How my side project became a real project

How my side project became a real project from UIGarage
Philippe Hong

Updated on October 20, 2016

I’m thrilled to announce the Version 2 of my side project UI Garage which is going to look really good! Some great stuff is coming and I can’t wait for you guys to start using it. But first of all, I want to tell you a bit about the story behind UI Garage, the passion and the struggle with the good and the bad (mostly good).

The struggle

Before UI Garage, I was struggling to find good and specific inspiration for UI and UX design. I’m a product designer and inspiration is one of the key factors to make great design. I used to spend a huge amount of time, going through design inspiration websites like Dribbble, Behance etc but I always ended up screenshotting my mobile phone or my laptop most of the time, because most of the design inspirations weren’t relevant and specific enough for what I was looking for. But above all, I also always ended up putting all the screens into some random folders on my desktop, so I’m sure I’ll never find it after when I’ll need it… 😒

So I told myself, “why not put all these screens into a simple website so I’ll be able to search and find it later on?”. So the idea started here.


MVP means “minimum valuable product”. It’s basically a product with just the basic and necessary features to be launched. You can learn more about this on the web.

So I started my MVP by creating a single and simple website with Tumblr. Which allowed me to post easily and search my previous posts. It was free and easy to customize, so I gave it a go.

To be honest I spent 1 or 2 days crafting the website so I can use it straight away. I used a theme that kind of fit my needs. And I started posting.

So basically everyday, I posted 10–20 screens on my website. It was kind of easy because I was already doing this with my job. I uploaded it for about 2 months and started to get a pretty good database of screens.

How my side project became a real project from UIGarage

First version on UIGarage

Time to make it public

I kept UI Garage for myself at the beginning (selfish). I didn’t think people would actually like it. But when I started showing the website to some friends, they were pretty excited and told me to publish it. So I put the website on Product Hunt with my friend Michael Wong to see if they were right.

How my side project became a real project from UIGarage

The next morning on Product Hunt

We were pretty surprised when we woke up the next morning and saw all the notifications on my mobile. People liked the product and the idea. UI garage was 1st position on Product Hunt, we couldn’t believe it, and we still don’t. But in fact, it pushed and motivated us even more, to actually continue and build this little side project to become a real website for designers.

What’s next on UI Garage

I moved the Tumblr website to a proper WordPress so I can customize it and build a real website. I improved the filtering capabilities so people can now search and filter easily by checking multiple categories at the same time. This means you can do quite complex and advanced filtering 😎.

How my side project became a real project from UIGarage

Selecting different categories

A lot more features are coming. But my hope at the end is that UI Garage can become a real design community website where people can find very specific inspiration and share their experiences.

I hope you guys like the new website. If you have any ideas or have any suggestions please don’t hesitate to send a message through twitter or email. But keep in mind that I’m doing all this on my free time, so it can take some time to build it 😉.

Philippe from UI Garage