My First Shopify Experience: Usability Suggestions

The Shopify e-commerce platform is a vast and multi-faceted one. Its architecture addresses all aspects of a business conducted online and no detail is overlooked; however, there were Usability shortcomings which made my experience less than satisfying.

With the intention of making a great product better, I’ve conducted a brief analysis of the tools, processes and screens which slowed my progress.

For those who are unfamiliar, Usability (Use-ability) “is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces (websites) are to use. The word also refers to methods for improving ease-of-use during the design process.”

<img src="NNG.jpg" alt="NNG for Usability" />This definition belongs to Usability guru Jakob Nielsen’s of the Nielsen Norman Group. For a more thorough explanation, you may refer to his firm’s website.

Personally, I’ve been studying Usability since the mid-90s and was introduced to Neilson’s work in 1997. His books detail research findings over a span of many years. I’ve purchased 3 of them, then integrated my newfound knowledge into client websites – with impressive results: my customer’s sites were chosen over their competition because they were easier to use.

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My First Shopify Store: Lessons Learned

Creating and writing my first Shopify e-commerce store was an intriguing and challenging exercise. With new experiences come new lessons and preferably, advances in thinking. Mindfulness and perseverance are allies in such situations.

This is a 2-part article. Next week, I’ll make suggestions (with screen shots and text re-writes) as to how the Shopify e-commerce platform, its Usability and overall presentation could be improved.

<img src="bracelet.jpg" alt="Bracelet" />
Gold-copper alloy bracelet

It Begins
The opportunity arose the way many do. I met a fellow at a social gathering and we got to talking. ‘Turns out his girlfriend was selling fashion jewellery and doing very well with it. She imported the necklaces, bracelets and earrings from overseas and they looked quite attractive – and great on her.

The client had been a product manager and figured he could parlay her show-and-sell parties into online merchandising. We agreed on a price which included learning time, number of items, and a deadline 6 weeks distant: just before last Christmas, which seemed reasonable.

<img src="shopify.jpg" alt="Shopify logo" />Shopify, with their integrated e-commerce platform, was making waves in local Web circles and a relative was using them for her online store:  “It’s so easy-to-use and it was only $30 a month.” In contrast, a website designer wanted $130 every 30 days, “forever.” Easy decision.

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