention span, I’d be in my second term as President.”

28
39

It breaks one of the 5 golden rules of usability by playing musack to me without any choice.

35
45

The calculator told me there was going to be an international crisis in 6 months.

32
38

I like it. Of course the user is left to wonder how accurate it is, but it does it’s job.

The UI could be improved to help answer what people may think of as obvious qu’s (when it asked me about education expenses, do loans still count? How do you determine who is a dependent?). Few other nitpicks as well.

30
35

Mr. Mann fails to disclose the fact that he has donated money to the Obama campaign. I would hardly consider his opinion of Obama’s web site impartial.

37
31

@John Hyde

We did that because the higher-ups wanted that you tube video on the page, but the screenshot randomly assigned to the video by You Tube’s servers was rather….unfortunate.

But I agree, I hate it when a site starts playing any audio without my prompting.

35
35

@John Hyde

We did that because the higher-ups wanted that you tube video on the page, but the screenshot randomly assigned to the video by You Tube’s servers was rather….unfortunate.

But I agree, I hate it when a site starts playing any audio without my prompting.

35
37

Mr. Mann fails to disclose the fact that he has donated money to the Obama campaign. I would hardly consider his opinion of Obama’s web site impartial.

43
39

I like it. Of course the user is left to wonder how accurate it is, but it does it’s job.

The UI could be improved to help answer what people may think of as obvious qu’s (when it asked me about education expenses, do loans still count? How do you determine who is a dependent?). Few other nitpicks as well.

29
44

The calculator told me there was going to be an international crisis in 6 months.

37
32

It breaks one of the 5 golden rules of usability by playing musack to me without any choice.

32
41

“UX Mag is not a political site” you are just looking at functionality. It is a calculator. The interaction with a calculator is not that impressive. You have not taken into account that the calculator may not even be displaying correct information? This is a really weak attempt trying not to be political. For god sake you have Al Gore on the homepage saying: “Trust me on this. If audiences had an unlimited attention span, I’d be in my second term as President.”

29
34

Appreciate the feedback Quetzal. UX Mag is not a political site and the post is not meant as an endorsement. What I was impressed with was the design and user experience of the calculator and its ability to simplify an issue.

36
45

I’ll believe the tax calculator when the cash is in my bank account. You can hope for change all you want but he’s just another politician. How’s Obama going to pay for all of his new programs with this economic crisis? By taxing the upper middle class ($250,000+)? When companies start sending their business overseas to take advantage of lower tax rates, Obama will change his tune. Venture capitalists will be reluctant to fund web projects with FAT TAXES? Wise up, HOPE all you want but nothing will CHANGE.