A day with Shopify

By Geff Harper on December 19, 2017

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Last month, Engaging.io presented at the ‘Day with Shopify’ world tour.

After gracing Birmingham in the UK, New York, Vancouver and Bangalore, its last stop was Melbourne and we fortunate enough to attend and wax lyrical about bespoke web design.

Now as amazing as our talk was, this isn’t about that.  I did think however that it might be useful to share some of the key learnings from the day, given the amazing range of presenters Shopify had managed to bring in from all over the world.

So here’s our quick Top 5 take homes that could help your business, whether it’s an e-commerce one or not:

1) UX design – Nathan Ferguson, Shopify

Nathan talked about how good UX design is often invisible.  Using the example of the size of buttons on the Shopify platform, and how much thought and planning went into the size of a person’s fingers tip.  How big the button really needed to be, and then how big the ‘active’ area around that button needed to be so a click in the right area got the right result and not the wrong one.  Next time you’re on a responsive site on your mobile, think about the UX touches you take for granted. Or if it’s exceptional UX, don’t think about anything other than completing that purchase!

2) Avoiding scope creep – Bodog Olah, Createur

Bodog brilliantly articulated the MoSCoW principle (Must, Should, Could, Won’t).  In other words, getting clear and defined agreements with all stakeholders at the outset of a project about what will be the prioritisation of tasks throughout the project based on what must be done, what should be done, what could be done, and what won’t be done.  This also linked very neatly into part of Dylan’s talk about MVP’s in number 4.

3) Pitching imperfection – Rebecca Twemlow, Firebrand

Rebecca brought a freshly encouraging reaffirmation that none of us is perfect, and when pitching for any new business, 3 things really stand out that make all the difference:

a) You have to be yourself

b) You really need to do your homework

c) You need to believe you can win it and pitch accordingly

4) Building an e-commerce business – Dylan Whitman, BVAccel

Dylan’s was perhaps my favourite talk.  Not only was it particularly well articulated and easy to identify with, but he made some amazing observations from the journey he’d been on.  Being somewhat limited on time, if I had to pick one point, it would be his take getting a product to market.  At BVAccel, Dylan said their focus is on getting the MVP (minimum viable product) to market as quickly as possible, taking all of the nice-to-haves, the bells and whistles, the what-if’s, and shelving those until the site is live, then scheduling those in further down the line.  It’s basically focussing purely on the first and last elements of the MoSCoW principle for a launch rather than the middle.

5) People are awesome – Fraser Gordon, Engaging.io

Come on, I was never not going to include me in this (and that’s a deliberate double negative).

Given that the Day with Shopify was comprised almost entirely of digital agencies and web specialists that are theory competition, everyone we met was genuinely lovely to talk to and happy to share not only their stories but their ideas.  We even found a few other agencies we hope to collaborate with when the opportunity arises.  We’ve always hoped that by treating people well, being honest and generally not trying to upset and kind of cosmic Kama, that what goes around will come around, but I’ve not experienced many gatherings of strangers recently where it was quite so evident.

If you work in e-commerce or even just have an interest in it, I’d highly recommend checking out future events.  Here’s the link to the last event to give you an idea of what you could expect.

Geff’s been in design for nearly 20 years, in digital for the last 10. Geff uses User-Centred Design principles to develop CX and UX that delivers for clients. He loves problem solving, leading design sprints and prototyping. Geff advocates strongly for user feedback and enjoys the challenge of creating solutions that positively impact user behaviour and interaction with technology.

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