Finding a productive flow while turning ideas into products is challenging. While No Code makes it easy for you to start building, one question may distract you time and again – "Am I doing this right? What if it fails?"
No Code maker, Kavir Kaycee says you don't need to worry about those questions.
In his meetup at HelloMeets, Kavir simplified an approach to building, testing and launching an app. He drew examples from his journey of building The Mind Health App using Glide Apps.
Here is a flow you can try when you decide to build your no code app. You can experiment and let us know what you think!
Featured no code platform: Glide Apps for this process
1. How to ideate your No Code project?
When you're making a side project, play on your strengths. You'll have more ideas in your field of work and around a regularly practiced skill.
Use this combination:
What are you good at (skills) + what are you passionate about (interest)
Kavir's example: Illustration + Mental Health
He built The Mind Health app using this framework.
Other example: Making small videos (skill) + Cooking (passion) [you can make a no code app which regularly gives survival recipes to bachelors in short videos]
Why cho0se the 'skills + interest' approach?
Even if you're not making a serious startup, building a side project may take several months. You'll need to put consistent efforts, creativity, and rigor to see meaningful results.
Skills let you be in the flow of creation. Interest will let you learn and innovate better ideas and motivate you to create value consistently.
What Kavir ideated based on his skills + interest: He took the concept of Cognitive distortions and started illustrating them, to inform users about the mental health issues we face daily.
2. Start expressing your ideas in form of how they look
Visualize the project, make rough sketches of what you will see in it.
Once you have rough sketches, you can try making them digitally. This gives you the fluidity of editing them on the go.
Tools to use here – Figma.
Kavir's tip: Keep building skills as you go along. Go through the motion of creating something. Copy what people have done, and learn from them. Even if you are not good at drawing, express your ideas in a form that you can share with others for feedback.
In case you need tutorials on digitally expressing your ideas, here are few:
1. Using vectors on Figma
2. Figma in 55 Seconds: Free Illustration Resources
3. Figma Tutorial - Create clean web design login page with plugin Humaaans
3. Get feedback after making basic outlines
After you chart out sketches, icons, buttons and flows of your no code project, show it to people. Get feedback from 3 types of users – those who use apps regularly, average app users, and people who rarely use apps.
Ask them simple questions about what do they understand when they look at what you've made. Are they getting what you're trying to convey?
Change a few things if users are not able to connect with your expressions.
Kavir's tip for validating icons: ask people "what does this represent". You'll have context of an icon's meaning which other people don't. So start getting feedback to match the context your icons represent.
Create something very basic, and get feedback. This would help you work on the right problems and features – as uses are telling this after going through your basic outlines.
4. Execute the idea - Build the first version
Any app has two parts to it - front-end, what the users see and back-end, where the information is stored. Between these two parts is the functionality you offer.
Key thing to keep in mind while making the first version - start with a template, and mold it to the final outcome you want.
If you start from scratch, you'll get lost in building small features and extra add-ons. Hence, starting from a template is a faster way to start building.
Suggested tool to use - Glide apps.
[There are many no code tools out there, if you're not sure which no code tool combos to use, find a suitable stack for your idea here - https://sideprojectstack.com/
Build your app with the core functionality and features which give the most important experience of your app to the user.
To start building right away with Glide, here are some resources:
1. Introduction to Glide | Glide Apps Tutorial
2. If → Then → Else Column | Glide Data Editor Tutorial
3. NO CODE app builder - TUTORIAL and TEMPLATE
4. Glide Apps Template for an eCommerce Store
5. Glide: Digital Restaurant App Template
Question - how do you alter the templates and deal with its limitations?
Kavir : Choose a template which is as close as possible to the concept you want to build. To eliminate running into limitations, research the platform and list what all does it offer.
No Code platforms are moving very fast. Go to the roadmap of a platform, and see what native capabilities they're adding next. You can compare what other platforms let you do and choose based on what suits your project the best.
5. Take feedback from other makers
You can take it from people in your target market as well. Reach out to individuals who are in the same space as you.
Example: If you're making an e-commerce product, reach out to makers who've build such apps before, or product managers who work at e-commerce startups. Try cold emailing, or Twitter for this.
Interact with communities, and groups of makers who engage regularly. You can find out more about no code communities here - No Code Communities which give you rapid growth.
Take part in coffee conversations with makers who are launching their work consistently. Share your work with them and let them give you feedback. You can find such meetings very easily at the following platforms:
1. Cuppa.io - Lets you set up 1-on-1 virtual coffees with top tech talent from Twitter
2. Grab Chai - Get to meet interesting folks across the internet
6. Start adding more features
Build features based on the feedback you get in the 5th step. You will learn a lot from other makers' feedback. When adding new features, ensure that you keep your core function – that you are giving to users – as priority.
For example, Kavir built different features in The Mind Health App, but all were still giving a solution to cognitive distortions.
If you're building something more informational, add functions users can perform along with it.
You can add rotating content to keep your app fresh. Keep showing new features you are adding. It is a way of brining more engagement, and users will want to come back.
Reach out to people of similar profiles as your target customers, pitch them your app and ask for their feedback. This would validate features you have added, and will give you proof of it's usability.
Here are a few resources to help you add more features:
1. Gamify your Glide App #1: Onboarding, User Profiles and Guilds
2. User Profiles | Glide Apps Tutorial
7. How to Launch Your No Code App
Launching is a time-restricted event. You have to ensure a lot of things are ready before launching on platforms like Product Hunt.
Inform others before the launch. Inform communities like IndieHackers, HelloMeets, friends, teams and makers you've been in touch with.
Boost your distribution by reaching out to different people in your target market.
Example, when Kavir launched The Mind Health App, he reached out to a lot of therapists to review his app and took their feedback. He also asked them to post it on their social media, and share it with their patients. He got 350+ first users from this.
Kavir's tip on getting first users: "There won't be only one launch. Keep showing snippets of what you are building. Build in public. Write a personal story about how you ideated the app. Write why does it matter to you. In this process, people will want to understand what you've built."
Get feedback from people who'd share your work. Make sure that they are interested in what you are doing. Ensure that you make it relevant to them.
Find out where your potential users are hanging out. Research about the kind of users you have attracted and onboarded. Then figure out what more value you can keep giving regularly to those user personas.
Keep creating for Serendipity. Consistently publish your work. If you share your work, you create serendipity as more people see it and find value in it.
Here's a bonus resource on learning "Build in public" from one of the masters of the craft, KP. This his podcast with Bubble, on how he built Cuppa.io and launched it successfully.
We thank Kavir Kaycee for his inspirational meetup! You can check his profile out here - @KavirKaycee
HelloMeets is bringing more No Code makers in coming weeks! Check out the latest No Code meetups here - HelloMeets.