Failure: A Product Development Story

Learn from the best of design leaders and ICs we’ve hosted at our DesignX events and conferences.

Paul van Oijen

Senior Product Designer, Shopify Plus

Many speakers across thousands of talks tend to focus on the lessons learned, not the mistakes made to learn those lessons. And I intend to mostly focus on the latter. It's a narrative, story-driven talk about how I failed, as a Product Designer, to design a meaningful, easy to use product for the vast majority of our user base. How my development team and I tunnel-visioned, and focused on the 1% of our most tech-savvy users, and how this nearly destroy the simplicity of a great product, and tanked retention whilst quadrupling onboarding times. With plenty of examples of what to do, or what to absolutely not do, we'll find out how to recognize the signs of tunnel vision in research and design, and how to avoid these same pitfalls.

Paul is a Product Designer based out of the beautiful Waterloo, Ontario. He's currently working as a Senior Product Designer at Shopify Plus, making commerce better for everyone, with a focus on some of Shopify's largest merchants. Paul has worked as a Product Designer for the greater part of a decade, working on large-scale mobile and web applications with up to a million users. His work has spanned across the industry, ranging from language learning and didactics, to mobile gaming and online advertising, and just about everything in between. He's worked, collaborated with, and interviewed some of the tech scene's biggest household names and rising stars, from tech superstars like Uber, Spotify, and Airbnb, to fashion icons such as Thinx and Thirdlove. Paul has been active as an educator, facilitator, and speaker across Europe, Canada and the western United States. He's helped advocate for design in the communities of Berlin, Krakow, Toronto, Austin and San Francisco. Truly passionate about any- and everything Product Design, he's eager to share everything he knows and build a better, more informed design community, across the globe.

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Learn from the best of design leaders and ICs we’ve hosted at our DesignX events and conferences.