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Zero-coding: how to create IT products without programming

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Zero-code or no-code is a technology that allows software and services to be created without writing code. There is also the concept of low-code, where IT products are created with minimal use of code.

Instead of writing program code, they assemble digital products from pre-made blocks and templates and then tweak them to make them work properly for the user.

What can be done without code

Zerocoding is most commonly used to create:

  • landing pages;
  • mobile applications;
  • online shops;
  • email newsletters;
  • chat-bots;
  • process automation services.

For example, web pages are now often created using the Tilda service. This is an example of zerocoding: the designer does not need to know programming languages in order to assemble the site from ready-made blocks.

Most of the mailing lists and chatbots used by various companies are also created with the help of designers. This is convenient and takes much less time than writing code.

Who can benefit from zero-coding?

Those who are not good at programming.

Anyone can learn how to use zero-code services. You can use them to build your own mobile game, create a business card site or set up sms to remind your friends about your birthday.

For those who know how to code

Before you start writing code for a complicated application or service, a programmer can quickly prototype a product using zerocoding, show it to a client and specify the terms of reference.

For those launching a startup

To test whether users need a new product, it is best to create a prototype of the product, show it to the audience and get feedback. You don't need to hire a whole staff of programmers for this, you can do everything yourself with zerocoding, and save time and money.

For those who want to save money

Zero-coding allows companies who have a limited budget to reduce the costs of hiring web designers and programmers. No-code services allow you to build a landing page, chatbot or mailing list without special professional skills, you just need to know how to use the service.

Building a website without coding

Before you start raving about how you can make a great website without any code or other web development knowledge, I should warn you that zerocoding is more about trying out a future product than a completely finished solution. Large projects are not made with zerocoding.

Precisely because of the simplicity and usability of the tools of zerocoding, it is possible to quickly create a working model of a digital product and test how users will interact with it.

Thanks to zerocoding, it is possible to implement new ideas of marketers in a short period of time without resorting to programmers and designers. All you need to do is find the right tool for it.

MVP

Minimal Viable Product - a test version of a product or service with a minimum of features.

This "pilot" version is needed to test and verify the viability of a product that has not yet been released on the market. The results of observations and feedback from the target audience allow you to find pros and cons, to identify problems and to decide whether the project is worth developing, and if so, in what direction.

The benefits of MVPs are indisputable: many of today's largest companies started with MVPs. Back in 2006, Swedes Daniel Ek and Martin Laurentson launched a tiny service with a single function: music streaming. Their product, Spotify, is now valued at $21 billion and has an audience of 50 million people.

Another prime example of an MVP is Airbnb, which began its ascent in much the same way. In 2008, when finding accommodation for travel was a headache, two friends decided to try just renting out their flat for a while. The experiment was so successful that Airbnb is now one of the largest marketplaces for short-term rentals.

So, if the idea looks promising, a team can be assembled to fully develop the product.

Zero-coding is ideal for a startup or a low-budget project.

Top-5 online services for zero coding

Bubble is a web app builder. You can build a pre-built application for a beauty salon, shop or personal blog.

Integromat is a constructor where you have to move balls in the structure and write scripts to arrange integration of services with each other.

Airtable is a simple service that helps to work with tables, link them together and transfer data from one to another.

SendPulse is a service for creating email autostreams and chatbots in messengers. Chains of messages can be set up to lead a customer to a purchase.

Tilda is a website builder with many ready-made blocks and templates to create functional websites.

The main advantages of no-code solutions

So, we have considered the main areas of application of zerocoding and can list the advantages:

  • No programming skills are required
  • Mostly accessible tools interface
  • At the initial stage, the cost of the project is reduced at times
  • The creation of a landing page or mobile application can be done in a couple of evenings
  • Quickly test future solutions
  • The ability to download apps from the App Store or Google Play.

Disadvantages of zero-coding

Zero-coding has a huge number of advantages, it has a broad toolkit, and every year its adherents become more and more numerous. But zerocoding can't be all about benefits. So let's list the disadvantages:

  • In order to implement something complex, you will still need to understand IT or hire a highly specialised expert.
  • It is not certain that a solution created through zerocoding will be viable in the long run. If the structure expands, sooner or later you will have to face the limitations of the tool and the entrepreneur will be forced to consider full development practically from scratch.
  • Often zerocoding services use pay-as-you-go tariffs to untie their hands. Yes, you can perform basic operations for free, but if the user wants more, let him pay. And the figures are sometimes considerable. So this is yet another reason to go into individual development. Yes, you may have to pay specialists more, but the product will also be more flexible and will not depend on someone else's service.
  • If the service you choose decides to close, you will have to create the product from scratch.

Conclusion

As we can see, zerocoding is a great solution for startups or market researchers. A good tool for trying out a product and showing your audience.

But also don't write off standard development, because sooner or later the user will encounter the limitations of the platform and will have to turn to developers. This implies that highly specialised specialists will not be out of work and that zero coding will definitely not replace classic development in the next few years.