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December 1, 2020
Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Travis Boatright

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 Travis Boatright from Alexandria, Virginia.

Travis is an Experience Designer, he has recently built filterd.xyz and he shares his projects & writing on travisboatright.com

 

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

I am an experience designer based in Virginia, USA. I love making things whether it’s just designing, coding, or no-coding!

I became a designer because I’m interested in making an impact on how people experience the world. I believe that design can help bridge communities together. I am currently working as an experience designer building out ideas in the agriculture industry. I self identify as a maker and learner, I always look at my present as potential.

Problem solving is what I enjoy the best about design. That’s similar to no-code. When I speak about design, I believe it to be a process to solve problems and communicate a solution. The purpose of design is to help connect people. To make something people connect with a brand, product, or experience, is a magically powerful tool. Understanding the diversity of a community we are designing for is the starting point for creating serendipitous moments within an experience. 

I am pretty new to no-code. Day-to-day my focus is more on UX and UI. I have used some light prototyping tools, but they are very different since there is no tech or data. 

So really this past September was the first time playing with real no-code tools! I participated in the Makerpad T30 Challenge, I had such a great month building with everyone in the community! Thanks to Makerpad for the inspiration and for organizing everything!

That was a great time to join! The T30 Challenge had a fantastic response, it seems like an ideal introduction to no-code. So can you take us through the no-code project you built. What does it do, why did you build it and what tools did you use for it?

Filter’d is the product I worked on for the month of September as part of the T30 Challenge. It’s my first major no-code project, it’s a social coffee community. The idea of it was to create a social community around brewing specialty coffee. I liked the idea of being able to find coffee, but also I wanted to provide tools and guides for better brewing at home too. 

I used Glide to build out the app. I have just started learning Glide and have been loving it so far. I really enjoyed the process. I could really focus on the UX of Filter'd without having to worry about front-end or back-end code, or really the UI for the most part.

The app lets you set your own profile, including your favourite coffee roaster and brew method. It also allows people to post their setups, what types of coffee machine they are using or any tools and gadgets the have! The Glide app also has an Explore feature that lets people browse recently added coffee. It also allows the user to keep a library of all the different posts they’ve added. There is a recipe section where the community can post images and instructions on a particular brewing method. I have a pour over ratio tool where the user can input how much coffee they are making and find how much water to use to brew at a certain ratio.

I also built out a Filter'd Landing Page using Notion + Super. It is a place for me to organise my thoughts. It helped me to keep track of my updates and progress during the challenge! It’s good to be able to go back and see how the project progressed, what I had broken and how I fixed it within the app. Also seeing screenshots of early designs makes me see how much the app design has changed! 

I also spent some time on the Filter’d brand which was fun to refine and helped me to decide on the vision and mission for it too. It helps to back up why this brand and product exists. Overall the aim is to bring people into a community they’ve never been a part of before. The Filter’d vision is to connect people through a community to share and explore specialty coffee. The mission is to make specialty coffee more accessible through community. Coffee is for everyone!

 

It sounds like no-code tools let you focus on the parts of the project you enjoyed most! So let's bring things up to the current day, what are you currently working on and what stage is it at?

Throughout the challenge I received some great feedback for ideas and tweaks from other specialty coffee drinkers and also people who build brewing products in the coffee industry. I am looking forward to possibly building on this idea more in future. 

Filter'd is being worked on loosely. I really enjoyed doing research, finding a potential market fit, and doing an analysis of the coffee industry. I would say Filter'd was just a test or exploration into some of my findings. I think it could be retired, but I have some things up my sleeve that I have been brewing.

I have come to a place where I am pretty happy with the way things turned out. I think the app is in a happy spot and I have built out the Notion pages that I want to support it. I recorded a little video walk-through for the app too!

 

It’s great to produce a self-contained project that you can learn from and keep live that doesn’t require constant support or maintenance. Thinking more of the future, what are you looking forward to seeing happen in the no-code & design spaces in the years to come? 

I hope to see the no-code space create jobs. I think about how many small businesses could use no-code tools with their low cost. How rapid prototyping can speed up development. I also think no-code is a great way to teach design and development.

As I dive deeper into my design career, I am understanding that there will never be an absolute truth within design. This allows for questioning, critique, openness, and for people to bring their own flavor to our world. All people should have a chance to use design to help serve them.

 

Hopefully more companies will champion no-code in the workplace in future! Especially those companies that make no-code tools themselves. Do you have a favourite no-code tool? And what's the next no-code tool you're thinking of trying out?

I really enjoyed Glide, mostly because of the constraints it has. It was very easy to learn. It has been super fun and super awesome to learn Glide, as a tool I can use as a UX designer. I’ll be using it to do rapid prototyping with developers in the future, which I’m very excited about. 

I am really intrigued with Bubble though. It’s more complex and there is some amazing work being done with it!

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Travis. 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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