Helen Tran

Product Designer

I am currently jellyfishing @Shopify, formerly @JetCooper (acquired 2013). I am inspired by these things. I tweet, dribbble, write and travel.

This is a list of things that are notable to me.

I write a post, ”The Future of UI and the Dream of the ’90s.” People appear to really like it,


I once had an account where I was the only Designer on the team and the only female involved in building the product. The client was obsessed with integrating ‘social.’ Despite...


I spend nine hours building this. I post it on Dribbble and it gets some rebounds from the @Shopify team and other participants:

Dribbble meet-up promo shot

My colleagues @ilialarionov, @woodifred and I host a workshop @designourtmrw called, ”Solving Problems with Design.” It goes well. Here’s a picture taken by @verneho which makes me look like I’m not paying any attention.

Packed room and stuff

I post this on Dribbble:

A screen from a Shopify hackday project

I move into my first home and spend some time on a bed made of towels. This is what I see from my bedroom window:

I see this from the bedroom window

I post this on Dribbble:

Smiles app

Jet Cooper is acquired by Shopify Toronto, I change jellyfishing stations


I write a post, ”Creating Immersive Experiences with Emotion,”


“Gamification” means more than in-game/in-product reward systems. There are other things we can learn from the gaming industry that I believe to be much more...


I take one of my favourite photos of Toronto:

Down by the beach

I write a post, ”It is Okay to Solve the Little Problems,”


Some designers have criticized others who have chosen to spend their time building start-ups instead of solving “real problems.” They argue that with our skill-sets, we should be changing...


I drive down California’s coast and take this picture:

California's coast from Hurricane Point

I write a post, ”LF a Solution Beyond a Like Button,”


The strongest online communities I've ever been apart of no longer exist. They weren't called social networks or platforms and certainly no one ever sold them to me as...


I join a User Experience team in Toronto called Jet Cooper; I meet people who finally get what I’m talking about


I bake my first batch of perfect macarons:

Made from scratch! Lemon macarons

Update courtesy of @verneho,


I have a critical 2-hour conversation over coffee that would solidify the beginnings of my professional jellyfishing career


I quit my job at Option B Creative, sell my DSLR for a plane ticket to Barcelona and spend three weeks wandering the streets alone. I start taking pictures exclusively with my iPhone. This is not one of them:

Barcelona from Montserrat

I listen to Exctasy of Gold in a cave in Australia:

Cave trekking and adventuring

My last published editorial is shot on a rooftop in Toronto:

My last published editorial

I take some photographs of Mosh and they grow a life of their own on the internet:

Portrait of Mosh

I follow a couch, through a door, into a basement with a sign that says, ”You will be photographed.” My friends question my judgement:

Chippy's garage

I join Twitter


I close my photography studio


I travel to Mexico, make a tortilla with a Mayan woman who doesn’t speak English or Spanish and was once ripped off by Mel Gibson:

I wish I knew her name

I open a photography studio with a partner to rent out studio space and teach lighting workshops


I have a conversation about communism with a man named Dio in Cuba:

Riding beside Dio

I start work at Option B Creative, a boutique branding agency


I take this photo, which remains to this day, one of my favourite portraits:

Araina Nespiak, still my favourite model of all time

I travel to Swansea, Wales and witness Phil accept an award for his documentary. I meet Martin Sheen and tell him I loved him in Underworld


I graduate college and become disillusioned about a life designing for print


I meet Phil Maglieri who is working on a film called, The Alley, which does well and I get to make promotional pieces for it


I meet my favourite comedian, Louis C.K., at his show in Toronto. He changes the way I think about everything:

Finally, a middle-aged man to idolize. I can hear the father issue jokes already.

I buy my first DSLR and start a new hobby


I start college in a Design program; I’m delighted with formal education for the time-being until I find out my program is print-focused. I drink more


I begin my life-long obsession with stand-up comedians


I make my first website; it’s covered in flaming skull gifs, blue marquees and really dramatic statements about my hobbies


I made this out of love and gumdrops. Contact me here.
See how I did this on Github.