John da Maia

Building Makers and Zecoda Joined about 7 years ago

  • 9 stories
  • 25 comments
  • 4 upvotes
  • Posted to From Figma to website with one click. Fully responsive., Oct 13, 2021

    Makers is a Figma Plugin to help you build and publish websites directly in Figma. No code required.

    If you are interested, join our early access list at https://makers.so

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  • Posted to A Figma Plugin to publish sites directly in Figma | DEMO, in reply to Tyson Kingsbury , Sep 15, 2021

    Thanks for the support Tyson!

    Great question! My priority as a solo founder is to provide the best product as soon as possible. Having said that, I'm finishing the MVP and it will be limited in features. So, for now the responsive will be automatic, according to the number of columns (like Bootstrap or Bulma). In the future I'll allow users to 'connect' up to three screen sizes (desktop, tablet and phone) per page.

    However, I do have the intention of always be building more features according to the community's feedback. I've just added your two suggestions to a backlog of next features (1. manage responsiveness and 2) animations or parallax).

    I hope this approach makes sense to you. Let me know :)

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, it was great feedback!

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  • Posted to Free (do whatever you want) handpicked illustrations for your designs, Dec 30, 2020

    Hey DN, I'm excited to share this one.

    As a web developer and designer I'm always looking to simplify my messages with illustrations. According to Simon Thorpe et al [0], it takes people an average of 150ms for a picture to be processed and 100ms more to understand its meaning. This means we can convey our message much easier with some kind of visual system.

    The process of finding and using illustrations frustrates me. I'm never sure if I'm infringing copyrights or if I have to add confusing attributions to the artist or platform... I've found several interesting libraries but .svg format (where I can change the illustrations to fit my needs) is often paid.

    So - as a designer I have a bunch of illustrations sitting on my hard drive - I decided to make ilustra [1] this weekend to give them away for free [2] and help solve this problem.

    I'd love to get your honest feedback. Is this needed?

    [0] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/14567385_Speed_of_Processing_in_the_Human_Visual_System [1] https://ilustra.io [2] https://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/

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  • Posted to The easiest way to build websites with no code, Dec 21, 2020

    Founder here. Because of our first product ("design to code" platform) [1], we've been talking to customers (mainly web agencies and small business owners) about what would be the easiest way to build and launch websites. The goal was to question the whole software development process and value chain. We were getting one consistent answer: "I've always worked this way". For us this was an opportunity to dive deep on this problem.

    Why should you have to design first in a specific design tool? Why go from "design to code" in the first place? Many startups have questioned this and built great tools to help solve the problem (Webflow, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc etc).

    This seems like a solved problem, right?

    Well, it turns out people want something simpler... like the document tool they use everyday for virtually everything [2]. This was the moment we decided to focus 100% on a new tool, like an everyday document, that also allowed users to build and launch websites.

    To be honest the product is still in an early stage. There are basic features that aren't implemented (like version history, multi-page websites or collaboration). Even at this stage I think this can help some people. Please let me know if you have any questions [3].

    Also, the statement "the easiest way to build websites" is, of course, intended for non technical people. The high level goal here is to create a platform that helps non technical people to create software in an easy and familiar way.

    Were you also surprised by the outcome of our customer interviews?

    [1] https://www.designernews.co/stories/103636-turn-sketch-files-into-frontend-code-automatically

    [2] We interviewed 63 customers. By the way, I was amazed and completely surprised about this conclusion.

    [3] Start with a template: https://zecoda.com/templates

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  • Posted to My journey to build a Text Editor that allows you to create software with no code, in reply to Luca Benazzi , Nov 03, 2020

    Thanks for the suggestion, like it!

    I'm currently finishing a sprint where I'll show examples, templates and allow user to publish their projects with custom domains. Hopefully will be more straightforward and obvious what to do with Zecoda.

    I'll study the best way to improve the UX on Log in error. Thanks for the side note.

    If any questions pop up or you'd like to discuss anything else, you can drop me a note at john [at] zecoda [dot] com

    1 point
  • Posted to My journey to build a Text Editor that allows you to create software with no code, in reply to Luca Benazzi , Oct 28, 2020

    Hey Luca, thanks so much for your feedback.

    The goal is exactly that. To easily build applications from a familiar UI. Integrations are a must! We are currently working on integrating Google Sheets. Already added Contentful to our backlog, thanks for the tip :)

    I have to apologise for the current not so good UX. We are lacking focus in the way we present the product. I'm iterating to have clear use cases with templates to help users getting started. It's just takes time, I'm a solo founder currently.

    Regarding the bugs I'd like to understand them better. When logging in are your presented with a "Welcome to Zecoda" project?

    You are not the first person saying "Text editor" misleading. I'll definitely review it. Any suggestion? :)

    1 point
  • Posted to I created an AI to build sites for me. From side project to revenue, in reply to Adam Fisher-Cox , Dec 06, 2019

    Thanks Adam. We are working on an Examples page to help our potential customers decide if Zecoda if a good fit for them. The beauty of Zecoda is that the code is absolutely easy to work with and highly maintainable - remember we have human validation in the end to have precisely that guarantee.

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  • Posted to I created an AI to build sites for me. From side project to revenue, Nov 28, 2019

    Founder here, again [1]. In August I’ve shared a side project that partially converted Sketch files into front-end code with the help of deep learning. Because of the feedback I got here and the number of early access requests I decided to open a private Beta in September.

    It was the best decision I’ve ever made. In the last 3 months I found too many bugs and had incorrect assumptions. But learned so much because of all manual validation required to deliver projects. I now understand better my target market. Most importantly I’ve learned from actual paying customers [2].

    We still don’t have the whole process 100% automated though. We are delivering projects, on average, within 48 hours (too much time IMHO). Our goal is to decrease the delivery time for 12 hours in the next quarter. To achieve this we need more training data and a better human validation workflow.

    Because we have more under control - but really far from knowing it all - we are ready to launch publicly. Zecoda it’s a payed product because:

    • We still have human validation
    • We are solving a real world problem that has intrinsic value
    • We are in the business of making our customers happy and will never ship bad code

    What we guarantee is that, if you are unhappy with the results, we'll refund you. Hopefully we’ll be able to open a free tier in the future. Just need to reduce human verification to the minimum.

    I’d love to hear your feedback and questions. This time you can actual try it :)

    We can be more productive without repetitive tasks.

    1. Sign up: https://zecoda.com/register
    2. Demo: https://zecoda.com/#demo
    3. Follow our journey: https://twitter.com/zecodahq

    PS - Have a great Thanksgiving everybody!

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