what is it?




The Goal

Helping others has always been a passion of mine, whether it’s through delivering great work to clients and partners, or by contributing to the product community. That’s why I was so excited to build a product specifically for the Product Community – it’s my way of giving back.

Lister Website Feature

The Challenge

This wasn’t just a website; I was crafting a living digital platform. I envisioned it as a constantly evolving resource, meticulously curated and maintained by me. Speed and a clean design were crucial to ensure the listed tools truly took center stage. The interface had to be intuitive and user-friendly for everyone, regardless of technical expertise. Instead of simply listing the tools, I hand-picked and provided detailed descriptions, screenshots, and logos for each one, creating a comprehensive and valuable resource.

Research & Analysis

My inspiration came from a variety of online resources, but none quite captured my vision. While they offered tool directories, these were often open to anyone, resulting in inconsistent curation and quality. Additionally, most platforms included both free and paid tools, making it challenging to find specifically free options.

I envisioned Lister as a curated haven for free tools, prioritizing those closest to the open-source spirit. It stemmed from a simple yet powerful concept: sharing my valuable bookmarks in a way that empowers others.

Through user interviews, a common theme emerged: product professionals often discover valuable tools, but struggle to keep track of them, especially those used infrequently. These tools get buried in browser bookmarks, becoming lost treasures in the vast digital landscape.

Information Architecture

My research fueled my determination to build a website that struck the perfect balance: ultra-simple yet engaging. The key, I believed, lay in showcasing both the latest ten tools and a clear category structure.

While the header doesn’t explicitly require a call to action, it does include three different ones 😭. Thankfully, they don’t clash visually. The first, “Suggest a tool,” is there for users who stumble upon a valuable tool they want to share. The second is the familiar Product Hunt upvote button. The final one, an arrow, serves a mainly decorative purpose, guiding users to explore the available categories.

Prioritizing speed and ease for returning users, navigation focuses on a user-friendly experience. This includes an AJAX-based search bar for quick tool discovery and a clear page navigation group for seamless browsing.

Visual Design

The visual design currently leans towards a clean and straightforward aesthetic. While I initially envisioned offering both light and dark modes, I encountered technical challenges with media files not displaying correctly during theme switching. Ultimately, I opted for a light mode for now, and I’m pleased with the clean and uncluttered feel it creates.

To achieve this clean design, I started with a customizable WordPress theme, allowing for future expansion and brand development. To add a touch of dynamism, I incorporated a subtle animation for the logo, providing a hint of life in the otherwise static environment.


When choosing a platform for Lister, I weighed two strong contenders: WordPress and GRAV. While GRAV boasted impressive speed and lightweight qualities, its unfamiliar nature presented a learning curve that I wasn’t prepared for at the time. Prioritizing rapid exploration of my ideas, I opted for WordPress. This allowed me to focus on developing the concept, rather than getting bogged down in the intricacies of the platform itself. Thankfully, the development process was smooth sailing, encountering only minor visual hiccups that were quickly rectified.


The reception for Lister has been overwhelmingly positive, exceeding my initial expectations. It resonated not only with my peers but also with a broader audience who, as one user expressed, “didn’t know they needed something like this until they saw it.”

I’m continuously enriching Lister’s collection, meticulously adding new tools while prioritizing variety. This careful curation process ensures each addition aligns with the platform’s vision and offers genuine value to users. While each tool takes time to integrate, I believe the manual approach is crucial. It allows me to personally test and understand each tool, guaranteeing its fit within Lister’s “framework”.

Recently, I even launched Lister on Product Hunt, garnering ten upvotes so far. While the numbers might not be staggering, they represent genuine interest from a relevant community. Ultimately, Lister’s primary focus remains on user utility, and the positive feedback and growing community are true testaments to its value proposition.

Lister - A curated list of free tools for product people | Product Hunt


1. Identifying a need: There’s a strong demand for well-curated resources, especially among professionals who value their time and efficiency. Lister’s success highlights the potential for fulfilling unmet needs in specific communities.

2. Balancing speed and quality: While rapid development has its merits, prioritizing quality and user experience can be equally important. Lister’s initial focus on exploration and user feedback helped refine the concept before extensive development.

3. Power of community: User feedback and engagement are crucial for understanding needs and shaping the product’s direction. Lister’s positive reception demonstrates the value of fostering a community around your creation.

4. Content curation matters: Investing time and effort into careful selection and presentation of information can significantly enhance user experience and value. Lister’s focus on manually curating high-quality tools sets it apart from simpler directory-style platforms.

5. Starting small and iterating: Don’t be afraid to begin with a minimum viable product (MVP) and gradually improve it based on user feedback. Lister’s ongoing development, informed by user insights, demonstrates the effectiveness of iterative development.

Bonus takeaway: While fancy features can be appealing, a product’s core value often lies in its utility and ability to solve a genuine problem. Lister’s success, despite its “not very fancy” nature, underscores the importance of focusing on user needs.