Andy Peters

March 17, 2021

Two screenshots, a year apart.

Last week I shared Doorkeep.  I appreciate all the friendly compliments liking the design of the app.  But man, if you could have only seen how bad it was a year ago. 

I found a screenshot from a year ago of Doorkeep’s inbox.  I remember at the time showing some of these early screenshots to unimpressed hopeful customers.  These interactions really dropped my confidence.

Convinced I still had a great product, I blamed my complete lack of design. 

True because the app was not designed.  This version of the app was your classic, programmer purchases a Bootstrap theme to build a good enough version of the product for an MVP and then keeps using it for too long past MVP timeframe.  Man, hopefully some designer out there is reading this right now. 

Being a solo founder, I had to get good (enough) at design on my own. 

I bought a few design oriented books and read through them a few times.  Spent time creating screenshot collections and saving lots of bookmark collections of apps and websites I thought were well designed.  It was also time to learn a CSS framework.  After some time had past and I experimented with app layouts and components I could start over.  I used a combination of Figma and a static site generator to create various components and application layouts.  So much was learned in a short period of time about design, the tools, and the thought process. 

Here’s the result of throwing away a stretched too thin MVP app adopted from some bootstrap theme and replacing that by first learning some design basics and starting over using those principles packed with a capable CSS framework (TailwindCSS in this case).

March 6, 2020
courtyard-screenshot-march-6-2020.jpg


March 6, 2021
doorkeep-screenshot-march-6-2021.jpg