Shutterfly allows millions of people to enjoy, store and share billions of photos. The multi-brand conglomerate produces award-winning photo books, meaningful cards, innovative photo gifts and home decor under the Shutterfly, tinyprints, Snapfish, Spoonflower and Shutterfly Business Solutions brands.

web application
Shutterfly factory picture
a process diagram
pacerpro admin pacer-admin-screen

Limitations to growth

Printing operations are at the core of Shutterfly’s $750M business. At the time of engagement, the printing operations division had numerous disparate applications served from a single instance. While providing an ease of deplyment on the back-end and robust functionality on the front-end, the disparate tech stack and monolith architecture presented maintainability issues, scalability challenges and hampereed development speed. The downstream effects were usability issues and lack of technological adoption, which ultimately, drove inefficiencies and limited growth, respectively.

The division had outgrown their software system.

Core problem assessment

In order to fully understand the root of the problem we led a discovery process that involved multiple facility assessments, stakeholder and SME interviews and a software audit. Through discovery we uncovered opportunities to use UX heuristics to improve usability, upgrade the data pipeline to make data analytics more accessible and provide features that simplified QA and reduced waste. We also identified the need for a new application that would provide a single source of truth for printing operations and built a prototype to demonstrate the value.

Finally, we identified how switching from a monolithic application to a microservices architecture would help the division scale and grow.

screenshots and components resmbling the application built for shutterfly

Usability studies, interviews & software audits provided insight.


Deep DevOps & front-end expertise informed a custom strategy.


Cloud based platform reduced server costs.


Microservices-based infrastructure improved scalability.


Design system & component library improved consistency and speed.


System improvements reduced waste and increased productivity.

Building a the new system

After securing buy-in from operators and executives we converted the monolith system into a lean collection of microservices on the back-end and provided several new applications on the front-end which streamlined functionality. We worked with designers to create a new UI and UX and quickly iterated to reach optimal usability based on user feedback. Each application consisted of a library of standardized and reusable components and a modern framework. This provided the flexiblity to build new features quickly and easily.

The net result was a single unified system that drove efficiency, reduced training times, supported ever-evolving product lines and improved work experiences for those working the line.

Multiple PacerPro products



Front-end Development

Back-end Development

Systems Architecture

Testing Environment


Technical Discovery

Technical Strategy

Information Architecture

Usability Testing