A UX project looking at improving the on-boarding process for a relatively new and exciting Shopify Application.

Syncio is a Shopify app that allows online stores to create networks with each other

Syncio launched in 2017 as a Shopify app that allows online stores to create networks with other online stores, and sync inventories in real time. There are currently over 1700 merchants using Syncio, and collectively approximately $25m of gross merchandise value is synced per month.

The challenge


The aims of the project were to reduce friction during the onboarding process, and learn more about their customer personas and journeys.

My role


Two-week Project
2 x One-week Agile Sprints
As a team of three we collaborated throughout the UX process, using the 'Double Diamond' model as a guide. I had hands-on involvement from the initial discovery phase through to Implementation.

Tools used

  • Figma (Prototyping)
  • Sketch
  • Miro (Sythesising)
  • Post It notes
  • Otter (Research)
“We’re not tech people- we are fashion people”
“I’m not going to read that (user guide)”
“One click, one comment. No More. Easy”
“It’s not in my job description to make this work”




  • Multi-store:
    The supplier who holds the stock and has have smaller stores in other locations. The multi-store holds the stock and distributes the items to the shopfronts.
  • Shop front:
    The smaller store that sources stock from the supplier.

Research statistics:

One on One Interviews
Interviewing Syncio users and also developers over the phone (provided by the client) to get some insights into their experiences using, and particularly going through the onboarding process.
Survey Responses
Casting the net wide and used Google Forms to reach out to Shopify users on Reddit and social media groups.
Usability Tests
Going out to local shops and doing some usability tests with real Shopify users.

Key Insights

  • Users are mostly visual learners (e.g. learns by videos, images, diagrams of real-life examples)
  • Users are intimidated by “jargon” i.e. system-oriented terms
  • People are inherently lazy! (and will refuse to learn if deemed irrelevant in other contexts other than work!)
  • Multi-stores tend to hire developers to install and set up the application rather than do it themselves.
  • Great feedback (of system status) boosts confidence in an app (to be functioning properly)



Affinity mapping

We gathered the insights from all research results to find generate clusters and identify themes. Our main themes were the issues of:

  • Video and imagery to guide users
  • Making the onboarding process more intuitive
  • Credibility (a key issue for developers)
  • The access of data

Primary persona

Meet Ash.
Ash is a design assistant working at a storefront. She isn't particularly diligent and becomes quickly frustrated by apps that have a moderate to steep learning curve. She wouldn't read through the PDF manual that is central to the current on-boarding process.

She needs visual aids to help her, as she has low patience with desktop research when she doesn't know how to do something or an app doesn't appear to be working.

Secondary persona

Meet Bonnie.
Bonnie is a Multi-store owner and is responsible for the stock and management of the store front.

She is also a visual person and is more motivated to research when things aren't working. She hires a developer to install and set up the application.



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