This is one of the first websites I ever designed — http://www.cookfresh.in. It’s now defunct but in its glory days it was a food delivery business. Back then I wasn’t even a good enough designer to mock up pretty web pages let alone build great products.
I taught myself design after someone showed me how to use Photoshop in Industrial Design school. Photoshop served as a gateway drug to learn graphic design and then UI and eventually UX. Getting over the discomfort of using Photoshop’s complex interface proved to be extremely lucrative.
Software has the ability to make you fall in love with it. It can make your life so easy that you swear by it and try to get all your friends to use it. That’s powerful. The greatest growth hack ever is to build something so good that it grows by word of mouth.
The more intimate I get with making software the more I realize what a tiny role ‘pushing pixels’ plays in making great software . Understanding business logic technology platforms user behavior — there’s so much to learn.
That’s what the software world looks like to me. When I started out I naively assumed that designing something pretty could take me straight to the top. It takes clear headed assessment of all four of those attributes to make something super successful — Ask yourself questions like ‘How will this work?’ ‘How will users find my product?’ ‘Will they share it with their friends?’ ‘How will I make money to support myself and the team building this?’
Currently I’m on my way up from Level 1 ( Software that looks great ) to Level 2 ( Software that works great ). I’m going to introduce you to a couple of tools that help with this transition.
Principle — Principle helps you make interactive prototypes that you can play with on your phone. While I’ve tried a lot of tools which attempt this Principle is by far the easiest and fastest. With Principle I went from designing static images to complex app prototypes which wowed users potential customers co-founders and investors.
Webflow - Webflow helps you code up websites without writing code. Unlike other WYSIWYG editors it doesn’t turn anything you design into a bunch of messy underperforming code. It helps you learn the ropes of HTML/CSS by giving you a visual way to build front end structures for websites.
We built HyperTrack.com entirely in Webflow — its zippy feature packed and quite pretty.
So if you’re a designer starting out try Principle and Webflow — they’ll supercharge your workflow and help you make amazing software.
In other news I’m ecstatic to announce that I now lead design at HyperTrack! It’s super interesting to design at a company that builds developer tools. It has helped change my thought process from ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app for this?’ to ‘What primitive building block can help spawn a whole new generation of apps?’. It’s been such a pleasure working with them and I’m looking forward to helping them empower developers around the world.