Why I Moved From Design To Development, & Built A SaaS Singlehandedly.
Well this will be my first post. I’m nervous. But the community on Medium is one of the best I have seen so wanted to share my story.
My name is Reece, I started off being fascinated with design from a young age after playing around on my uncles iMac G4 and watching him design— from there I was hooked.
After starting University studying a business degree, I started learning the fundamentals of design and the differences between good and bad web design, and fell in love with the soft gradients and neat interactions you commonly find on SaaS websites — think Dropbox, Intercom etc.
After a year learning design, I started working freelance building websites for people, getting better as I went, but there was always something missing. The design was clean, but I always wanted to be able to push past just design and move into functioanality — the bit behind the elegant sign up page.
So I started to learn about the development side and built up my skills on various platforms so I could build something cool. I launched my first company in 2016 with a friend of mine: Startbubble was a social network and marketplace tailored for Entrepreneurs & mentors to help them meet. Think Facebook for entrepreneurs (as many people said). It was a great starting point and grew to a few hundred members (more of a community than a social network), but had live chat, forums, all that jazz.
The problem was, scaling a social network is a pain in the ass. Competing with Linkedin and others was a nightmare, so we closed down around a year later.
Back to the drawing board.
I then started work on tools that I needed (but didnt exist) when building Startbubble and working as a web designer, stuff like colour palette management, fonts, logos, free stock photos, budgeting, task and file managers etc. and thought it would be great to have it all in one place. I worked night and day (literally) building an all in one task & design manager platform I now call Oiga.io, and started using it for myself. I showed a few design friends who loved it, and so rolled it out in a private beta. This took off pretty quickly, trending on Betapage overnight and now sits in the top 3 designer tools on the site.Think of it like Asana, Trello and Invision all rolled into one.
Oiga just came out of public beta to a stable release, and people are loving it — one guy said this changes the game for designers & developers (sorry, I hate blowing my own trumpet).
I now realised that my transition from design to developer had kind of progressed and come full circle without even realising it until I was staring at this clean pro grade SaaS product I had spent a long time building. All on my own. No team, just me. And now these big agencies and designers were using it for their work — it was amazing.
So, as I say this is my first post but wanted to share my story, so sorry if it doesnt fit in with the usual Medium post structure. I’m going to write a lot more as really enjoyed this. You can of course find out more and sign up to the product at www.oiga.io I would love to see you there. Use foundersgift for a cheeky 20% off.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to ask me anything in the comments,