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December 8, 2020
Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Emily Veras

We are fortunate to have a vibrant community of hundreds of members from all different places across the globe. We come together to talk about tools, tech, no-code and new ways to make creating & building even more productive than before. 

At Makerpad we love sharing our member’s journey through learning no-code, using new skills in their workplaces, building projects and even launching businesses. 

Each week we’ll be highlighting a member from our community and sharing their story, background and previous projects through our Member Spotlight blog post series.

This week we are chatting to Emily Veras from New York.

Emily is a Product Designer and Founder of Product Design Stack, Goalio and Dawn + Dusk.

Hey Emily, great to have you be part of the Member's Spotlight. Can you give us some background on how you got into no-code? How long have you been using no-code tools and what got you first interested?

I'm a freelance Product Designer and founder of Product Design Stack as well as Dawn + Dusk and Goalio.

I have some basic coding experience but I first learned about no-code this March when I was looking to refresh my portfolio. I, like many others, was unfortunately laid off due to COVID-19 from my job as a Senior Visual Designer - which meant I had to update my portfolio quickly! 

I had experience using WordPress and creating and editing themes, but the customization that I wanted would take me longer than the time I had, I needed to start applying for jobs. 

 

I came across a comment about Webflow, I looked into it and have been obsessed about learning more about it. I was able to finish my portfolio site in just two days all while learning how to use Webflow. I have been hooked ever since. 

Wow, what a huge change for you this year. That’s a great way to get started, having an important project with a deadline and learning as you build! So can you take us through some of the no-code projects have you built in the past and what tools did you use for them?

I started by building my portfolio back in March, which I built on Webflow. 

Then a few months ago I soft-launched Dawn + Dusk which is a twice-daily newsletter that keeps you productive both in the morning and helps you relax at night too! 

The Dawn + Dusk newsletter was inspired by my own routine because switching on and off was starting to become difficult and that can easily lead you down a path of burn out, if you let it. Having both an upbeat and relaxing source of inspiration on a daily basis would set my tone for the day. This was created using Webflow & Mailchimp. 

Then I wanted to create a resource site for Product Designers + UX/UI designers where I aggregated articles and websites based on different categories in that sector. It’s called Product Design Stack and was built using Webflow + Jetboost.

All of your sites have strong visual design and look great! It seems that Webflow has really let you bring great style & branding to your projects. So let's bring things up to the current day, what are you currently working on and what stage is it at?

I recently took part in the Makerpad T30 Challenge, where I created Goalio

At the start of the T30 challenge I just had a glimmer of an idea that I wanted to continue to flesh-out with more research. I guessed that I would change and pivot on the idea during the course of the challenge. It started out small with minimal details but nonetheless, I felt excited! Starting small helped me feel like I was getting somewhere and progressing with the project!

Goalio is a personalized reward-based website that rewards users with gifts for completing their goals every month. It’s a motivational subscription platform that uses Webflow, Memberstack, and Circle.

 

I started with a general idea and a problem statement, that people have a hard time sticking to specific goals. An incentive is usually needed to push through some problems, whether that’s a new opportunity, weight-loss or renewed mental-clarity.

So I setup a Webflow site to make sure that the features I wanted to implement worked well and I made good progress. I could have just continued to build my idea out but I decided it was time to validate it. So I created a short survey and shared it on social media. I received around 35 responses, which was awesome and really useful. From the survey I learned that most people need some motivation and that a lot of people reward themselves after completing any task. 

My general hypothesis of the three major categories that are prone to needing encouragement of life, career, fitness seemed to resonate with the people taking the survey. 60% of people said they would buy something to reward themselves, while 40% preferred a free experience as a reward. Overall, it was pretty successful feedback!

The next steps were to gather more validation and create a sitemap, wire-frames, mind-maps and work my way towards high-definition mock-ups.

Goalio was designed to be a personalized positive reinforcement system that helps people complete their goals by providing rewards and a like-minded community too. I decided to focus on the fitness category to start with. I started adding to the site by setting up various pages, adding content and images. I also used Circle for the community. It was great to get things up and running. 

I have had some really fantastic feedback and support from the no-code community and always love chatting with people who have additional insights, feedback, or thoughts on the concept & design. 

With Goalio the rewards you get are determined by the category you sign up for. For example, for the fitness category the "reward" could be anything from a workout towel, personalised water bottle or sports wear. 

I had the idea because I personally like to reward myself after completing or working towards a goal. Goal setting and keeping can be hard! The idea stemmed from me treating myself each time I worked out. Right after a workout, I would go to buy something like lipstick or blouse. After a while, I would work out just to treat myself. Of course, all those small items add up after a while! Having a subscription like Goalio would have probably saved me money while still keeping me motivated too.

The business model is to spend some of the membership fee on each user, each month. I'm using Printful for print-on-demand products. They do have a pretty large selection to choose from which is great but can be limited in certain categories. 

Over time it will grow into a larger personalized reward system that users can use to keep them on track to realizing their goals. 

You’ve gone through lots of project stages in a really short time, from ideation, validation, research and design. Are there any other projects you’ve enjoyed working on recently? Also thinking more of the future, what are you looking forward to seeing happen in the no-code space in the years to come? 

In addition to Goalio I have been working on other projects too! I have been working on all of these ventures simultaneously, learning as I go! I have also been experimenting with what I call "creative no-coding," which is just semi-freestyling Webflow based sites. 

The last creative no-code example I did was a Webflow site based on the Notorious B.I.G's career - NotoriousBIG. I grew up in the 90's and relied on his music and other 90's hits heavily throughout college. Developing the site also helped me learn how to use Webflow animations.

I am really excited for what's to come for no-code; I think the opportunities are endless, and its trajectory is mind-blowing. I hope to see more people becoming aware of what no-code can do and continue to see this community grow, which is what I most appreciate about this space. 

 

 The Makerpad community feels very welcoming, and I am always excited to learn more about no-code. 

It’s great to hear your progress during this year and that we get to follow along with your journey and updates in the Makerpad community. Before we go, do you have a favourite no-code tool? And what's the next no-code tool you're thinking of trying out?

My favorite right now is Webflow! I build lots of my projects using Webflow.
The next thing I’ll be learning is bubble. I am looking forward to diving deeper into bubble soon!

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Emily. We look forward to hearing more about your journey soon! 

Keep an eye open for our next Member Spotlight blog post coming soon!

 


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