Gimli : DevTools for designers - update 1

Never heard of Gimli?

It’s been about a week since I launched Gimli on kickstarter. Will it reach it’s goal?, I have no idea. Whatever the outcome, I would like to give a HUGE thanks to all who already backed the project. It really means a lot to me!

Right now i’m in this sort of in-between period where I don’t know whether I should keep on working on Gimli or start working on updating my CV. Anyways, I thought I’d take some time writing this post, where I will review the campaign, answer some questions and show features that I didn’t really mention in the campaign.

Feature highlight : Smart inputs

One feature that I put considerable time into was the the smart input fields in Gimli. I didn’t really mention them in the campaign though so I thought I write something about them here.

Click here for the full video

A property like height does not really show the full potential. But that is what’s implemented and working at the moment.

A better example would be something like the border property.

If you work with front-end, you might already know some border-styles. But wouldn’t it be nice if just by clicking on “solid”, every possibly border-style would be presented to you as in the concept-image to the left. Clicking the “1px” could perhaps present you with a list containing thin, medium, thick and so on. I had actually no idea these properties even existed until about 5 minutes ago.

An even better example of the potential of smart inputs would be properties such as grid-template-column and grid-template-rows. In my music-player time-lapse video, I manually write “repeat(auto-fit,minmax(100px,1fr))”. Chromes DevTools as an example does not give me any sort of help here. It’s just a long string. Just imagine how much easier it would be to have a tool which actually understood what property value you typed.

I should also point out that the user will be given a choice. If you wish to type a string, you could. I even show this by accident in the music-player time-lapse video.

In my next post I thought about writing a bit about the the html snippets. What makes them cool, how to create your own and so on. If there’s any feature you wish to know more about, please tell me.

The campaign

As someone who didn’t have much of a social-media / online presence to begin with. I’d say I did alright. It would certainly have helped a lot to have someone who knew marketing and PR on board though.

What I think I could have done better is to have a newsletter and Facebook page from the get-go and not a week after the announcement. Perhaps I should also have started promoting Gimli long before the actual campaign.

I’m sure there are a lot of people who enjoy the marketing part. I, on the other hand, find it a bit stressful. The first day was actually more than just stressful. It was more like full-on anxiety, especially the first few hours. I felt like the whole thing would go by completely unnoticed. I began to question what I’ve been doing with my life the last 18 months.

Had I created something no one cared about?

What made me believe people would actually invest in something I created?

I had a lot of questions like that. Then I started to get some funding, people wrote nice things and I calmed down, thankfully.

Implementing new features and fixing bugs is kind of like a safe-space, especially when very few people know what you are doing. Everything you do could potentially become super awesome and nobody’s there to criticize decisions you make. It’s easy to get stuck here and just keep on polishing and implementing new features. I’m sure I would just keep on developing if it wasn’t for the fact that I actually needed some funding to keep on going.

If someone have experience in marketing/promoting things, I would love to get some tips :)

Questions and comments.

I found 2 comments especially noteworthy so I thought I’d just copy and paste the question + my answer here:


One last thing

I also decided to try out some new channels other than Youtube(link) and Twitter(link). Other than medium, Gimli is now also on Facebook(link), you can also sign-up to our news-letter at the bottom of our website.

Creator of Gimli, excited about front-end development, usability and design.