I joined Selim and Mugeeb at CreatorSpace, which was the name at the time, to help creators show the products they've built and find others who do the same.
After redesigning the whole product and talking to many early users, we noticed a problem. People had to spend a lot of effort and time to write long form posts from scratch, and didn't even get much in return because the platform was still unknown.
So we sat down and decided to pursue a different path first.
For the next four weeks, we designed and built a completely new product from scratch. It allows you to build a beautiful personal page by just pasting in all your links from around the web.
We decided to call it Bento, a nod to the grid layout of bento sushi boxes.
We received an amazing response when we launched in mid-december. People couldn't wait to try it out and use Bento as their new link-in-bio.
I joined Trade Republic when the team was just 25 people and have worked closely with the CEO Christian Hecker for almost three years.
Probably the most impactful out of the countless things I’ve designed was a 3-step user flow to set up an ETF savings plan.
By now, millions of people have went through this flow as their very first entry into longterm investing. It's been at the center of a newfound popularity of the stock market across Germany and Europe.
Later, I spent about a year building our web platform from scratch with a small, dedicated team of engineers.
My work ranged from getting buy-in for the product from the CEO, down to designing the navigation and layout structure, drawing all the icons myself and writing most of the copy language.
Over more than three years, I’ve witnessed a small team grow into one of the most valuable startups in Europe, learned invaluable lessons in building products with people, and figured out how to hire a team.
I’ve also formed friendships with people that’ll live on long after my time at Trade Republic.
When Apple introduced widgets to iOS in 2020, Silvan Dähn and I started working on a little app that allowed you to send pictures into a widget on your friends homescreens.
One of the core ideas was to have the widget be the center of the experience, and show things like replies and reactions right inside the widget.
It’s quite challenging to fit all this information into such a limited space while maintaining hierarchy, but it was a ton of fun.
The concept of widget photo sharing was totally unique, and we got featured in multiple publications.
In early 2022, an app called “Locket” made it to the top of the App Store charts with exactly the same concept. They have since raised over $12M from big name angel investors.
In hindsight, we should have started marketing the app on TikTok much sooner. Nontheless, it’s great to see the potential our little side project had, and how we were ahead of time.
We stopped developing Magnets further, but many of my friends and family members continue to use the app because they love being surprised by new photos from their friends when unlocking their phone.
Thanks to Priidu Zilmer, who took a chance on me so early in my career, I joined a team of experienced Designers at Wire to build a messaging app for consumers.
Over my two years at the company, I was able to lead the design on the first pieces of software I ever helped ship, including a redesigned call experience, mentions, and direct replies.
I learned about the importance of clear specs & documentation, how to prioritise features, and work with incredibly design-minded engineers to implement complex specifications.
Designing a well working markdown composer and parser, or a notification system that can easily handle a combination of direct replies, normal messages, and mute settings, was incredibly complicated and rewarding.
Wire gave me the trust I needed to prove myself as a designer, and helped me learn the things that would be critical for the next steps of my career.
The office also had a pretty cool rooftop terrace.
After posting my early design work on Dribbble, I got contacted by the folks at Splash, which led to my first gig as Product Designer.
We were working on an app to capture and share 360° photos. I prototyped tons of ideas for how to make the capture process as easy as possible, and how to display "spatial" likes and comments on an infinite photo.
While we never shipped anything, I got a first glimpse into the world of Product Design and met great people like Louis Currie and Felix Niklas.
I also experienced first hand how important focus is when building products from scratch.