OCR-Powered Receipt Scanning
In the fast-paced world of finance management, the OCR-powered Receipt Scanning feature emerged as a game-changer, transforming tedious manual entry into a swift, error-free process. Developed over a focused six-week cycle, this MVP was crafted to tackle the specific challenge of automating expense tracking.
My Role: Shaping, User Research, Product Design 
Team: Product Manager, Tech Lead, 1 Developer
Cut Expense Processing Time by 70%
What problem are we solving for?
Before the introduction of OCR-powered receipt scanning, users often grappled with the time-consuming and error-prone process of manually entering data from receipts. This manual entry not only slowed down expense reporting but also increased the likelihood of inaccuracies, leading to financial discrepancies and heightened administrative burdens.
To address these challenges, extensive research was conducted: Market Analysis: Review of existing solutions and their limitations highlighted a significant opportunity for improvement. User Feedback: Direct input from users revealed frustration with the manual process and a desire for an automated solution to streamline their workflow. Technological Feasibility: Exploration of OCR technology and its capabilities in accurately extracting text from diverse receipt formats.
My Methodology
Solution Overview
Design: The solution was designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, integrating seamlessly into the existing financial management platform with minimal user input required.

Prototype: Early prototypes were tested with select users, focusing on the accuracy of text extraction and the interface's usability.

Validate: Feedback from these sessions was used to refine the solution, improving the OCR accuracy and enhancing the user interface for easier navigation.
This is the original web 'Add Expense' modal. It suffered from poor hierarchy, which didn't align with our goal of prioritizing receipt uploads. Additionally, design system input components were updated after this version was released.
This updated 'Add Expense' modal now features a two-column layout that prominently highlights receipt uploading. For enhanced clarity, all relevant information has been strategically reorganized into the right column. Tax information was an update that was completed independently of this project.
Web User Flow
Challenges: The OCR technology initially struggled with accurately processing receipts that were torn, damaged, faded, or badly photographed. This led to incomplete or incorrect data extraction, impacting the overall reliability of the feature.

Learnings: It became apparent that relying solely on OCR technology could lead to potential inaccuracies. To mitigate this, informational alerts were introduced, prompting users to manually review and confirm the accuracy of the scanned information before final submission. This step is crucial in maintaining data integrity and user trust, especially when dealing with less-than-ideal receipt conditions.
Post-launch, the OCR-powered receipt scanning feature dramatically improved efficiency Reduction in Data Entry Time: Users reported an 80% reduction in the time spent on entering receipt data. Accuracy Improvement: Error rates in expense reporting decreased by 60%, thanks to the precise data extraction capabilities of the OCR technology. User Adoption: Within the first three months, adoption of the new feature surged, with over 50% of users integrating it into their daily routines.
Don’t just take my word...
Michael is a great product designer to work with. He is very humble – but don't let that fool you! He does great work, and works hard at improving and building his skill set and craft. Michael was responsible for designing and helping ship many new features across the BuildBook platform. His passion for design and commitment to creating a great experience for customers was contagious, and he's a great guy to work with.
Kris Niles
Principal Designer at Readwise – previously at InVision, Basecamp, BuildBook, and Citrix
I had the pleasure of working closely with Michael, an incredible product designer who always nailed understanding the technical side of our products. He worked seamlessly with developers and product managers, making sure our designs hit the mark for our users. Michael’s thoroughness and eye for detail really set him apart. He consistently offered invaluable feedback, tactfully suggested necessary tweaks, and explained the reasoning behind them. His insights and dedication played a huge part in the success of our projects at BuildBook.
Jayson Lewis
Software Engineer II at Housecall Pro
Michael is an incredible product designer and teammate. As a Product team lead at BuildBook, I got to see just how his talents and dedication positively impacted growth and engagement. 

Michael has a real knack for turning complex ideas into beautiful, user-friendly designs. Through numerous feature overhauls and additions, he made my job easy by coming up with design solutions to increase engagement and make customers happier. His attention to detail and understanding of user experience really shined through. What really sets Michael apart is how well he works with everyone. He always made sure to get feedback from product managers, engineers, and marketing folks, relentlessly iterating on designs that met both user needs and business goals. Plus, he explains his design choices clearly, making it easy for everyone to get on board.

I have no doubt that Michael will be a fantastic addition to any team. I highly recommend him and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes next.
John Shum
Senior Product Manager II at BuildBook
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