50+ Inspiring Side Projects to Follow in 2016

Since my last post the One Side Project per Year Challenge (big thanks to Chad Grills for letting me publish this in the Life Learning publication), I was simply overwhelmed to see so many people saying “Love this. I’m in.” and “Your post finally convinced me to start that project that I have been successfully procrastinating on for a year.” If you haven’t read about this challenge yet, I strongly recommend you read this post first.

Since then, we’ve created a community, and here are 56 side projects we selected to feature in this publication over the year 2016. We organized them into 6 parts: apps and websites, creative content, educational content, social influence, games, and miscellaneous.

Part 1: Apps and Websites

Cyril Schmitt & Michael Sokol

The UX Shop — A curation of resources to craft delightful user experiences. Monthly interviews of top UX, Graphic Designers, Digital Doers.
[Newly Added]

Samantha Zhang, Designer @ Graphiq.com

Premade.io — A drag & drop webpage builder with thousands of pre-made content blocks. Aiming to be the LEGO of websites.

Dickon Kent, Founder of dsire.com and Loveslices

Loveslices — A virtual gardener that nurtures your romantic relationship.

Katherine Raz, Freelance Digital Marketing & SEO Consultant

HeyLittleEngine.com — A website that help you start & grow a mobile boutique business.

Malakas, Another jack of all trades wannabe in the web industry

An online platform that connects sellers and buyers in my local area.

Annie Zhang, CS @ Columbia

A web app that tells you if a movie passes the Bechdel test.

Sebastian DeLuca, BD @ Perfect Price

CareerCamp — Resources for modern young professionals.

James Tomlinson, Ideas & Sales @ Salesstacker.com

Salesstacker.com — a curated list of tools and resources for small sales teams and entrepreneurs looking to up their sales game.

Jesse Adametz, Data @ Graphiq.com

DollarCal — A calendar based view of your future finances.

Sam Wight, Teen meteor developer

Papercrane — a collaborative storytelling application that lets users create amazing and creative stories together.

Andre Paradis, Software Engineer

CommuteWith.Me — a ride sharing planning tool

Aniruddh Agarwal, Web Dev in Training

An app to help cut down on the newsletter noise and clutter in your inbox

Travis Wong, Product Geek & Coder @ Booksrific

An ebook reader app (iOS) + e-commerce platform (web) for books (digital, print) — and release them as an open-source project

Jonas Björklund, med student & creative thinker @ UMC Hamburg

An iOS app to guide you through your mornings and help set up good habits & routines.

Ruslan Maximov, iOS Developer @ HiQ

An app that provide dress up advice in accordance with current weather and forecast (UI/UX designer needed)

Gagan Deep, Coder and runner

A platform where you can find running groups around. It will also show which running group is most active and when do they plan to run next. It will also include tips by runners, admin panel for organizers etc.

Carol Miranda, Software engineering student

A personal trainer management web application.

Stephen Weber, Performance Engineer @ Jive Software

A personalized Twitter-like app that let you record things in a listable, searchable, tag-able format.

Anchit Jain, Geek

A movie recommendation and suggestion website to help you discover non popular movies.

Madhav Sharma

A Netflix-like subscription service for low budget movies and theatre acts.

Yomi Eluwande, Developer at Fusion

An invoicing web app for startups.

Limbu Bobi, Developer

An app that teaches you to learn a limbu language.

Tyler Morgan, UX intern at Owlet

A site or a newsletter that congregates all of the great internships in Utah

Jack, a student interested in building

Interesting & well-designed custom polls.

Sam Matthews, Part-time iOS developer

Build my first iOS app.

Part 2: Creative Content

Rachel D’Erminio, Designer & illustrator by day, author by night

An experimental animation about creativity and artist’s block. I hope to combine stop-motion, hand drawn and 3D animation techniques.

Iftakar Kaysar, Studio Assistant @ Stinkdigital

A Soundcloud page, produce music (Remixes, Originals, Mashups) and reach 10k Followers in 2016. Rock on!

Scott Korchinski, Music Producer

Release 12 original music tracks.

