This is not another design case study. This is a culture shift I experienced first hand by crowd sourcing design iterations, and launching a product to 100% organic 50k+ users.

How I built an app through TikTok comments.

I was trying to show my skills and grow my client-base by making some time-lapse UI content on TikTok. Then a comment came asking to turn a plant tracker concept into a to-do list.

Within 3 hours, I had a revised to-do list concept, animated and to a trending song (I later named those "feature trailers").

The comments rolled in asking for features, people had great insights and incredible ideas and slowly I learned to pull more out of people through commenting.

Little did I know, I was Building in Public.

Work Completed

Product Design, Rapid Prototyping, Iterative reworks with Build in Public loop, Branding, Development of beta, Product Management of the native apps, Marketing & Content production to 60k installs in the first quarter.



Task Completion


Lives Changed

At least 1 (mine)

The Idea: An ADHD To-Do List App.

Customization leads to Optimization

From the initial re-design, I planned to have customizable list layouts that you could drag and drop.

  • For habits and other tasks that happen regularly, you'd use the side-scrolling Short Cards.
  • For plans and to-do lists, you'd use the Checklist layout.
  • For big reminders that happen often and are very important, you'd use the Large Card.

How it ended up centered on ADHD.

Color Customization

Early on, I got a lot of requests for making the lists different colors. This lead to a focus on customization not only through layouts, but also in style. Different colors mean different things.

Tabbed Sections

The request for Tabs came early and was also very impactful on the experience. With Tabs, you could have different Tabs for different activities and routines in your life. Based on time of day, Tabs would appear "front-of-the-line" and so could your lists.

*Customization Leads to Focus

The most powerful feedback loop imaginable:

✅ Beta web app out in less than 30 days

✅ 6,000 Users in the first week

✅ Went viral with my first 1m view video about... confetti.

This was a lightbulb moment for me about how to Build in Public.

Now, I don't have ADHD. At times designing this app I felt like what Nir Eyal says about the Peddlers (if a product helps users, but it's used by the one who makes it). But, having the community there to crowd source feedback with made it so easy to work with. The biggest thing was that I had to keep making new concepts to test with, see what people had to say about it or if it sparked ideas, iterate, and start again.

Onboarding Rework

The day of launch, we had 15,000 new users. But less than 10,000 tasks created.

After doing user interviews and looking through the data, I realized the issue TaskTree was a fully customizable tool, but in that customization, it took a bit of work to setup.

By the end of the week, we had Tab Templates launched which let users choose to work from a template of pre-built List layouts. This was further refined by giving users a tutorial video along with CTAs to create a tab template.

Build in Public is the best tool to rapid prototype. Classic UX processes is the best tool to optimize a built product.

My biggest Takeaway:

Build in Public is the best tool to rapid prototype. Classic UX processes is the best tool to optimize a built product.

This project changed the way I look at product development. And while building it out, I thought it'd be able to go on forever, but after launching I realized just how important doing traditional UX studies is.

People collaborating look at new products rose-colored-glasses, but in the end those products need to be optimized to get them to move.

The New Feedback Loop:

  1. Perform user testing
  2. Determine a new test from the insights.
  3. Create a prototype
  4. Share it with the community of build in public collaborators.
  5. Refine the concept based on feedback.
  6. Build it into the product.
  7. Repeat.

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