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Reflecting on 2020

Every year I’m late with the year review. Next year I shall start it at the beginning of December. Anyway, I’ll try to reflect briefly on what happened this year. Here is some of the things that I’ve done this year:


I’ve improved my coding skills. Launched a new portfolio site — my first published project built with Svelte, which proved to be awesome.

Also, I’ve developed new plugins and published some improvements to existing ones. Overall, all 10 of my plugins were installed more than 20 000 times.


I’ve started my effort to share more. That included being more active and open on Twitter, sharing some of my progress and results.

Additionally, I’ve started my blog. Writing online is still quite hard for me, but it is an important goal, and I’m planning to continue.

I’ve also started to work on my public speaking. At the beginning of the year, before lockdown, I was helping to host the Svelte Society meetup. Also, recently I had a chance to share some of my experience on the Friends of Figma online meetup. (I’ll share the video when it’s published)


Surprisingly, quarantine gave me a chance to get in shape. I’ve lost about 10 kg of extra weight and got into biking to stay sane. Made 717 km this year, which is maybe not a lot, but I still find it quite a good start.




This year has plenty of setbacks, especially near the end of it, and I expect 2021 to also be pretty harsh for me. Nevertheless, I’m hopeful for what happens next. Here are some things I’m planning to focus on:

  1. Find a full-time job, finally. The companies I was speaking to end up hiring someone else, so if you are looking for a Product Designer, take a look at this thread of mine.
  1. Keep improving my coding skills. For now, I’m confident that I can eventually build what I have in mind, but it is still a painfully slow process. I hope to reach the point when I can experiment and iterate effortlessly.
  1. Keep sharing. Although it is still painful to put things out there, I believe that learning in public is a great concept that brings a lot of benefits in a long run.
  1. Collaborate more! I’d love to try working with developers on personal projects. If you are a developer, and need help from a designer for your product, or would love to work with me on some of my ideas, please contact me! Especially if you use, or want to try Svelte.
  1. Publish a paid product. I was thinking about it for quite a long time and in the next year, I hope to finally jump on the indie-making train and publish some real product.


That’s all! Happy New Year!

 No comments    120   2020   2020   life   me

Stages of developing sense of taste

We are not born with a sense of taste, but it develops over time under certain conditions, even if we do not think about it. However, it is possible to help this process if you like.

If you want to develop a sense of taste in a certain area, here is my understanding of the stages you have to go through.

For starters, there’s a good trick to determine how well your sense of taste is already developed in a certain area. I looked it up from Ludwig Bystronovsky, it sounds like this: “If you find that most things in a certain area are fine, you haven’t formed a sense of taste in it yet”.

The names are arbitrary, there is no clear moment of transition from one stage to another:

1. Stage of accumulation

First, you need to be concerned about quantity more than quality. It is not so important to find only good examples, there are much fewer of them than you need now. The amount of information you consume is most important at the beginning of the journey.

No neural network will learn to distinguish a dog from a cat based on two dozen pictures, even if they are the best pictures. The same thing is going on in our minds, we just need more data. Look at everything that comes up on the subject, do it every day.

Look at it this way – we can only appreciate the good in contrast to the bad. When we are just starting to study something, we just don’t have enough bad examples in our pocket to compare with. The stage of accumulation allows us, among other things, to get such luggage.

2. The curating phase

After a while you will notice that you begin to have preferences, something will start to seem trivial or boring, somewhere you will notice poor quality. And you will start to find certain things pleasing. The taste is beginning to form.

At this stage, you may have role models – people whose taste you are already able to appreciate, and whom you trust in judgment.

Now you not only absorb everything new but also evaluate it by comparing it with your accumulated luggage. This is the time when you start filtering the incoming flow, leaving only the best.

Here some people are hurrying to broadcast their newfound wisdom and state their tastes as rules. Such “rules” can be categorical and sharp in judgment, and often promote the one and only correct order of things.

The key is not to block the flow of various information, continuing to receive not only what seems to be “right” for now. Even when the taste is already developed, inspiration is still important.

3. Stage of principles

Finally, when the luggage of inspiration has been accumulated and opinions – sometimes quite intuitive – have been formed, the time comes when you want to formulate the difference between good and bad, to formalize your empirical experience in some more verbal form.

Unlike the “rules” from the previous stage, principles usually operate on a slightly different level of abstraction, and profess a more relaxed approach to beauty and correctness. It is more observations than manifestos.

Such principles, despite the authors’ desire to share them with the world, are more useful for themselves than for beginners in the field. Of course, directions and recommendations can help beginners move a little faster, but they alone are not enough to develop taste by trying to mechanically determine what is good and what is not, following some formulas.

At the beginning of the journey, it is more useful to take the principles formed by the experts as remarks and notes to apply to your own experience, rather than as instructions and guidelines on what is right and beautiful.

 No comments    131   2020   life   taste