What is no-code?
No-code is a way to create IT products (websites, web and mobile applications) without writing code using special platforms. The method of working with such platforms is drag-and-drop, i.e. visual modeling. They work on the principle of a constructor.
Today, no-code is a young and promising market worth about $16 billion. By 2027, it could grow to $125 billion, with an average revenue growth rate of 24.2% per year. Development “without code” is especially popular in Europe and the United States – according to forecasts, in three years 65% of all applications will be created with the help of no-code platforms.
In Russia, companies also use tools like Zapier, Tilda, and various CRMs, but only for local tasks. No-code has not yet become analogous to the classical development of full-fledged web and mobile applications. And for good reason: it helps save time and money.
No-coding is best applied to standard business processes that are relevant to almost all types of businesses:
Web applications with personal accounts for different roles (e.g., customer, supplier, administrator).
Automation of operational processes.
Configuring a bundle of marketing newsletters.
The advantages of no-code:
Huge savings in money and time due to the speed of product assembly: the elements are ready, you can assemble everything like a constructor.
Easy to learn. No-code tools are realistic to master in a couple of weeks or months (depending on the platform). You do not need the knowledge in IT.
Less rework. For simple tasks (move the button, add text, and so on), there is no need to pull developers out of the workflow. You can make your own edits.
Ideal for creating MVPs. In case of a pivot, you won’t feel sorry to throw out the product and rebuild a new one.
Adaptation of the interface to different platforms is not always, but often automatic.
But there are limitations.
No-code is good for business applications and processes, but if you want to create something high-tech (like a blockchain project, messenger or complex SaaS), it will not be the best solution.
If your service scales up to tens of thousands of users, you will need to connect conventional development in any case. But this should be done gradually and in stages – along the way of growth.
If you choose a no-code tool, most often you will not be able to download the project code later. You stay on the chosen site and pay a monthly fee for its maintenance.
Who needs it?
Previously, to create your product, you either had to learn how to program or invest in development. Now any entrepreneur can quickly build a minimally viable version of his product on the Nocode platform and roll it out on the market. This way the startup will test the hypothesis, save money and reduce the risks many times over.
It will cost from $30 to create the MVP on the no-code platform if you do everything yourself, or from $2,000 to $30,000 if you engage an experienced no-code. Meanwhile, regular development will cost anywhere from $50,000 million to $250,000 million or more.
In terms of time, no-code takes from a few days to a few weeks, while codiing can take months.
If an employee is proficient in no-code platforms, he can avoid waiting for his task in the development backlog and do everything himself: test a service or launch some feature from scratch.
For example, you can create a mass hiring platform based on Glide, Google Tables, and Integromat. This is relevant for businesses that have to constantly hire couriers, cleaners, and other “field” workers.
Development “without code” can be done by recruiters, salespeople, marketers, or other workers. For the in-house specialist, it’s not just an extra workload, but an investment in future career growth.
People who can quickly put together a dashboard with analytics or show management in a couple of clicks what a new option on a website will look like will earn more in the long run than employees without such skills. Designers-no-coders even become full-stack specialists – and can safely double their check.
To medium and small businesses
No-code is especially useful for entrepreneurs: with it, there is no need to spend money on a staff of developers. Take trade: with no-code builders, you can create websites and applications to sell goods, manicure, pedicure, cleaning services, to find tutors, psychologists, and more.
Businesses receive a comprehensive product with an admin panel in which they can manage the entire service and process orders. Even Starbucks uses such technology for rapid business scaling. In the Shopify no-code service you can build a site: you can set up the interface yourself, upload pictures and goods. And Printful allows you to add any print to product templates.
When starting to work with no-co, businesses should remember: it costs less than the salary of an IT specialist, but is not always cheap. For example, a license for several applications on the Mendix platform costs €800 per month – which is almost €10,000 per year. But the price of the most basic B-services ranges from $10 to $200-300 per month (for heavy loads), which is still much more profitable than development.
How to implement a no-c approach in your own place?
Formulate the problem you want to solve. Describe in detail what your goal is and what you want to get as a result. Break down all the processes related to the problem, all the participants in the development process, and their roles. Texts, charts, tables – any format will do.
Identify the MVP and select the stack. Choose what you need to test the MVP hypothesis, then choose the set of tools that will solve the problem most effectively. Keep it simple, don’t introduce unnecessary functionality.
Describe the product ToR. MVP logic, what screens, transitions it will have. Draw a layout and make a simple design. Create a database architecture, if necessary, and begin development.
Development phase. Make use of all the opportunities offered by your knowcode-based constructors, paying particular attention to payment services and the security of user data.
Test the entire system. This step is often missed by both sides. And because of this, things often break, especially if the product combines many no-code tools. In this case problems with one will cause problems with the rest.
The next step is release. Launch the product and monitor its performance and user feedback. If bugs appear, fix them in the process.