Eugene Fedorenko is Designing, Writing, Reading, and Traveling

Writing (sometimes)

Figmalion: The First Year

On November 5th of 2019, I announced Figmalion, my regular newsletter about Figma, and a week later sent the first issue to 19 subscribers. I started it with zero expectations, but during this year it helped me connect with new people, created a small source of side income, and helped write a book. I want to look back at this year and share a few things that I learned.

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Getting Postmark’s Lighthouse Performance Score to 100

Published at Wildbit

Earlier this year, our design team spent a few weeks analyzing and improving the performance of the Postmark product website. Our app is known for lightning-fast email delivery, and we wanted to provide a similar experience to the visitors of the website. Conveniently, what’s good for people is also good for robots — search engines increasingly use performance and user experience metrics as a ranking factor in search results. Once completed, this project made the Postmark site significantly faster and increased our Lighthouse Performance score from 68 to a perfect 100.

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Using Constraints with Layout Grids in Figma

Published at Medium

While working with Figma, I discovered a powerful way to lay out objects using a combination of Layout Grid and Constraints. The interface of Figma does not indicate a connection between the two, so it can be discovered either by a happy accident or from reading a help article. Luckily, the latter is my kind of fun pastime.

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15 years

In the early 2000s, an acquaintance mentioned that he’s been working in an IT department of a large organization for 10 years, starting right after college. My only reaction was a horrified “Fuck this!” The idea of a long career in the same place was something from a generation of my grandfather, who was building the USSR’s biggest warships for 35 years. I was skeptical of traditional employment and instead freelanced for American and European companies that outsourced design and development to Ukraine.

Soon after that conversation, I was introduced to Chris Nagele from Wildbit. We started working on a project, then on another one, and another one…

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Migrating from Dropbox to iCloud Drive

I've been getting annoyed with Dropbox lately. First, this summer they redesigned the app to act as a "productivity launchpad" instead of a simple synced folder. I have nothing against this direction by itself, but this is not what I signed up for. Second, I've been paying both for Dropbox to store my files and iCloud to store my photos, so it felt a little redundant and wasteful. And last but not least, I had some privacy concerns as it's yet another company having access to all my documents and files. The fewer companies and apps can reach them the better.

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Camaraderie in a remote design team

Published at Wildbit

A few weeks ago on our annual Wildbit retreat we had a group discussion on what works and what doesn’t in our internal process. A few developers mentioned the same problem — a lack of shoptalk with their peers when working remotely. They came up with different solutions, from participating in local meetups to weekly lunches with other developers, but it reminded me of a time when the same problem was very acute in our design team.

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How we chose Craft CMS for our product websites

Published at Wildbit

A little over a year ago, we had 4 marketing websites built with 4 different frameworks or CMSs, and it was a mess. As the team had grown, publishing became a nightmare — nobody really knew how to access or update any specific page or a part of a website. We had some work to do. Within a few months we researched, picked, and migrated to a single CMS; moved marketing websites to a single hosting platform from multiple scattered services; and created a library of modules that is reused on all of them. This massive project isn’t completely over yet, but enough time passed both to confirm that we made a right choice and to see some of its issues.

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Adding fingerprints to assets with Gulp and DeployBot

Published at DeployBot

While working on a new Wildbit website last week I spent some time tweaking its performance. Caching CSS, JS, and images for a long period of time is one of the most important things you can do to create a fast loading website. It’s relatively easy to configure on most web servers, but comes with a downside — you’ll need to invalidate cached files whenever they change.

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Introducing a new Beanstalk dashboard

Published at Beanstalk

Today we’re happy to introduce an enhanced and more useful dashboard. Our team uses Beanstalk every day and we felt like the current version needed some love and some key features. And you — our customers — told us the same thing.

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Deploy Craft CMS to DigitalOcean

Published at DeployBot

This guide explains how to launch a website powered by Craft CMS with a proper development environment and workflow behind it. You’ll set up a local development environment, put Craft theme and config files under version control with Git, create and configure a new DigitalOcean droplet, install Craft on it, and then deploy your theme and configs to a live website with DeployBot.

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