VAT calculator: request for feedback

Morganf

New Member
I created a VAT calculator too, check it out and feel free to cast your opinions upon it: online VAT calculator

I decided to use an agile process do it as quickly as possible in order to realise value quickly, rather than perfect a solution that could take longer, the idea is that I will iterate on it over time and continue to adding features and value incrementally. I set up a Trello board and broke what needed to be done down into a series of tasks. Even though it may not be the prettiest, from an accessibility PoV it gets a 100 Lighthouse score, which I think is a very important metric to get right. The design took very little time, I used Sketch, and an existing design system setup for typography and Grid etc. again, to save time.
 

sprout

Active Member
I created a VAT calculator too, check it out and feel free to cast your opinions upon it: online VAT calculator

I decided to use an agile process do it as quickly as possible in order to realise value quickly, rather than perfect a solution that could take longer, the idea is that I will iterate on it over time and continue to adding features and value incrementally. I set up a Trello board and broke what needed to be done down into a series of tasks. Even though it may not be the prettiest, from an accessibility PoV it gets a 100 Lighthouse score, which I think is a very important metric to get right. The design took very little time, I used Sketch, and an existing design system setup for typography and Grid etc. again, to save time.
It’s functional, so not a lot to say from a design standpoint. The more pertinent question is, why? Who is it for?

If you are running a business that pays VAT, and you don’t know how to add 20%, then something pretty fundamental is wrong. If you work in accounts and you can’t calculate it, then there is something seriously wrong. Besides, most people have a calculator in their pocket these days anyway.

For an end-user, prices are normally shown including the VAT. If they aren’t, they are split out and show the net cost plus vat plus total, so there’s no real need for it.

If it is an exercise in coding, then I’ll shut my mouth. Someone else more qualified in this area than me should comment.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Same issue with the other calculator we had a while back.... completely pointless for most people imo, so I'll just copy what I've written there.


If I already know the vat rate, it's literally 2 seconds on a calculator to work out before/after vat. Anybody who uses excel to do their accounts with even a basic knowledge of excel can have a spreadsheet set up and those with more advanced skills will have even more complicated/linked sheets within the excel file.

What I wouldn't mind though is either a tool or a drop down/list of all the different vat levels for each country because trying to remember all of the 'exempt' or 'reduced' things can get tiring lol... Utilities is 5% for example if below a threshold in the UK (it's 33kWh electric per day so most of us on this forum would be 5% not 20%.) and there are others which are either lower than 20% or exempt.
 

Morganf

New Member
Thanks for the feedback.

@sprout good question, the target audience is users of Google searching for the term "Vat Calculator", there is demand for it believe it or not.

@Levi correct, however based on the demand I think that maybe people struggle with this kind of calculation, it's more than likely not an accountant looking to use it. I decided for the initial iteration to not add GBP currency symbol and allowing any percentage to be added, so it is flexible for most currency, but I suppose if you don't already know what your countries VAT rates are it may be more intuitive.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for the feedback.

@sprout good question, the target audience is users of Google searching for the term "Vat Calculator", there is demand for it believe it or not.

@Levi correct, however based on the demand I think that maybe people struggle with this kind of calculation, it's more than likely not an accountant looking to use it. I decided for the initial iteration to not add GBP currency symbol and allowing any percentage to be added, so it is flexible for most currency, but I suppose if you don't already know what your countries VAT rates are it may be more intuitive.
If you don't know how much vat is or how to remove it should you really be charging vat....

I'm not an accountant but I do my own accounts and it's not exactly rocket science to work out vat etc. I do however have issue finding accurate information over all the different vat rates and what falls in them for each country.

Don't forget that if you're over the vat threshold in the UK (non voluntary is 85k) you need to use a MTD supported accounting program (another 'forced' expense by the government...) and most of the before/after vat in the program, so like I say it's kind of pointless.
 

fisicx

Active Member
@sprout good question, the target audience is users of Google searching for the term "Vat Calculator", there is demand for it believe it or not.
Maybe. But there are already a large number of these so unless you rank #1 no one will ever know you exist.

In any case the UX isn’t good. The results should display as you type. It’s a simple JQuery function to do this.
 

Morganf

New Member
@fisicx I'm guessing what you mean is: to display the results, and then show them updating as a user types, without a user having to scroll or being scrolled?
 

fisicx

Active Member
That's correct.

The only people who will ever be on the site are those who want to calculate VAT so make it simple for them.

Remove everything above the input form and make the heading really skinny. Then remove the buttons (as they aren't needed) and show the results above the fold (this is especially important on a phone). Even consider showing the results above the input field. Or put the results on the right for desktops and below for smaller screens.

Do some split testing to see which layout people prefer.
 

Morganf

New Member
I've taken the feedback on board, my time is limited therefore will always go for the quickest option, I've made a design revision, for now the behaviour will stay the same until I have more of an idea that it isn't working:
 

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fisicx

Active Member
Just noticed your inputs allow alpha numeric characters. And the the zero doesn’t clear on focus. I have to delete it before making an input.
 

Morganf

New Member
Good point about the zero, that's annoying. You can enter alphanumeric on certain browsers, however, if you accidentally input letters the validation will let you know.
 

fisicx

Active Member
If that’s the case I shouldn’t be able to enter letters. That’s the whole point of a number field.
 
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