Will Dennis, Video & tech, ideally at the same time

A web series about being abroad when things go wrong. I shoot, edit, and release each episode in a single day every week, for a year.

Luke Pye, Digital Producer, web and UX design

A website that explores a trunk full of 16mm film created and left behind by my grandfather. The website will track the journey I will share with my father as we explore the cinematic treasures left behind and share the vision with for all interested.

Christoph Emch, Digital Consultant at Farner, and a friendly person

A blog about my dead grandfather, whom I never got to know. He was the only Jewish survivor of a little village in eastern Poland. There are fragments of his story found on the web, or told by my mother. Most of it is still blurry. I want to gather the pieces I can find. And put them together.

Ryan Chiles, Marketing @ Graphiq.com

Produce an EP that I can stand behind.

Ryan Colston

Create a visual dance album.

Ron, Student aspirant creator

Finish a draft of a children’s book.

Amit Singh, Web Designer and FrontEnd Web Developer

Launch my portfolio website.

Rashedul Kabir, ICT4D Specialist at BRAC Social Innovation Lab

Build a profile as an author.

Fred Esere, Problem solver & lifelong learner

Read 52 books in the year 2016, and write 500 words every fortnight.

Ethan Lo, Photographer

Upload a vlog every week.

Ann Pierce, Co-founder and CEO @ PhotoFeeler.com

Publish a fiction novel.

Stacey W., Business Developer

Write a novel.


Publish a novel.

Part 3: Educational Content

Ian O’Byrne, Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at the College of Charleston

Building up a class (and then a series of classes) to help make educators “experts” in the use of digital and web literacies in instruction.

Sagar Mehta, Artist, Writer, and CTO

Passionative.co — A weekly podcast talking about creativity, inspiration and the challenges of following your passion.

Emma Humphries, Project management, taxonomizing your bugs, shoegaze and power pop

Adventuresinrenaming.net — A project to help make social platforms name-agnostic, leading to friendlier software that doesn’t go crazy when you change your name.

Matt Sydeworks, Creative Content Hacker

Creative Content Hacking — an online course on a marketing framework

Michael Gasiorek, Editor @ Startup Grind

An online course detailing the 80/20 of lifestyle hacks in one’s body, mind, behaviors, and tribe aimed at entrepreneurs and ambitious young people.

Part 4: Social Influence

Chas Alamo, Peace Corps Volunteer in Peruvian Andes

Peace Corps Doors — Getting peace corps volunteers from around the world to share simple beautiful photos of their front doors.

Paul Steckler, Formerly builder of things, in gap year now

Whalesight.com — Bring together marine mammal experts and casual enthusiasts to help keep oceans healthy.

Jan Smejkal, young entrepreneur from the Czech Republic tackling challenges in China. Co-Director @StartupGrind & Campus Director @HultPrize

A podcast about & with Chinese / Asian entrepreneurs & influencers.

Part 5: Games

Pat, Everything at meatrobot.io

Catchphrase meets Cards Against Humanity. The ultimate party game for people who love competing with their wits.

Penny, Game Developer

A point and click adventure game with seven locations.

Tiantian Xu, UX Designer, UMich Alumni, Doodler, Coffee Lover, Video Gamer

Design and build a game.

Part 6: Miscellaneous

Anna Sircova, Independent researcher, photographer, event organizer, creative thinker and doer

Celebrating Time — A cross-disciplinary and cross-media event about the concept of time in August 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. We aim to build some bridges between academia, entrepreneurs and arts and launch some collaborative projects on the cross-roads of different areas.

Shu Ding, Student web developer in Shanghai

Finish 100 Days UI Challenge with React and Less, and make these components re-useable.

Sophie Exintaris, UX Architect & #seamstressSophie

A Wordpress theme for my blog. To be released to the public in the future.

Nirant Kasliwal, Life long student from BITS Pilani, India

Publish 1 notebook for data science project every month.

