Tools, tools, and tools. Which tools to use?

How I built a music showcase website with a WordPress slider plugin.

In the recent years, there was a massive wave of new design tools, new development tools, new frameworks, new prototyping tools and loads of people debating that you should use this because of “x” or you should use that because of “y”. It is pretty confusing I know, at least it was like this for me and still is.

Most of the times I am amazed on how fellow industry criticize others, whatever they might do, or try to do, so…

Here’s a short clip from a favorite musician of mine which tells people how important choosing tools really is in every medium:

Sorry because I haven’t quoted a famous designer.

What I’ve built:

WhoHears.com it’s a place where people can discover rare music gems which most probably are not finding on any popular music platforms like iTunes or Spotify or you didn’t even know that kind of music exists.

Our view of music it’s a little bit different. We believe that music shouldn’t be like McDonald’s.

Basically, everything you see here it’s built with a WordPress slider plugin. This was built most probably when you were still thinking if AngularJS, ReactJS or EmberJS.

Don’t get me wrong, thinking about which platform to use, what is the best case scenario, how you’re gonna scale this and so on, are important but not when you’re trying to validate an idea. Nobody cares about the tools you’ve used if they like it you’re gonna know it, for sure.

This is the marvelous WordPress slider plugin:

What was my thinking behind it:

I’ve always had a curiosity to dig for ‘interesting’ music, to not settle behind one musical genre to say so. This project came to life from a personal frustration to say so because I’ve always had the impression that people are missing the really interesting part of the music and they are consuming it just like a burger at McDonald’s.

What I did, technically:

  1. Installed WordPress (it’s just a click of a button on every decent hosting provider)
  2. It just works!!!
  3. Installed Slider Revolution plugin (1–2 hours minutes to install it and configure it the way I wanted)
  4. Voila!

Now I have a system where I can automatically add Youtube videos without scrambling through code or pay xxxx amount of money to have a stand-alone personalized product to do basically the same thing.

And ironically enough, this idea got me like 200 subscribers and a pretty decent amount of traffic without doing any promo and another product which I was working on for a veryyy long time, testing platforms, investing $$$$ just to make it work on a native platform(ioS), exchanging ideas constantly, trying to perfect the code, making everything pixel-perfect, was in the end worth for nothing. Almost no one is using it.

Honestly, it took a lot of time for me to understand this, I’ve made many mistakes along the way, but at least now I know that no one gives a shit about what you went through building something or if you use WordPress or AngularJS.

If you want to impress fellow developers then use AngularJS, if you don’t care about impressing your industry colleagues then you can use whatever makes your job easier.

I saw a tweet recently from Jeff Sheldon in which he says:

Becoming a better designer is all about refining how you see things. Tools are easy to learn. Training your eye takes time.

I think he got it right. You should too. For me, it took a lot of time, and I learned by making stupid mistakes. You can avoid this type of mistakes.

Thank you for reading!

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