It's been awhile: Life + design update

leaf emoji on a green background

Wow… It’s been ages since I last wrote.

A lot has happened. And I want to share some updates on my end.


Not Just Pixels was one of the best projects I started as a design student. What started as a simple idea turned into 37 episodes and over 1K followers. I got to talk to and learn from so many incredible designers.

But, I have decided to pause the production indefinitely. You probably already noticed it since my last episode was published 7 months ago. And I didn’t have time to “announce” it until now.

Not Just Pixels podcast thumbnail

Why I stopped

The main reason that I’m stopping is simple:

Editing is too painful and time-consuming.

For me, it takes about three times the episode length to edit. So, if an episode is 45 minutes, it’ll take me around 135 minutes (2 hours and 15 minutes).

And when you do that for 37 episodes plus procrastination, trust me - some fatigue will kick in. And that’s what happened to me:

I realized my time is much better spent working on my design craft and designing than editing.


But, I still have some guest recordings left.

At first, I reached out to the guests asking if they were fine with me turning the recordings into articles. And they all said yes.

Yet, as time went on, my life was still hectic. So I never got around to doing that. And recently, I decided that I don’t have the bandwidth to continue.

So, I messaged them again that I won’t be able to continue. And thankfully, they were all very supportive and kind.

Thank you

To everybody who listened to at least one episode of Not Just Pixels, thank you. This was my first time creating a podcast from scratch. So any feedback and kind words meant a lot to me.

Side Project - Inko Cat

Last summer, my friend Ian reached out to me about a productivity tool he’s building called Inko Cat.

1st version of Inko Cat, a productivity tool. There's a side navigation with a list of tasks sorted by date

To caveat - Ian is the most insane engineer I’ve worked with. Seriously, I feel spoiled as a designer working with him. He really cares about the details, implements the designs well, and does so in god speed. He’s always my go-to engineer for any side projects.

But at first, I was a bit hesitant. I wasn’t sure about the idea. I didn’t know how my upcoming semester in London would work out.

Yet, seeing his enthusiasm for the idea, I decided to go for it. It went through a lot of iterations. It started from a simple AI todo to what it is now:

A productivity tool that gives you the blocks to create any workspace you want.

final version of Inko Cat, a productivity tool. There's a side navigation several blocks such as lists and calendar

We’re super proud of what we built (website). And for me, this was the project for me. I got full design ownership, and it was the first project I focused on craft.

And the best part? It’s actually shipped, and I use it every day.

A gallery of different blocks in Inko Cat including calendar, timer, board, list, note, and journal

Now, Inko Cat is in zen mode. Ian is working at Cursor, and I’m wrapping up my final semester at Tufts. So, we’re not actively contributing to it. In the future, we’re thinking of open-sourcing it.


Another big update is that I’m sunsetting

Why? For two reasons:

  1. Webflow is way too expensive
  2. I found a great, free alternative: Substack

Why Substack?

Substack has all the important features I need:

  1. Clean interface & editor
  2. Comments/reactions
  3. Ability to categorize & see old posts
  4. View subscribers & growth
  5. Email newsletter
  6. Most important: It’s free!

Also, people/companies that I follow also use Substack:

  1. Wrap Text - Equals
  2. Lenny’s newsletter
  3. Molly Mielke

How did I migrate?

At first, I tried to import Webflow articles into Substacks.

But, no matter what I did, nothing worked. The imported content was blank. The title on Substack was the date. It was weird.

So, I just manually copied and pasted 68 articles from my Webflow CMS to Substack.

Yep - it was a long afternoon.

Blog rebrand

I also rebranded my blog. It’s now called “Layers of Design.”

A fog emoji with the blog name: Layers of Design

I wanted to infer design in the name since I’ll be writing mostly design-related articles. But I also didn’t want to be generic and say: “Product Design Blog.”

After a quick brainstorm, “Layers of Design” stuck with me the most, so I went with it.

About the logo, I’m a huge fan of Microsoft’s fluent emojis.

A gallery of Microsoft fluent emojis

So I went through their entire emoji list to search for a suitable one. And the “fog” emoji fits the name “Layers of Design” the best.

Lastly, the font. I discovered this beautiful serif font called “Instrument Serif” on Google Fonts. And I’ve been dying to use it somewhere. After some iterations, I decided to use it as my official font for my new blog.

Future of the blog

With the migration and rebrand, I’ll be writing many more articles in the future. I don’t think I’ll write in a fixed cadence. I’ll write whenever I feel like it.

In terms of content, I’ll be writing a mix of

  1. Long-form: Deeper dive into concepts, technology, and anything that intrigues me
  2. Quick finds: Resources and gems that I found recently


Lastly, the most recent project I worked on was redesigning my portfolio.

The big difference from before: I coded this entirely from scratch. No Webflow. No Framer. Just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I also used Astro as the web framework.

I’ve always wanted to code more. So this was the perfect opportunity.

And I could not be more proud of the result. I may write a more in-depth article about how I built it.

But for now, you can check it out here:

After graduation

I will be graduating from Tufts in May.

Writing that gave me slight goosebumps. Time flies.

After graduation, I will

It’s still surreal to know that in a few weeks, I will be officially done with college. So many unknowns. But regardless, I will continue to write, discover what I know, and learn.

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