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How do you define a trend? Trends in the stock market indicate that finances are moving in a certain direction. Trends in the business world center on new strategies and practices that are potentially beneficial for a brand’s baseline. Trends in fashion change so swiftly that they’re difficult to keep up with. In defining what makes a “trend,” there’s one thing that always seems to be part of the equation: Trends are limited in popularity, and eventually, they give way to the new.
No-code products themselves have been on the cusp of a new trend, part of the growing no-code movement that has fostered accessibility and user-friendliness for those of us who haven’t mastered coding. But will no-code products continue to be utilized, and for how long?
Let’s take a look at some of the details, and the factors that play into the answers.
No-code product design
What exactly do I mean by no-code product design?
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Let’s take a simple example: An app that you might download on your phone is the product, and the way it was formed and intended to function constitutes the design. Using no-code applications allows a web designer who might not be a coding expert to take the individual elements of the app and put them together.
And no-code products have a much more extensive reach than simply designing apps, though that’s one of their most popular uses. Anything that creates a unique design from pre-built elements — online logo-maker software, for example — may be no-code. Websites, programs, software, blogs, ecommerce sites, social media platforms (and more) can fit the category.
Now, no-code design doesn’t automatically mean that the developer is free from all possibility of making design mistakes; a tool is only as good as its user. Products designed using no-code are still subject to updates, iterations and adjustments according to what is needed to preserve and enhance functionality. In the end, though, no-code is growing because it makes product development much more accessible and user-friendly.
Growth of the no-code movement
With more platforms depending on no-code availability, it isn’t difficult to see why there’s a growing general trend towards its use and development. And with more emphasis on no-code, we see more trends emerging that play into its further adaptation and usage.
I already mentioned the use of no-code in app development. It’s also increasingly utilized in other aspects of the virtual world, and I can see it being incorporated extensively as the metaverse takes shape.
One of the primary fields where I see no-code being most useful is branding — specifically, the development and launch of new brands. It’s never been easier to put together an online presence that accurately represents the personality of your company, and as a serial entrepreneur, that cause is close to my heart.
How long no-code trends will last depends largely on the usability of the trends themselves. Since they’re all centered on the usefulness of no-code as a whole, I’d like to discuss them in that context. Here are some of the key factors that play into the longevity of no-code:
- Fast development
- Ease of use
One trend in no-code is its increased use in ecommerce and branding. This makes perfect sense, as it dovetails nicely with the current love for on-demand services and SaaS.
Take an ecommerce site. Perhaps you’ve already launched your site with a number of products, but suddenly you have a new option. No-code design means you can simply copy and paste — or drag and drop — the same elements previously established within your site, ensuring continuity, and keeping the time from opportunity to availability as short as possible.
Not everyone can code. That’s basically the entire premise behind no-code — not everyone can code, and not everyone needs to, either.
The rise of no-code has expanded what developers of all disciplines and experience levels can do. This in turn allows for greater freedom in product development, expansion of the struggling economy, and new initiatives. It’s much more feasible to pursue crafting a product when lack of coding knowledge doesn’t actively prohibit you from moving forward.
No-code, in that sense, is the great leveler. Everyone with access to the internet has the ability to participate in the movement.
Coding can get expensive. This isn’t always because of the actual coding itself, but because man hours are required that can hit a development company’s budget right where it hurts. Building a site from scratch, for example, can cost $2,500 and up. For most small business launches, for example, websites are vital, but that amount of money simply isn’t there.
Relying on no-code instead of from-scratch and bespoke coding can significantly reduce the finances required to get a product off the ground and into use.
It seems like every time I turn around, there’s a new tool that can fit handily into the no-code toolbox. From Webflow to Airtable, from Bubble to Coda, there’s a no-code platform to fit every need — and every design style.
I applaud the variety of no-code tools, especially because in my experience as a serial entrepreneur, each product and each business venture requires a little bit of a different approach to ensure the best possible outcome. It may be a greater ability to tweak individual elements or having a wide range of drag-and-drops to choose from — it depends on the product in development. So no-code tools may come and go, but I believe we will continue to see them being developed as technology moves forward and makes no-code ever more adaptable.
We like things to be easy
Setting aside important considerations like time, budget, accessibility and everything else I’ve mentioned, one of the most telling factors in the lifespan of no-code product design trends is simply our own laziness.
Maybe “laziness” isn’t the right word; after all, no-code developers are enthusiastically and energetically working at expanding their horizons. But for those of us who are using no-code to the full, at least a small part of it is fueled by our desire to keep things as simple and easy as possible.
No-code methods do that for us. In a world that is increasingly complex, the option to simply drag and drop until we’ve created exactly what we need is like a wonderful dream.
No-code product design trends: The takeaway
The point of a trend is to provide a new and beneficial method to reach our goals. In that, the no-code movement itself is a trend that has stuck around in the sphere of tech and development.
But do all trends fade and die, replaced by something new?
In the years since no-code has begun to gain traction, the beneficial aspects of the concept certainly haven’t faded. Micro-trends continue within the no-code movement, but no-code itself — in my opinion — isn’t going anywhere.
Meanwhile, technology continues to advance, innovation always has a next step, and we will never stop searching for ways to better ourselves and our products. No-code is here to stay, but I believe we’ll continue to develop more and more effective ways to utilize it in more arenas.
No one can say exactly how long any particular no-code product design trend will last or what will come next. But with the advancements we’ve already seen, one thing is for sure: The future’s going to be exciting, and it may even be a whole lot easier to use.
Tarif Kahn is head of design at LogoDesign.Net