Shopify Start-up Success

Shopify Startup Success is a module that helps guide new Shopify sellers by offering recommendations tailored to their business niche in order to ensure long term success.

View Prototype

This opportunity came up during an industry hack-a-thon event hosted by Shopify's UX team. I worked alongside a team of data scientists, UX designers, and web developers to come up with a solution in only 24 hours!

Team Members

My Role

UX Designer

Project Timeline

24 Hours


Figma, Google Slides



Phase 1: Discovery


Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the market, with 2.1 million active daily users and more than 1.75 million merchants.

During an industry hack-a-thon event, the Shopify team presented us with a challenge for us to undertake in only 24 hours. They asked us:

"How might Shopify better leverage its Ecosystem to make entrepreneurship more accessible than ever before?"

Discovery - Secondary Research

In order for us to build an effective solution, we first had to narrow in on the problem space to discover what the core issue was. So, we started researching to see what we could find.

Among many ideas, we were drawn to the fact that:

Most Shopify stores fail because merchants do not understand their niche and do not have a business strategy.

Despite Shopify gaining 700,000 new businesses in 2021,

"20% of businesses will fail in year 1,
30% of businesses will fail in by year 2,
50% of businesses will fail by year 5."

Discovery - Primary Research

Curious to find out more about Shopify's ecosystem, we set out to familiarize ourselves with the platform. We were especially interested in the Shopify Affiliate Program--a program that allows experienced Shopify users to teach their audience about entrepreneurship with Shopify.

We thought that it might be a good idea to connect these mentors with new Shopify users in order to help them develop their business strategy.

Revised HMW Statement

How might we empower new entrepreneurs through the Shopify Ecosystem to understand business strategies in order to ensure long term success?

Phase 2: Ideation


With the insights we gathered from our research, we created a Proto-Persona. This helped us align our values and kept us focused on developing a solution with a typical user in mind.

Ken is a 21-year-old entrepreneur who wants to sell his own brand of shoes. He wants to use the Shopify platform, but feels lost and is worried he won't get the results he needs to start his business. He's looking for advice, direction, and feedback.

Concept Sketches

Knowing our Persona was looking for advice and direction, we set out to produce sketches that centered around this idea. There were similarities that arose among our designs, like a module that gives tailored recommendations from a mentor in the Affiliate Program to the user based on their business niche. Since this was a strong similarity in the sketches, we decided to move forward with it.

Some constraints that affected our designs were the limited amount of time we had and our efforts to create an interface that fit well with Shopify's existing Polaris design system.

Task Flow

With our Primary Task of offering advice and guidance to new users, we then outlined the specific steps of how this process would take place in the form of a module that new users would see.

Using resources from the Shopify Affiliate Program, this solution connects new users with a mentor from this program based on the user's specific business niche.

Phase 3: Prototyping

Initial Prototype

After some back-and-forth with the web devs on our team, we had to simplify a lot of what we originally had in mind. Nevertheless, we were able to bring our ideas to fruition with our prototype, consisting of module screens that guides the user through the Shopify Success Program. Check them out below!

Final Prototype

In the remaining hours of our challenge, the group came together to discuss what we liked or disliked, what we felt was working, and added final improvements to the modules. Some important changes we made were using dropdown menus to get more specific answers for the second module, and adding a small profile section for the mentor in the last module.

View Prototype

Results & Key Learnings

In the end, the Shopify Success Program was indeed a success! Among the cohorts, our team's solution was chosen as a runner-up for Best on stage! While we all worked hard and did our best to make this possible, it was our collective belief that these key factors played a role in our success:

- Regular communication, feedback, and transparency with our ideas
- Planning out and delineating work for each person to do
- Commitment to the process as a whole. Teamwork makes the dream work!