During my time at Shopify, I worked on a variety of amazing projects. As a Designer Advocate, I had the flexibility to pursue any projects that we thought could help designers on the Shopify platform. This involved traveling to conferences, leading workshops, running webinars, publishing books, writing articles, designing free resources, and even setting up a co-working space in Jeffrey Zeldman's office on Madison Avenue.
Education was a big goal for our team. This meant writing several design and technical articles for the Shopify Partners Blog and other blogs/publications (including CSS-Tricks and a cover article for .Net magazine). Article topics included CSS-Flexbox, prototyping tools, Sketch plugins, Shopify resource tools, design best practices, and so much more. Here’s a full list of my articles to check out: articles.
On the Shopify Partner team, we wanted to empower freelancers all over the world. We thought that webinars would be a fantastic way to directly reach out to freelance designers and developers regardless of location. We named the webinar series Shopify Partner Sessions. We started with Shopify related content and expanded to other design and development topics. We also had guest hosts who led webinars; the hosts included Jeffrey Zeldman, Val Head, Jenn Bane, Chris Coyier, Aarron Walter, Harry Roberts, and many more. Every webinar also had 20 minute Q/A sessions where we invited live audio questions. This may have been one of the best initiatives we tried with our webinars because it gave freelancers the ability to ask their questions in a conversational format and have direct access to industry leaders regardless of location. Our first webinar had over 600 signups which was a wonderful surprise. The webinars were such a big hit with out audience that you can still sign up for new webinars over two years since we started them. Sign up or watch one of the past webinars here: https://www.shopify.com/partners/blog/partner-webinars
One of the many benefits of being a designer is becoming part of the design community; it’s composed of amazing people. So, getting to travel around the world to meet them is still a memory I cherish deeply to this day. Shopify's strong support for the freelance community meant that Shopify sponsored conferences all around the world which provided the team with access to set up booths, lead workshops, and run micro events. I led design and technical full-day workshops related to the Shopify platform along with a few lunch workshops. Sharing expertise with others is rewarding and something I really enjoy doing, so this made the experience even more enjoyable for me.
As a team, we wanted to provide other ways to support freelance designers and developers, so we established a Partner Studio. The Partner Studio was a free co-working space located in Jeffrey Zeldman’s office on Madison Avenue, NYC. A few selected designers were given the opportunity to temporarily work from the studio to help them network and grow their business with the support of Shopify. The Partner Studio provided designers with access to Shopify resources and mentors including Harley Finkelstein, Shopify Chief Operating Officer. A second Partner Studio was established in Mexico City which was an incredible success because Latin America is one of the fastest growing technology sectors. Designers and developers are very enthusiastic about getting involved and learning as much as they can so they can serve their region.
The Shopify Partner team has a strong relationship with designers and developers. From speaking with them, it was clear that starting a new project is very time consuming as so much time is wasted on getting the right resources ready. To help designers and developers with this problem, the team developed quality resources. I personally developed a series of resources which included an e-commerce UI Kit called City, a Shopify product import CSV containing high quality product images and descriptions, and a Sketch plugin to import real data in design concepts. An outstanding resource that the team created for freelancers was the GROW book series; I was fortunate to work on GROW book volume 2. Get your free copy here: https://www.shopify.ca/partners/guides