Plans change, and the pandemic has meant huge changes for Shopify, the cloud-based e-commerce platform used by more than 1.7 million businesses around the world as of January 2021.
“We literally threw out all the plans. Everything is different now,” said Kevin Finlayson, director of UX at Shopify’s Montreal office.
“Shopify’s mission is to help make commerce better for everyone and we needed to really focus on the people who are struggling, particularly at small- and medium-sized businesses that didn't really have an online presence. We basically built a whole new roadmap.”
This quick reaction has helped position Ottawa-based Shopify as one of the world’s leading e-ecommerce platforms, with revenue growing 86 per cent to $2.9 billion in 2020 alone.
How do you define UX?
“At Shopify, user experience (UX) is a term for the broader umbrella of product design, user research, content strategy, as well as the implementation of interactions on browsers and mobile devices.”
Advice for aspiring UX experts
“Social sciences and the humanities are an important aspect of design. Studying topics like psychology, history, sociology and art will help someone pursuing a career in this area. While it’s considered a technical field, UX is really all about people.”
Impact of Concordia degree
“The three-year master’s degree was a difficult long-term commitment. It helped me practice a degree of self-led initiative to prepare for the next phase of my career with confidence and wind in my sails.”
“I also developed a network of friends and supports who I continue to be close with to this day.”
An average workday
“A mix of strategic planning with my leadership peers in the product management, engineering and data disciplines, as well as tactical decision-making and management tasks.”
Lessons in leadership
“So much of my job is about connecting with my team and the people that I support authentically.
“At a fast-growing company like Shopify, a big part of leadership is change-management. And of course, 2020-21 has been a crazy year for change.”