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The Fast Approach to: Side Projects (Unwordler)

We have many Fastronauts that work on amazing projects outside of building the fastest one-click checkout experience at Fast: writing books, teaching, producing music, creating apps, and more.

Today we highlight our Design Systems Tech Lead, Kaitlyn Hova, senior software engineer and co-founder of Hova Labs. They’ve released numerous amazing products, and today, their latest: Unwordler. Unwordler is a free-to-use companion to overnight success web game Wordle, created by Josh Wardle, and recently acquired by the New York Times.

How did you come up with Unwordler?

Unwordler was born out of desperation for not knowing enough five-letter words but knowing how to generically find five letter words. 

Part of the euphoria of Wordle is being stumped, thinking that a solution is impossible, and then rising from the ashes like a Wordle phoenix on guess number six. This solver isn't for everyone, but even if you're against solvers, replaying and seeing all of the guesses you had at every stage can give new life to each game.

What went into making Unwordler?

Simple.css for styles and theme, Remix for the Javascript framework, and Netlify for  deployments.

It is currently a MVP (minimum viable product), and we’ll add more filter functionality in future versions.

How long did it take to put Unwordler together?

A long weekend; my partner and I are usually strapped for time and needed this project to fit into our childrens’ nap times. We opted for a simple interface with text inputs, which led to deciding on the tech stack listed above. But we still incorporated important functions, like accessibility, easy deployment, design systems philosophy, and small package sizing.

Unwordler has a light/dark theme that matches the theme you set in your operating system’s settings.

What inspires you creatively? You have so many kinds of projects under your belt.

I think solving problems is exciting. Since you can do pretty much anything with software, I end up using code as a tool to make random things I think should exist. And then, I like to share those solutions with others.

Where can we find Unwordler?

Here – and learn more about how Unwordler was constructed and plans for future versions at Hova Labs.

Kaitlyn Hova is Design Systems Tech Lead at Fast, co-founder of Hova Labs (creator of the award-winning Hovalin, a 3D-printable, open-source violin), and a Women Who Code advisor. Hova trained in music at Berklee before graduating from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Neuroscience. The “entrepre-nerd” and all-around "superhuman" (FOX’s Superhuman TV show) is based in San Francisco, CA, and loves Figma so much every Holiday card is designed with it.

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