BrainStation x Shopify

Project overview

A 24 hour design sprint in which we collaborated with people in different diciplines to create a solution for Shopify, a platform which allows users to create ecommerce sites. Teams were randomly assigned and consistened of a varying amount of people in digital marketing, web development, data science, and of course, user experience design.


TeamProblem spaceResearchSynthesisSolutionsConclusion

Meet the team

Originally team number 9 out of roughly 30 total teams across BrainStation's concurrent bootcamps, we decided to give ourselves a name to make us stand out from the rest. The name "Rich Girls" was inspired by the fact that the entire team consisted of girls, and then myself as the outlier. Thus a joke was made at the expense of myself, but all in good fun! I really enjoyed working with everyone through the entire experience! But without further ado, meet team "Rich Girls"!

So... what is the problem?

Now that introductions are out of the way, let's get into the problem we'll be solving. Shopify provided the following problem statement for us to work on:

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

How could we imagine Shopify using its Ecosystem to help lower the barrier to entrepreneurship in entirely new regions, demographics and business sectors?
Problem statement


Now that we had a problem to work with, we had to figure out how we were going to improve Shopify's reach to new demographics.

Here our data scientist did research on regions and found countries in which Shopify was not the predominant ecommerce platform. We decided to focus our efforts into Thailand, and did some speculation into why Shopify was not faring well there. We believe that the difference in culture and some factors involving foreign currency exchange may have been significant factors.

The rest of the team supported these efforts by searching information such as articles about the culture of Thailand and how their citizens reacted to ecommerce once we were able to identify a location and topic we wanted to focus on.
Secondary research

The UX team additionally did research into how Shopify itself functions. We did a tour through the Shopify onboarding process and discovered that Shopify offered an extremely robust education system which ranged from free success courses to mentorship articles and forums!
Primary research

Synthesizing the data

Using the information we gathered, we created a persona that highlights the main points of our target demographic. Meet Malee!

We capitalized on Malee's pain points-- lacking training and Thai values. We created several concepts for a solution, but out of these ideas, we decided to stick with one that allowed Malee to connect with local mentors based on their preferences.

Creating the solution

As a team, we created sketches of possible solutions to the opportunies identified earlier. We took the best ideas from each sketch and created a singular product to prototype, which would then be handed off to the web developers.

Our pitch would be to expand Shopify's existing mentorship program using locals. The revamped mentorship program would allow people to connect with each other by filling out a short questionaire about their preferences in matchmaking.

Utilizing Polaris, Shopify's UI library, and Shopify's existing site, we created a mockup of how we might accomplish this. Although I cannot link you to the website the web developers made, I can link to a prototype of the solution.


During this 24 hour sprint, I was able to experience how it was like to collaborate with people outside of our profession. Below I will detail the key takeaways.

Key learnings

Although the sprint was short, we were able to get a small grasp of what it would be like to work on a real team. Getting our priorities lined up and on the same page took a bit of time, since we didn't really know what the other diciplines had learned to do. However, we were able to deliver a solid product and presentation within the time span of 24 hours, with some of us (UX Design) having to stay up some pretty late hours. Although we didn't win, I am proud of what we have accomplished.

How we could improve

We found that many teams had similar lines of thought when it came to expanding to other regions. Finding a more unique solution would have definitely been a plus.

The winning submission decided to capitalize on using TikTok as a way to expand Shopify's acessibility.