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Alexandro Martinez
Alexandro Martinez

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My designs from 2016 to 2020 as a non-designer

I've been a developer for almost 9 years, but I always found designing to be tedious work. These are my application designs since 2016.

From text applications and Winforms to functional Vue + TailwindCSS components.

2016 - Migration from 4GL to Winforms

My dad has this legacy application written on 4GL that looks like this:

4GL application
4GL application

I was still in college when we decided to migrate every .4gl program to desktop Winforms with C#. It was a bad decision, I know, we should've taken the web route.

The first application concept looked like this:

My ERP application v0.1 - I know, ugly as hell:
My ERP application v0.1

At least we knew the migration wouldn't be as difficult as we thought it'd be.

2017 - Improving the desktop home screen

There were about 450 forms that needed to be migrated, so I needed a useful sidebar.
I tested a few home screens before I was satisfied with it.

v1.0 - Feature-based sidebar and a few links of most used forms/features:

v1.5 - Module-based sidebar and section details of selected module:

2018 - Added BI dashboards

v2.0 - Role-based instead and I added a business intelligence dashboard:

This is the desktop design that stayed, the sidebar menu and dashboards are generated based on the user's role.

2019 - My first attempt to design on the web

We had a few clients requesting the ability to place orders on their phones, so I prepare myself for web development.

I used VueJS and Bootstrap Vue to create a simpler version of the ERP we built on desktop.

Web v1.0 Only for certain roles such as CEO, Supplier, Seller, and Customer

I had to look for something else, although I loved working with Vue.

2020 - Tailwind CSS motivated me to become a better designer

Since COVID started, I decided to start working on side projects. This SaaS idea came to mind and I wanted to develop it as quickly as possible. But I wanted to use a utility-first framework.

So before I wrote any code, I bought TailwindUI, copy-pasted the components I needed, and adapted them to my needs.

Once I was satisfied with this awesome framework, I started working on a project called NetcoreSaas, a boilerplate for SaaS application development with .NET, Vue (TypeScript), and Tailwind. I coded some common SaaS must-have features, such as authentication, multi-tenant, multi-language, multi-theme, multi-database, and more.

Landing page - Marketing side:
NetcoreSaas - Landing page, marketing side

Organization settings page - App side:
NetcoreSaas - Organization settings page, app side

Desktop vs Web

I never got comfortable enough with my desktop designs. They felt forced.

My Winforms app design

I will still be maintaining and developing some features here and there for my current desktop ERP application, but all my next projects will be on Vue or React + Tailwind, with TypeScript, and .NET 5.

My future SaaS app designs

Wrapping up

With TailwindCSS, now I feel I can build high-quality components so I won't ever feel stuck, design-wise, as I felt with Winforms controls.


If you'd like to see more of what I do, follow me :) or visit my personal blog.

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