How It’s Made

Insight into the making of Cushion and the thought process behind building an app from scratch.

Design

Restructuring an Evolving App: Part 1

Jan 23, 2018

Cushion is coming up on 4 years soon. With the anniversary approaching, I’ve been reflecting a lot. I think about how this side project has become my full-time job. I think about how I’ve been able to employ people. I think about how incredibly far we’ve come since the original idea of Cushion.

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Story

My Typical Week as a Startup Founder

Apr 14, 2017

Most of this journal’s posts were written as the result of a random thought that was worth writing about. I’d like to continue this, but also focus on what others are curious about. One of the most common questions I get is what my day-to-day looks like running Cushion. Since I wear many hats as the founder, designer, developer, support person, and now manager, I try to fill a lot into the week. Writing this down will be a good exercise for me as well to recognize any areas where I can improve.

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Dev

Building Components in a Sandbox

Apr 07, 2017

Recently, we started looking for a front-end dev to take some weight off my shoulders. We published a job listing that describes the position and how we work. It also includes the steps for our hiring process. After a short interview to simply discuss the applicant’s background and interests, we invite them to do a paid “assignment”. The assignment is to have them build one of our existing AngularJS components in Vue.js, which we’re in the process of migrating to. The assignment reveals if they can 1) code, 2) communicate, 3) match a screenshot, and 4) learn on-the-go. I created a private repo for the assignment, so there’s also 5) know how to use version control.

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Dev

Reactive Time with Vue.js

Mar 29, 2017

Now that we’re diving into the day-to-day with time-tracking in Cushion, accurately indicating the current time and date is very important. As a timer runs, its duration should increase, but it should also grow in the graph as time passes. Likewise, as the current day carries over to the next day, the interface should update to reflect that today of a moment ago is now yesterday. Before reactive frameworks like Vue.js, this was a considerable task, but now it couldn’t be easier.

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Dev

Visualizing Daylight Saving Time

Mar 23, 2017

Earlier this week, we launched the day graph for Cushion’s time-tracking beta. Previously, Cushion only had a week graph, which would let you add time throughout the week or start a timer, but there wasn’t much of a visual for when the entry occurred. Now, with the day graph, people can focus on a single day with labels for each hour.

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Archive

  1. Restructuring an Evolving App: Part 1
    Design
  2. My Typical Week as a Startup Founder
    Story
  3. Building Components in a Sandbox
    Dev
  4. Reactive Time with Vue.js
    Dev
  5. Visualizing Daylight Saving Time
    Dev
  6. Recording Screencast GIFs
    Dev
  7. Writing a Job Listing
    Story
  8. Using Feature Flags to Run Betas
    Dev
  9. Our First Company Lunch
    Story
  10. How to embed Vue.js & Vuex inside an AngularJS app... wait what?
    Dev
  11. Funding Cushion
    Story
  12. Hiring a Team of Freelancers
    Story
  13. Taking a Real Break From Work
    Story
  14. Slack as a Notification Center
    Dev
  15. Document Your Features
    Story
  16. 300
    Story
  17. Vacations
    Design
  18. Offering Discounts
    Design
  19. Waves of Traffic
    Story
  20. Less Blogging, More Journaling
    Story
  21. Retention Through Useful Features
    Design
  22. The Onboarding Checklist
    Design
  23. Spreading the Word
    Story
  24. From Beta to Launch - The Subdomain
    Dev
  25. From Beta to Launch - Sign up
    Design
  26. From Beta to Launch - Messaging
    Design
  27. Launch
    Story
  28. Authenticating with 3rd Party Services
    Dev
  29. Intro to Integrations
    Design
  30. Inspiration vs Imitation
    Story
  31. The Emotional Rollercoaster
    Story
  32. Designing Project Blocks
    Design
  33. Everything in Increments
    Story
  34. Deleting Your Account
    Design
  35. Designing the Subscription Page
    Design
  36. Rewriting the Timeline
    Dev
  37. Restructuring the Individual Project Page
    Design
  38. Project Blocks
    Story
  39. Redesigning the Homepage
    Design
  40. Multiple Timelines
    Design
  41. Archiving and Estimate Differences
    Design
  42. Multiple Financial Goals
    Design
  43. Zooming in on the Timeline
    Design
  44. Currency
    Dev
  45. Preferences, Accounts, and a Typeface Change
    Design
  46. Sending Out the First Email
    Story
  47. Currency Inputs, Notifications, and Invoice Nets
    Design
  48. Dots and Lines
    Design
  49. Calculating in the Database and Revealing Tendencies
    Dev
  50. Improved Form UX
    Design
  51. Cushion is Online
    Story
  52. Schedule Timeline Patterns
    Design
  53. A Slimmer Schedule Timeline
    Design
  54. The Schedule Timeline
    Design
  55. Plugging in Real Data for the First Time
    Design
  56. Transitions and Project Lists
    Design
  57. Death to Modals
    Design
  58. The Individual Project Page
    Design
  59. Estimated Incomes and Talks with Other Freelancers
    Story
  60. Statuses to Lists and the Paid Beta
    Story
  61. The Timeline
    Story
  62. Invoice Terminology
    Dev
  63. Modal Forms
    Dev
  64. Wiring the Backend to the Frontend
    Dev
  65. Balancing Design and Dev
    Story
  66. Timecop, Monocle, and Vagrant
    Dev
  67. Going with Ruby and Sinatra
    Dev
  68. Ditching local-first and trying out Node.js
    Dev
  69. Switching to AngularJS
    Dev
  70. Building the Table with Vue.js
    Dev
  71. Clients, Projects, and Invoices
    Dev
  72. Introduction
    Story

Ask a Freelancer

A podcast series where experienced freelancers answer questions about freelancing.

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Talking Shop

An interview series where we talk to freelancers about important topics in the freelance world.

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Running Costs

Take a close look at the costs that go into running a web app and why we use specific services.

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How It’s Made

Follow along with the journal for insight into the overall experience of building an app.

Read the Journal