From Scratch No.2 - Introducing PostKit

In the first article in this series, I teased a new project, today I’m publically announcing what I’ll be spending my free time over the next few months building.

What is PostKit?

PostKit will be Saas (Software as a service) product that allows developers to programmatically generate marketing images from templates previously setup.

For the MVP (minimum viable product), these templates will be built using a CSS editor, allowing developers full control over the content and style of their images. In the future, I will implement a full visual editor allowing non-developers to use the platform.

These templates can then be interacted with through automatically generated forms, that can be accessed through a URL or embedded into other workflow tools (e.g. Notion). Templates can also be interacted with through a URL, passing variables such as ‘article title’ through the query parameters and also through an API, where developers can post variables and return the generated image.

There have been multiple occurrences in life where a product like this would have been handy, instead, the solutions provided have been manually creating graphics, requiring a designer or building a custom solution, aimed at one product. I’ll go into a bit more detail.

Use case No.1

While working at a startup studio, we worked on a project that required social media images to be made. We created some templates in Photoshop and created graphics on client demand. This was frustrating, we weren’t charging for the time and it required interrupting a designer’s workflow. In the end, the client couldn’t use Photoshop and started using an app to generate images, they didn’t match the branding and were noticeably less professional.

PostKit could solve this problem by creating a series of templates. Within the templates, you can select what will be editable (i.e. article title) and it will generate a form containing these editable fields. The client can then access the form through a unique URL, input a new article title and save the graphic. This maintains the visual language of the brand and requires no design knowledge from the client.

Use case No.2

While building a job board (PixelJobs, check it if you’re looking for technology jobs with public salary ranges) at my current company, Inktrap, we wanted to share graphics across social media platforms promoting the jobs listed. Again, this required a designer to manually create all the images. Social media meta images were also made, meaning the jobs looked more appealing when shared to social media.

PostKit could automatically generate these meta images. A template would be made and the developer would dynamically create the link in the HTML head, passing values such as job title and salary into the URL. Problem solved, no need for a designer to create every Twitter and Facebook image when a job is added to the CMS (Content Management System).

Final thoughts

These are two very specific use cases however I believe if the platform existed, developers would find unlimited ways to use it. Every website with dynamic content could become a user, every startup, every sports publication, every side project.

I’ve released a pre-launch landing page that allows people to sign up for development updates and launch details, check it out at PostKit.co, my next article will be about building this landing page.

As always, you can follow me at @MadeByCrevans and PostKit at @PostKitCo on Twitter.

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