What I learnt building Easee,
a web animation tool for designers.

Today, I’m excited to announce that Easee — the web animation tool I’ve been working on for the past several months — is now live and open for registration.

Screenshot of the tool while Animating a modal for Campaign Monitor

There were a lot of prototyping tools out there, but when it came to easily design beautiful animations for the web, they all fell short. Ironically, they were too big, had too many features, required you to code, and tried to solve every problem.

The original prototype

So, I decided to build a simple ready-to-customize skeleton prototype to help other designers at Campaign Monitor create CSS animations. Seeing them animating their designs was really satisfying, but I must say the prototype was still really limiting.

That’s when I saw a need and decided to commit nights and weekends to build my own web animations tool.

I knew from experience that tools get complicated when they try to do everything. As a result, while I’m still adding features and polishing the experience, my goal hasn’t changed since day 1:

Make it easy for designers to create beautiful web animations.

Easee was never meant to be a graphics editor, but instead be their extension. All you need to do is design in Sketch or Photoshop, then simply drag and drop your layers into Easee to start animating them.

The learning experience has been hugely beneficial. I learnt backend code and modular JavaScript. I learnt how to manage my time better. I learnt to compromise. I learnt about branding. I learnt about marketing. I became a real customer of Campaign Monitor — the app I design everyday. The list could go on and on…

“Think Unstuck” by Tanner Christensen. A book full of great advice to fight burn out that Buzz Usborne recommended me

However, those learnings can come at a cost. What I thought would take a few nights and weekends turned out to take dozens. And some days, all I could see was that huge mountain in front of me. I experienced burn out for the first time where all I could do was stare at my screen for countless hours.

Even though the positives outweighed the negatives by far, there are a few things I wish I’d have told my younger self to keep motivation high and make the experience even more beneficial:

  1. Split big problems into smaller problems, but most importantly split the laters into even smaller problems.
  2. Don’t be alone, find someone as passionate as you to work with.
  3. When stuck, do not insist. Go outside, do something different.
  4. Be strict about what your MVP should look like, or you’ll never launch.
  5. Don’t keep things for yourself, talk to people, ask for feedback, test your idea, involve them in your project.

I hope I’ve encouraged you to turn your ideas to life. So, go out there, build your own product, stay motivated and keep learning.

Feel free to register for early access, or contact me on twitter @easeedesign.

Co-founder @liveblocks . Also making @gifmock

Co-founder @liveblocks . Also making @gifmock