Rayna Harris, Scientist, Enabler, Teacher

Create a science inspired pattern for spoon flower, the create stuff with my pattern

Keep in mind that both the idea of the One Side Project per Year Challenge and all the side projects listed here are in very early stage. This challenge is not for everyone — many mentioned that a year might be too long to validate an idea, or what if you meet a dead-end, etc. We are just a group of enthusiastic makers trying to do this as an experiment, and we will record this whole process and reflect upon it as a community as we build those projects — projects that matter to us.

All the makers and writers here would be giving their monthly updates in this publication throughout the year 2016— strategies taken, progress made, lesson learned and more. We are not too sure about how many of us will make it to the end, or how many of the projects here will “make it”. But, we think regardless of the outcome, the recording of this process would provide tremendous value to our fellow side project crafters and entrepreneurs. Follow us follow us to stay posted! :)

We are also creating a slack community to keep in close contact, share our resources, and keep each other accountable. Currently, we are just inviting all the side project makers listed here. But if you want to be part of the community, just find your project or find a convincing reason and send me a direct message @moyicat. We are in an exploratory stage and we welcome all good ideas and like-minded makers/writers/creators.

And lastly, give this article a 💚 recommend if you enjoy reading it, so more people can find out more about the amazing stuff people are creating in 2016…

Next Story — Derailed —but for a good cause.
Currently Reading - Derailed —but for a good cause.

Derailed —but for a good cause.

This is my fifth (should have been my sixth) monthly post from the One Side Project challenge — A trunk of 16mm. You can follow the other chapters here.

I am late with this article…..so so late, but it’s because of a good cause, I promise. You see I am a Co-director of a not-for-profit called Bake Share Care and on July 15th we run an annual event called Baking our Blues Away.

What’s that you ask? Well… cue elevator pitch

Bake Share Care is a not for profit organisation using the power of food to make a positive impact.

We are a bunch of 6 individuals that passionately want to make a difference. We have identified our collective love of food as our conduit to change.

Each year Bake Share Care run and annual event on July 15th called Baking Our Blues Away where we encourage everyone to bake something for someone doing it tough and to strike up a conversation. Baking Our Blues Away primarily focuses on highlighting depression and anxiety, however certainly not exclusively to support those illnesses. At Baking our Blues Away we acknowledge that everyone experiences a bad day/week/year from time to time and it is important to support our community members doing it tough, regardless of the reason.

Baking our Blues Away happens in the heart of the Australian winter, as it is known that this is a tough time of year for many people, both an isolating and lonely time. Our partner beyondblue sees a spike in the use of their services throughout this season. We saw this as a great opportunity to use the simple act of giving to encourage conversation and connection through food and to bring a little winter warmth to both the recipient and the baker.

I encourage you to head to our website for more details on how you can get involved.

So that’s us in a nutshell and somehow I totally forgot how time demanding this can be over the months of May, June and July, totally derailing my side project.

This year we celebrated 5 years of running the event and as a team we wanted to challenge ourselves in our campaign creative and offering for our supporters. And as the team’s resident designer and developer a lot of that output fell to me.

This year we:

  • Created a range of videos shared across our social media channels.
    2016 posters and postcards.
  • Weekly EDMs with recipes from celebrities and stories of support from our community.
  • A wide range of photo shoots, recipe testing and blogging.
  • A donation portal and supporting content.
  • Our first ever Ambassador Michael Klausen from Brasserie Bread come on board and did amazing things for the organisation.
  • Plus so much more

And with all this hard work, we got some great results. We now have a strong, ever growing and active community of bakers and home cooks who are driven in raising awareness on mental health. A community that reaches out and bakes for a friend in need or holds a fundraising event raising money for beyondblue. As a team of friends, it’s amazing to see how our simple idea from 5 years ago has grown. We are a team that is incredibly proud of what we achieved this year and is excited for what’s coming in the next.

So as we wrap up our campaign for 2016, I can now jump back on to my passion project, a trunk of 16mm.

Apologies to Samantha Zhang for missing the deadline, I owe you a cake :)

Feel free to give this article a recommend 💚 if you like it and follow my story on the One Side Project Challenge publication. I will be giving project updates on the 17th of each month.

