Shopify -
Double Opt-in

JANUARY - APRIL 2020

This past winter, I had the amazing opportunity to work at Shopify as a product design intern with the Shopify Email team.

Team and Role

For this project, I took part in various discussions and meetings within the Shopify Email team, as well as communicate with the UX director and professionals from other teams.

As one of the main designers for this project, I completed a competitive analysis involving third-party apps partnering with Shopify, held a design sprint, took part in user testing sessions, and designed visual iterations and prototypes for this project.

The Problem

When a customer signs up for email marketing, they will receive an email which
they 
will need to confirm in order to receive marketing content. This is an email subscription process known as ‘Double opt-in’, one of the highest forms of explicit consent and an industry best practice. Double opt-in would ensure compliancy and increase the quality 
of subscribers.

At the time I was assigned to this project, Shopify Email only offered the single opt-in process for merchants and double opt-in was only available as a beta for German merchants due to legal reasons. Shopify planned to roll out this double opt-in feature for all merchants.

Before its release, we needed to address a concern that came to our attention.
The question was “What should happen to previously existing email subscribers when merchants switch from one opt-in method to another?”

Process

There were countless questions asked during the prototyping process in which I had
to constantly iterate and reflect on the problem statement whilst designing. One of the methods that helped approach the complexity of this project was by creating a list of positives and negatives for each mockup solution. This helped make it easier to choose which prototype fit the needs of the problem statement best. Gathering feedback from my teammates using the iterative design process also helped discover any nuances
or flaws in the prototype.

Solution

Double opt-in will be included under ‘Email marketing’ in the notifications page.

For now, merchants will still be able to send existing customers email marketing
but will not be allowed to re-send them confirmation emails unless the customer
signs up again.

In order to accommodate all merchants, double opt-in will be enabled by default
for German merchants and will be turned off by default for all other merchants.
The ‘learn more’ button will lead to the Shopify help center where it will inform merchants about what double opt-in is and email best practices. The ‘Confirmation Email’ link will lead to 
the content editing page which was a feature merchants wanted.

Challenges

One of the main challenges were to simplify and implement such a complex and multi-
faceted concept into a singular segment. Keeping in mind that we must accommodate 
for any merchants who may not know or understand what double opt-in is, it was difficult to make sure that we were delivering its context clearly so that merchants can make informed decisions when enabling double opt-in.

Thoughts

This project was quite complex because of the way it revolved heavily based on legal constraints. Something I’d like to consider if I were to re-do this project would be to communicate with professionals beyond just my team in order to gather more feedback during the development of this project. Knowing that this seemingly small feature in the settings page could make a lasting impact to merchants who use it was a key motivating factor to make this product as best it can be.

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