We spoke with GIFadvice founder, Ry Parken, about creating a platform where people build, share, and use interactive advice guides. Ry studied art, economics, and has had careers in graphic design and marketing. Ry used Bubble’s plugin library to take his app to the next level.
What problem does your project solve?
Ry Parken: GIFadvice allows people to build, share, and use interactive advice guides, including troubleshooters, product recommenders, assessments guides, and more. Users can help explain their decision-making process by adding GIF images, which gives the websites its fun, perhaps slightly unserious, edge. Under the hood, however, the app uses a decision-tree based system, which supports complex logic, but not AI.
How does your app work?
GIFadvice follows the logic of real-life advice-giving: you ask a question, evaluate the answer, and follow up with another question until you are ready to make an informed decision. Users start with a question “card” (called an “Argument”), which allows them to formulate 2-3 possible answers. The platform offers seamless access to the GIPHY database, which provides animated images that users can add to their advice guides.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
At university, I studied economics and art, including graphics and painting. While studying, I taught myself computer graphics and, after the internet emerged, web design. Eventually, I pivoted from a career in design to one as a professional marketer. Nowadays, I still enjoy side projects that involve design or a little bit of coding, though I will never be a full-fledged coder. This is where Bubble comes in. It’s simple approach, “when something happens, do this…”, is easy to grasp, yet powerful enough to create complex applications. I discover something new about Bubble every single day and think to myself: “Wow! These guys are geniuses. I love Bubble!”
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
Before launching GIFadvice, I was planning to hire a developer. At first, I wasn’t impressed with Bubble, but I took the Bubble course on Udemy to learn more about the app anyway. By the middle of the course, I was already building my own app on Bubble. However, I’m looking forward to when Bubble provides more documentation on critical issues, including performance, information loading, and caching (the Bubble forum is a gem).
What has been your traction or success so far?
My first MVP was ready after 1 month. I had created and published a “Getting Started” video, but the process was too boring and dull. By accident, I discovered the GIPHY plugin, which easily integrated into the MVP and suddenly the app came together. So I decided to pivot and spent 2 weeks rebuilding the user interface, amending the flow, and creating new features. My original concept for the platform has completely changed.
What are your future plans for your app?
Before launching GIFadvice on Product Hunt, I want to fix some performance issues. The product needs to be tested for some bugs. In the meantime, I am reaching out to friends and promoting the app on selected forums and online communities. If the project gets traction, I might consider leaving my current job and “going big.”
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 400,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.