Luke Pye is a digital producer and web designer — trunkof16mm.com

Next Story — A trunk of 16mm: Making ground.
Currently Reading - A trunk of 16mm: Making ground.

A trunk of 16mm: Making ground.

This is my fourth monthly post from the One Side Project challenge — A trunk of 16mm. You can follow the other chapters here.

Homepage wireframe
Monthly archive wireframe

April has been a really productive month. I finally got to get pen to paper and then mouse to pixel and worked through the wireframes for the Trunk of 16mm experience. It felt really rewarding to finally get some runs on the board for this project.

I know I am not going to set the world on fire with my wireframes, but it has been really great to plot out how I think I can best showcase my vision.

The vision is simple.

It’s purpose is to let Victor’s films and imagery to be the story. To showcase this trunk of 16mm gold to it’s fullest potential.


As I researched for a Trunk of 16mm I came across a couple of memorable websites. I love the way the Epic Ireland website showcases story telling at its core . It uses some beautiful imagery, engaging interaction, but ultimately it is the story telling content that make this site worthwhile revisiting.

Another site I came across was for Design Hotels. The use of video and imagery throughout the site is really interesting and something to consider as I discover what imagery is hidden within the trunk.

Next Steps for May

I am going to refine my wireframes across mobile devices and submit them for a round of feedback from my UXer colleagues and friends. By the end of May I want to have these fully revised and hit June ready to knock up some well researched and reviewed designs.

See you next month.

Feel free to give this article a recommend 💚 if you like it and follow my story on the One Side Project Challenge publication. I will be giving project updates on the 17th of each month.

Luke Pye is a digital producer and web designer — trunkof16mm.com

Next Story — Premade.io: Distracted
Currently Reading - Premade.io: Distracted

Premade.io: Distracted

This is the 4th project update on my journey developing Premade.io and taking the One Side Project challenge. You can find my previous posts here.

Another slow month for myself and most of the One Side Project Challenge community. A third of 2016 had past, and it does feel a little difficult to keep doing the one project we decided in the beginning of the year.

I got seriously distracted into doing the May 1st Reboot for like half a month, then I got food poisoning, and then focused on a hackathon at Graphiq. April quickly past by and I felt I did nothing.

However, it is the time that I feel the value of the One Side Project Challenge. If I didn’t start this challenge, I probably would have put Premade.io on the side and revisit in maybe 3 months. Now, at least I’m recording my failures, leave them behind, and remind myself to get back my focus and do more in May.

Time Spent and Progress Made

Back to what did in April — I did keep developing for Premade.io when I was not as distracted, it just going incredibly slow. So far on the React repo I added the Theme class, and the user can add, edit, and delete a theme. This is the first class I added, so I had to go through and learn all the Redux logic of doing things. Hopefully it will all speed up in May.

Next Steps

Even more realistic, just keep developing Premade.io, and keep focused.

I know this is not much of a helpful post. But give this article a 💚 recommend if you still got encouraged by it. Follow One Side Project Challenge for my future updates and other inspiring side projects.

Next Story — DRSS: Still same
Currently Reading - DRSS: Still same

DRSS: Still same

Well, what do I want to say in this article? I do nothing again. At the first I’d hated myself. For laziness, procrastination, time killing and many more things. Then I thought: what’s wrong with me? From where all these are coming? Of course, I have a primary job with coming deadline, I want to rest on the weekend. But there is something another. Something, that I missed. During rereading my previous articles with purposes, I’d found it.

It is because my large amount of purposes. Do a task, do an another task, do a landing page, work, read a book, sleep, meet with friends. My mind tricked me. It just stops me at the moment. He says: “Hey, Ruslan, look at this new article at NYT, you must read it. Oh, a lot of amazing pictures, see them”. So, you’ve understood me.

And then, I decided to make reduce amount of purposes. To one.


  • Make a landing page

I hope, a single task would not be above the my head.

So, 💚 my post and follow us One Side Project Challenge. My next project updates would be posted on April 12th.
Also, follow me on twitter.

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