The magic of a no code mobile app development platform is that it takes very little expertise to bring your idea to life. But only about one in 10 of these projects that are started ever reach completion. The reason a vast majority never cross the finish line comes down to creators failing to properly get started. To help you successfully launch your creation, here is a handy guide to complete the most important step — getting started.
Step 1: Start With The End In Mind
When starting with any no code tool, it is easy to feel like you can jump right in and make magic happen. The novelty of an easy-to-use tool makes it appealing to drag and drop elements onto the screen or aimlessly add new, fun functionality. This tends to quickly lead to users getting hung up trying to put it all in right away. That is why it is critical for you to start with the end in mind, and develop a clear vision of what you’re setting out to build.
To help visualize your creation, ask yourself questions such as:
- What is the purpose of this project?
- What does an end-user want to achieve?
- What does the finished product look like?
- What elements are required for functionality?
These types of questions will help you scope your project and know what to build towards. Giving your project a purpose with a clear list of features will prevent you from trying to figure it out as you go. Also, this will help you determine your initial finish line while eliminating unnecessary features or unimportant details.
Step 2: Define Success
Defining success sounds easy, but the definition is often difficult to nail down. The success you want to define is not for yourself, but for your end-user. Your aim should be to understand what a person wants to do with your creation and the actions they need to take to achieve success. It is critical to step back and visualize this end-user so that throughout your building process your efforts can be focused on driving towards their success with your creation.
To help you get in the mind of a user, you should constantly be asking yourself “as a user, I want to be able to do _____.”
That blank will give you an idea of the functionality that should be included. It will also help you prioritize the order in which you should build each feature. This process will help crystalize your building process, project requirements and ensure end-users are able to successfully use your creation.
Step 3: Create A Roadmap
Once you have a firm grasp on your end vision with a required list of your features, you can craft a roadmap for your project. While the no code mobile app development process can be fun and fast, you are still building a product. And every good product should have a map to help you navigate the building and iteration process.
By creating a roadmap, you will take the priorities from step 2 in this process and put them into a logical building order. This roadmap will help you prioritize each step so you can get to your initial minimum viable product (MVP) faster. As you discover new features a user may want, you can slot them into your roadmap plans without disrupting your workflow. This will keep you on track to launch your product and make the iteration process faster. Then, you can test what’s working and what needs adjustments while continuously adding more features.
Often with no code app projects, builders get hung up trying to add it all in at once, resulting in the project getting bogged down with ideas and never reaching their launch. You should quickly prioritize your build by stages, starting with your MVP and building up to your dream end goal. The process of doing this simple prioritized plan will help to keep you on track. Your roadmap doesn’t have to be a definite plan, but taking a few minutes before starting your build will make the process much easier and keep you on track.
Step 4: Budget Your Time
It doesn’t matter if your project is a simple game or a new business venture; it will require some level of commitment and there will be some speed bumps along the way.
Budgeting your time and clearly setting expectations for your no code app development will help you avoid burnout or abandoning your project when issues arise. As you review your roadmap, it's helpful to add the expected level of effort (LOE) for each task. This will help you make sure you spend the appropriate amount of time on each element without getting too overwhelmed or bogged down.
Another extremely important element of budgeting your time is familiarizing yourself with available resources before starting. It's a great habit to find and save documentation or tutorials for each step you are unfamiliar with. Keeping these guides readily available makes it easier to find the help you need before you spend precious time trying to figure it out for yourself.
If you aren’t able to find the right information right away, ask for available resources that may help. Dropping questions into active communities can be a great way to crowdsource information and save time. Or, even better yet, if you have a clearly defined roadmap and know you’ll have some extremely pointed questions, drop them into a community before you even get to that building step. Pre-seeding questions will make it so that you have the help ready and waiting when the time comes to start on that step.
Step 5: Pick The Right Platform
Now that you have your end goal, the definition of user success, a clear roadmap of how to attack your project and a realistic timeline for reaching your goal, the final step is to pick the right no code mobile app development platform. This sounds easy enough since most no code platforms promise ease of use and mirror feature sets. But thoroughly evaluating and selecting the right platform options is critical for you to reach completion. You do not want to sink a whole bunch of time and effort into a project only to find out the platform you've chosen limits your distribution channels or storage or can’t meet functionality requirements.
Picking the right platform will make all the difference.
Here are a few things to consider before picking your no code platform:
- Functionality of the platform: Visual design studios are making it easier than ever to cobble together an MVP. But, if you are launching a product, you’ll want to make sure the platform has the advanced capabilities needed for full functionality as you continue to iterate and grow.
- Ease of integrations: Building a nice-looking product is only half the battle. Every successful product needs to be linked with an external data source. Whether that is a spreadsheet, third party API, or incorporating hardware functionality, your product will eventually need to integrate with an external system. Make sure that this is possible.
- Distribution channels: Certain no code platforms specialize in one medium or distribution channel. To ensure your product can reach your end users, make sure the platform you pick will make it available on their desired operating system.
- Available help: Document repositories and tutorials should get you most of the way there, but when you do run into a question, you need to make sure you can get the help you need. Look for a platform that offers quality support. A good measure for finding a supportive platform is an engaged community where the staff and users can share ideas, fixes, and suggestions. Also, check for direct support options, like personalized training or dedicated support channels.
Get Started Building Your No Code Mobile App with Thunkable
As with any journey, it all begins with the first step (or five, in this case). Crafting a detailed plan will make your journey a much smoother and more enjoyable experience. Following these five steps before you get started will help you see your project to completion and beyond.
Our personal suggestion is that you learn more about Thunkable and how we can help get you on your way to creating your own no code mobile app. Visit our gallery of sample apps and our community of creators to be inspired.
Best of luck, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll build next!