Mike Fey

Carta

  • 2014
  • Personal project

Carta is a product I built for people to share a list of books they recommend.

Carta collection view
Carta reader view

Why?

I love reading, but at the time this was built (2014), one of the only online communities for reading was Goodreads. I liked it, but wanted something that was simpler than that - no reviews, ratings, multiple lists, etc. - just a single list of recommended books.

I also enjoy design, so I saw this as an opportunity to practice - I designed everything from the ground up, including the logo.

How?

I built the back-end of Carta using node.js and the Express framework. The front-end used Backbone.js. The data (book descriptions, images, links) was fetched from the Amazon API.

Takeaways

I really enjoyed building every aspect of a product from start to finish. That obviously wouldn’t be sustainable all the time, but was a great learning experience. I got to learn a little about each part of building an app - design, branding, UX, architecture, backend development, frontend development, devops, and even marketing (which was just sending to my friends/family, and posting on social media).

Carta is no longer online because like many side projects, not many people were using it and it didn’t seem worth it to keep up.