Few mistakes I made creating & launching ImpressKit

When looking back at the past months, there are a few things I wish I would do differently.

Published: Oct. 11, 2021

Writing about your own mistakes isn't particularly fun, but I hope this will make for interesting reading. If nothing else, hopefully, I will remember these lessons for my following projects.

Going with a dark theme

I don't exactly remember why did I choose to have a dark theme for the project. Perhaps because the vibrant pink looked pretty nice on the dark background, and I thought that if I had just a single theme, it would be better to have a dark one.

Now I have realized that dark-only websites are not that common. Another issue is that possibly offering also a light theme will be challenging. If I do it automatically, many people will suddenly see the entire project in a light theme. I think a switch from light to dark is much more manageable than vice versa.

Another thing is that designing for dark mode is more challenging. Especially for me, because I don't consider myself a proper "designer." Font weight works differently on dark backgrounds, and I had difficulty coming up with secondary and tertiary background colors.

Keeping the project secret

It now seems obvious that I should talk about this from the start. It wasn't that I was afraid someone would "steal" my idea but more that I wanted to show something that was at least somewhat polished and ready for use.

I worked on ImpressKit from April 2021 and launched the very first public version in early June 2021. In that time, I could have written a few blog posts, gotten the project out there, and possibly found devs interested in using it.

Not knowing enough CSS

CSS is one of the first technologies I ever worked with as a developer. I think it is almost ten years since I wrote my first line of CSS, but I never learned it properly. I always felt that I knew enough for my needs and ignored modern aspects like CSS Grid and similar.

Not knowing enough CSS made some parts of ImpressKit non-responsive, and I had quite a few sizing issues due to my limited knowledge of CSS.

Working on Indie Apps Catalog some months later, when I spent a reasonable amount of time learning CSS, was a much more pleasant experience. So if you are in a similar position - starting a web-based project with limited CSS knowledge - I encourage you to invest time to learn the basic and essential stuff properly. It will pay dividends.

Btw I can recommend the Conquering Responsive Layouts course - it's free and super.

Not enough planning for marketing/launch

I am not sure how vital launches for a product like this are, but I had no idea how to continue once I launched it.

There were many things that I needed to add, so I was a bit hesitant to share it, at least on Twitter, and try to get some people to use it.

I had a bit of success reaching out to devs I knew on Twitter via DMs and also tried some "cold DMs" that weren't successful. Also, possibly sending a link to the project meant that Twitter filtered these DMs even more, and Twitter stuffed them under the "Show more" button.

Thanks for reading!

Filip Němeček profile photo

WRITTEN BY

Filip Němeček @nemecek_f

iOS blogger and developer with interest in Python/Django. My recent projects include IndieAppsCatalog and ImpressKit.

iOS blogger and developer with interest in Python/Django. My recent projects include IndieAppsCatalog and ImpressKit.