Liz Khoo · UX Design

Liz Khoo

Currently UX Manager @ Shopify, focused on app integrations and platform evolution.


on platform design

I'm a designer who specializes in creating screen-based tools for people to get jobs done. My interests lie at the intersection of platforms and systems and the applications built on top of those systems. I used to think that this was the "unsexy" kind of design work, but I have now matured in my analysis here.

The majority of my design work has addressed questions around SCALE:

How does this solution bring value to a myriad of applications? To 1000x more people or entities?

How do we safely open this zone that was only ours, up to the innovation and creativity of a developer community and ecosystem? What is the developer experience?

How do we allow other internal teams to scale what they do and build consistent, high quality user experience?

How does it follow and/or enhance our design system?

I like to think of platform design in the tech space as one of the few areas where we are looking for longevity in our solutions, as in, a design that "lasts" as opposed to something that is trendy and has a short shelf life. The solutions and systems that I am helping design have to last for at least a few years; you can't release an API, ask the app ecosystem to build careers on it, and then deprecate it in 12 months.

To me, platform work is "sustainable design" in the tech world, at least from a durability of code standpoint, and I find that appealing.

Another aspect of platform work that I like are the layers of user experience. You're designing for internal consumers, other teams who will use the patterns, guidelines, and APIs you produce; external consumers, such as the developers in the app ecosystem; and ultimately it must all add up to a great experience for the end user. (I'm not just a diagrams and gestural person–the pixels, microanimations, illustrations, ui text, etc. ARE the thing that make up the experience.) The complexity of all of this, and the cross-team collaboration that is inherently necessary to do this work well, is an intellectual challenge that I find can be its own reward.

Lastly, I have always known that I wanted to work on products that help people do things. From the beginning of my design career, I felt very strongly that I didn't want to work on marketing or media, (probably influenced quite heavily by the fact that I had a prior career as a digital marketing analyst.) I wanted to solve problems that were not about getting and holding attention. But I don't think tools should just get out of someone's way–actually, a great tool helps a person achieve a state of Flow, a state of productivity that is satisfying and even delightful. That is a mission that I connect with and feel decent about working toward.


As you might expect, I don't show work from my current employer on my website. But, I am able to show recent work in the context of a guided portfolio review.

Work History

2021 +

2016 – 2021

2014 – 2016

2010 – 2012

2007 – 2009

  • Shopify
  • Salesforce
  • IoT startups
  • R/GA
  • Digitas


Bend, Oregon