You might assume that as an app developer, I’d shun no-code solutions as an option for app creators and managers. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The truth is that no-code solutions can be AMAZING if used in the right way for the right purpose.
Here’s my logic: when you want to build software, it’s very much something you have to be “all in” for. So going down the “write your own” route is a commitment. Not only a commitment to finances but also to other precious, finite resources like time and energy.
Still, in the right circumstances and scenarios, this approach can save the day.
You might benefit from a no-code solution vs. custom code for your minimum viable product (MVP) if you want to:
- Validate your solution
- Launch your MVP quickly
- Gain some hands-on experience
- Serve a controlled audience
- Avoid overkilling with custom code
Let’s dig into each of these so you can have a better understanding of whether or not a no-code solution is the right move for your fledgling idea.
1. Validate your solution
No code allows you to get a product up and running fairly quickly, making it a great route for testing and validating your solution with your audience.
There are few things harder to watch than an incredible, ambitious founder over-developing an app idea that nobody actually wants to use. This results in tons of lost resources, often putting the founder in a worse spot than they started in.
But testing and validation are methodical approaches that help you avoid this disaster. By developing the core feature(s) of your MVP first, you can get it out to your audience and gather valuable feedback right out of the gate.
If it’s a success, you can keep iteratively developing, testing, gathering feedback, and implementing it until the cows come home.
We’ve noticed that clients who have validated their offering more—either through a no-code solution or manually servicing client needs—have much more confidence when building a product that will allow them to scale to many users.
It gives them more knowledge that allows us to build a better product. It also gives them more confidence to commit and spend the money needed on a custom build because they know their business will work.
2. Launch your MVP quickly
As I mentioned in the previous point, validating your offering is a key reason that founders are looking to launch speedily.
But there are other reasons that you might want to get up and running as fast as possible.
Say there’s an industry event coming up soon, and you want to get in on the action. Or you’re coming up at the end of the year, and you still haven’t met those revenue numbers. Or you’ve spent months sleeping on friends’ couches, and they’re dropping hints that it’s time for you to make some money already.
Whatever your reason, a no-code solution may give you the right balance of time for the outcome. Of course, you won’t necessarily have the same features and functionality as you would with a custom-coded solution—but if an MVP is what you want, an MVP is what you’ll get.
3. Gain some hands-on experience
Because of the user-friendly nature of no-code development platforms, the learning curve is a heck of a lot smaller than if you tried to learn how to code yourself.
(If you have zero coding knowledge and you’re tight for time, don’t try to learn how to develop your own app. Just don’t.)
Many platforms available today have drag-and-drop options, letting you build an app in a similar manner to how you can build your own website.
These invaluable tools provide you with the right environment to learn, play around, experiment, and get more hands-on experience.
This, in turn, leads to more confidence in your product, your knowledge, and your investment.
Then, if you decide that you want to work with a custom application development company, you’ll be able to sit in the passenger seat instead of riding blind in the back.
4. Serve a controlled audience
If you’re looking to develop an application internally, serving a specific, controlled audience, a no-code solution might help you reach your goals.
Controlled audiences can include groups like on-site employees, contractors, and customers, as well as other groups like partners and resellers.
Say, for example, that you’re looking to develop a training tool for your employees or an inventory management tool for your e-commerce distribution partners. These are great examples of an internal, controlled environment.
A no-code solution might be ideal in these types of scenarios because you’re dealing with fewer variables and use cases, meaning your application can afford a more simple development process without the bells and whistles that custom code can provide.
5. Avoid overkilling with custom code
In some cases, custom code is flat-out unnecessary.
There. I said it.
This is typically true of situations where a product’s level of technical complexity is fairly low, with low integration requirements.
In these cases, it can be hard to justify the cost of a custom build when you can get a similar result using a more affordable and more convenient no-code platform.
Plain and simple, custom code can be overkill here.
Crossing your T’s and dotting your I’s
In certain scenarios and use cases, a no-code solution can be just what the doctor ordered. But of course, that doesn’t mean you can ignore product-building responsibilities or ignore user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) decisions.
As with everything in life, there’s no single correct answer for how to go about it. As you make your decision, you’ll need to consider what’s going on in your unique situation. Balance out resources like your budget and time alongside other considerations like your business goals and minimum features.
Whether you need a custom healthcare app or real estate software, when you take the time to weigh it all out, you’ll be in a much better position to come out with just the right product for just the right investment.