2023 Year In Review

Kyle Labert's 2023 Year In Review

I started doing a year-in-review a couple of years ago. (2021 year in review, 2022 year in review)

This fun habit lets me reflect by celebrating the highs and process lows of the year and helps focus my attention on areas I want to shift in the upcoming year.

2023 was a mixed bag. I had some incredible highs and challenging lows. When I look back, I am thankful, but I am also tired. It was a trying year.

Life in review

The Highs

Let’s kick things off with the good stuff, shall we?

  • We kicked off the year celebrating my son Banks’ first birthday.
  • A birthday trip to Hawaii to celebrate a significant birthday for my wife Ali.
  • Banks took his first beach steps in Maui. That’s right, a freaking magical place to learn to walk.
  • Family trips to Vermont, Indiana—fun times, albeit with the added challenge of navigating long flights with a toddler
  • The mountains called, and I answered with multiple days skiing Mount Hood and a spring skiing trip in Bend and Mt. Bachelor with my buddies.
  • Ali and I hit the 15-year mark in our marriage—marrying your best friend is a gift! 
  • We took a family trip to the Puget Sound in Washington to celebrate our anniversary. A baller AirBNB with a panoramic view of the sound and nightly sunsets made it the most relaxing trip we have taken with our kid. This may have been the highlight of the year for me.
  • PNW summer vibes: bike rides, nightly kiddie pool dips, and backyard splash pad shenanigans.
  • A date night out to see a live performance of our favorite comedy group, Please Don’t Destroy
  • A new food cart pod opened in our neighborhood. Multiple nights each week, we walked to the park, met friends, and grabbed a bite to eat at the food carts.
  • Backyard office construction became a necessity, with Banks growing like a champ.
  • We took a weekend away to Sun River, Oregon, with some of our besties.
  • I had a weekend getaway to the Oregon coast filled with games, junk food, and fun with my game night buds.
  • December became a month to remember—date nights, parties, and our 12th annual family holiday card with a toddler (challenge accepted!).

The Lows

  • Friends moving to Alaska for grad school left a hole in our hearts.
  • A late-night bike wreck in August led to ER visits, rib contusions, and a crash course in bed rest. It took away most of my August. Sorry, Ali!
  • Experiencing a sense of transition was profound for us. The summer brought challenges, from the departure of friends to unsettling developments in our neighborhood and city. This prompted a reevaluation of our attachment to our neighborhood and even Portland as a whole. Although we navigated through the difficulties and ultimately affirmed our choice to remain, those months of contemplation were certainly trying.
  • Health issues took center stage, with a looming surgery in 2024—a heavy emotional weight.
  • Our pup, Chainsaw, who has been with us since he was an 8-week-old puppy, is facing a swift decline in health. Managing his condition has been demanding, and witnessing his gradual decline has been emotionally taxing. The grieving process has been gradual, acknowledging the inevitable, and we are keenly aware that our time with him is nearing its end.
  • Raising a toddler is a beautiful challenge that exposes my own selfish tendencies. It is the best, but wow, it is tough.

Work in review


  • I led the design efforts to launch our new Webflow developer platform and the introduction of Webflow Apps in August, marking the most significant project in my career. It provided invaluable insights into the complexities of launching an ecosystem.
  • My work contributed to establishing nearly 80 new Webflow Apps, pivotal in expanding Webflow’s capabilities.
  • I created Webflow’s Figma App UI kit, enabling developers to build Apps that looked and felt like native Webflow
  • Introduced Webflow’s new Custom Element, which unlocked so much potential for building in Webflow
  • Collaborated on the design of the Figma to Webflow Design System App, streamlining the process of moving designs to build.
  • I was promoted from Senior to Staff Product Designer, recognizing contributions to the team and Webflow App’s success.
  • Took several trips to San Francisco, attending Ecosystem and product offsite events
  • I experienced my first ride in a Waymo, the driverless car, adding a unique and futuristic perspective to my professional journey.
  • I successfully sold one of my side projects—a small E-commerce website.


  • My most significant miss occurred during the initiation of our Designer Extension strategy and its rollout to the cross-functional Ecosystem pillar at Webflow. Although our small team conceptualized a promising direction and validated the concept, the transition from a conceptual idea to a documented feature, embraced by developers, proved to be a monumental challenge. The absence of a thoroughly documented end-to-end journey became apparent, leading to initial stumbling in our kick-off meetings. This experience taught me the importance of meticulously setting up a large working group for success and giving people a clear ramp to onboard into massive efforts.
  • I regret not fully showcasing the potential of the Custom Webflow element as early as I could have. To me, this was a missed opportunity. We launched Apps that overshadowed the significance of the new Custom Element. Our community didn’t catch on to it ou its power until Timothy Ricks published a video. The subsequent Twitter uproar with the hashtag #ReleaseTheDOM highlighted the belated realization of its potential. While I had a conviction of its significance in the spring, I acknowledge that I could have done more to advocate and paint a vision for its release before the launch of Apps.

Next year

Rhythms I kept up with

  • Weekly Wednesday game nights with my buds
  • Weekly Thursday morning coffee with two friends I have had coffee with for going on seven years
  • Tuesday night community dinners
  • I was diligent about a 15-mile bike ride around Southeast Portland in the spring, summer, and fall months
  • I would like to keep writing on this personal blog

Rhythms I want to do/improve

  • I want to be more diligent about a Thursday night date night with my wife. Whether we get a babysitter or have a special night-in, this rhythm is a must.
  • Stretching daily
  • I want some new health goals. I want to purchase a rowing machine and establish a weekly exercise rhythm post-surgery. With a young son, I am thinking a lot more about my body’s longevity.
  • More time for hobbies. My guitar was too neglected this past year.