Take a peek inside design at Xero

Great design is core to Xero’s DNA. In fact, Philip Fierlinger, Xero’s head of design and co-founder, tells people that Xero is not a software company, but a user experience company.

Design at Xero

He believes this is what sets Xero apart. In contrast, our competitors try to solve problems by giving  people more software and technology, which ends up making the experience more frustrating and confusing. For him, the key to great design is not about making software look pretty but getting the technology and software out of the way as fast as possible.

Philip recently interviewed with InVision, a top design collaboration platform, which is key to how Xero communicates and gathers feedback on design prototypes across the company.

To get a look at Philip’s  philosophy for design at Xero and vision as a designer, including his favorite tools, inspirations and workspace must-haves, read the entire interview on InVision’s blog.


Gayle Buchanan
May 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Thanks so much Philip and the team – the user experience is what sold me – how could you not share that with the world of SME owners … envy every new business that starts with Xero – gotta be good for all hospitals around the world funded by ‘fun tax paying Xero users’. Seriously – nice one

Heather Smith
May 3, 2014 at 9:26 pm

I read the article – I aliken reconciling to space invaders 😉 but snaps a better analogy – smart 3 year old!

Joseph Heenan
May 5, 2014 at 10:50 pm

To be honest, I think this is an area where Xero really needs to improve. Whilst the design is nice, I do not find the user experience good – the things that I (as a small business owner) do repeatedly are not quick to do. The example that springs to mind is reports: there is one report I like to view, with one particular layout and set of options – I’d expect to be able to bookmark (in my browser) or favourite (in xero) that report, and be able to get back to it in a single click. The reality is that’s a multi-step operation where I have to remember which options and layout I selected last time! And every year I have to ask support how to view last year’s month by month P&L report as it’s baffling un-obvious and completely different to how you look at the current year’s month by month P&L.

rick hopps
May 6, 2014 at 8:31 am

i believe the whole xero system works great and i can grab any reports really quickly,but i have to agree with Jospephs comments that it would be great to have a shortcut to my transaction reports.

Mark Whisson
May 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm

i think Joseph is on the money. yes Xero is better than other packages, but that doesnt mean that users are completely happy. for example, i havent received any response to a suggestion i made for dealing with cheques (quite some time ago), but i keep on seeing these little missives about how wonderfully responsive and user friendly ‘the Xero Experience’ is.
there are a number of other little things that are really annoying, but which i havent bothered to write about because my experience is that nothing at all will happen.
guys, a bit of back slapping is good, but dont get carried away with it- it’s for your benefit, not ours.

Sharna Brockett
May 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Thanks for the feedback about your experience with Xero and some of the features that you’d like to see. I’ll make sure to pass it along to our design and product teams.

David Heron
May 7, 2014 at 2:06 am

While I respect that this Blog is to highlight the advantages of using Xero – I’m hooked – we took a look at InVision and have decided to use it ourselves. Can you recommend the tools you use for building a transactional Web site?

Michael Mori
May 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm

One improvement on the user experience which will make life easier for every user, is the option to move to another page at the top of the Bank Reconciliation and Bank Transaction screens, instead of scrolling down to the bottom of the page first.

As I said in a previous request, this does not affect accountants, but the users like bookkeepers and business owners who use these screens all the time.

Sven Andriske
May 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm

You are stating Xero is not a software company but a user experience company. How comes that Xero touch is not the best of an experience I would expect when someone calls himself user experience company which is equal to “usability” which I miss there.
I started using Xero and Xero touch on both iOS and Android some month ago.

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