6 min read
Over the past few months, businesses all over the world have had to adapt to change and find innovative ways of working. Whether it be working to a closer deadline, a reduced budget or with a smaller team. The no-code tools revolution has been a game changer for many businesses in tech and a great solution to such restrictions. Although no-code may be a relatively new term to some, there are many well established tools around and even more emerging. These tools empower people to build technology without code and make technical innovation more accessible, reinventing the way things are built for the internet.
In the first of our Product Crowd Tales in Tech events, we were joined by James Abayomi Ojo, Product Manager at So Energy and Sheree Lim, Product Manager at tray.io. Taking us through their experiences of no-code tools and how they’ve implemented them into their everyday working practice, we’ve shared a roundup of the talk and all the advice shared on how you can use no-code tools to achieve your business goals more efficiently.
A no-code or low-code development platform is a visual software development environment that allows Citizen Developers to drag and drop application components and connect them together to create a mobile or web app. These tools have reinvented the way in which technology is designed and built, and you no longer need to be a Programmer or Engineer to build or solve important problems in your everyday work life. No-code tools are about empowerment, changing the perspective to become more outcome focused and thinking about the problems the user is trying to solve.
I heard this recently at the No-code Conference: Imagine if only 1 in 400 people could write? We would be stuck in the dark ages. Imagine if only 1 in 400 people could code? This is pretty much where we’re at as a society; much slower and far less creative. But no-code tools are changing that. They led to the SaaS explosion where thousands of applications were built to help us solve multiple problems, and it’s now so much easier to find specialist solutions.
No-code tools can help us build products more efficiently and save us time, money and resources. We’re continually evolving into more agile ways of working, and as a Product Manager you may not have the luxury of two, three or even five-year timelines for products. We need things quicker now more than ever and this is where no-code tools can really help us. The increase in searches for no-code tools has exploded over the past couple of years.
As a Product Manager you always want to have your nose in front and be ahead of the game. The majority of companies are turning to different no-code tools. So, being able to easily grasp this concept will set you up for success as a Product Manager.
There are many possibilities and uses for no-code tools. You can create an MVP and test your hypothesis without having to go to a Development Agency, or an Independent Coder and can easily build a mock-up website on platforms such as Google Slides. You can also build internal tools such as custom CRM’s, survey forms, checklists, dashboards, admin panels, intranet space or even a mobile app for employees.
But with all these new specialist services, companies are now faced with a different problem – these services don’t actually talk to each other. You’re often limited with your ability to share data between tools and have to spend valuable time manually copying data across.
To combat this problem, we’re seeing modern and experienced businesses turn to general automation platforms, such as tray.io, Zapier or Segment. These platforms enable Citizen Automator’s in any type of business, technical or non-technical, to build enterprise integrations and automations themselves. With an automation platform you can save hours on manual tasks, make less mistakes and maintain data integrity by having data piped into multiple sources from the same parent source.
For many businesses, these challenging times have required us to reconsider our strategies when it comes to keeping up with the current market, pivoting from customer growth to customer retention. As a Product Manager, no-code tools can be vital for retaining customers.
At tray.io we have a user score, a model that reflects a person’s ability to use our platform. We use no-code tools to help surface that data which can point our PMs in their direction. Users with a low score are more likely to churn, therefore our customer success team will put together a targeted strategy to retain them. They need to make sure that customers can help themselves. It’s about being smart with your resources and really valuing the customers you already have’.
Putting automation in the hands of everyone reduces the load on Engineering teams and can ensure that your business is getting the most out of all of your employee’s time by automating what you can. Whether you’re in product, sales or marketing, having all of your automations built in through no-code can make tasks a lot quicker for all of your teams.
When deciding whether to go with a high or low-code solution, the choice totally depends upon where you and your company are as a business.
If you’re a start-up, needing answers quickly and with no time to invest, it has to be low-code solutions. If the time and money allow, a combination of both high-code and low-code solutions might work for you. Enterprises are built on stable high code solutions, so advocate for that if the team allows it.
Whilst no-code tools might be able to get you 95% of the way there, often that remaining 5% will need the work of Engineers to complete the product. A lot of Engineers want to solve complex problems, and automations help solve the same old problems, leaving space for Engineers to work where the opportunities are. The no-code growth is also massive opportunity for Engineers to help build new tools and forcing them to think like Designers: how can they make the user experience better?
I’m seeing emerging conversations and sub-groups surrounding no-code in wider communities such as Women in Tech and Women in Product which I’m a member of. These are a great place to search and discover no-code sub communities.
Bubble is a really powerful no-code app builder and a leading player in the space. I also find communities within niche Facebook groups and through video content on Twitter. The key is to keep searching.
That being said, a great way to participate in the no-code community is by using these tools and advocating for them as there is no monopoly. A lot of people are now participating in the conversation and using no-code tools, making it more valuable for everyone.
If anyone would like to follow James on his no-code journey, you can find everything at jayyoms.com.
Get in touch with Louise Smith if you need any help building products team or you are looking for your next product opportunity.
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