Principles

At Shopify, we build products that enable commerce at a global scale. Our mission is to make commerce better for everyone, no matter where they’re located or their level of experience.

We create tools that give even the most inexperienced entrepreneur the best chance to succeed. At the same time, we design products that help some of the world’s leading businesses manage enormous complexity.


Our approach

Our principles are at the heart of how we approach product design and development. They’re important whether you work at Shopify or you’re developing third-party apps or themes.

Put merchants first

Think about the needs of different types of merchants and be intentional about how to respond to them in a product or feature. Whenever possible, use research to inform your decision-making so you can map your process to how real merchants think and work.

Empower but don’t overwhelm

Shopify builds powerful tools that simplify how merchants run their businesses. Even though the systems we design are complicated, they should feel effortless. We accomplish this by removing unnecessary steps and making sure people understand what they need to do throughout the experience.

Build a cohesive experience

Shopify should feel like a cohesive experience to merchants, no matter where they are in the product. Use consistent language, patterns, and components across the interface to make it easier for merchants to get stuff done.

Be polished but not ornamental

Shopify should look good and feel like a world-class experience, but not for the sake of being pretty. Every aesthetic design decision—from how we design components, to illustrations, and choices about color—should be purposeful.