Digitising Events with Low Code No-Code
The excellent Low Code No-Code (LCNC) platforms in the market make them an exciting and viable part of the solution mix to deliver Digitising Event prototypes.
Hiring programmers is expensive and comes with obvious dangers. Most will not have domain knowledge, so they will add little or no value. Programmers also live to programme and will, bar a few exceptions, rarely offer advice which helps you reduce the programming needed to achieve your desired outcome.
We have also seen occasions where this route has put organisations into a perpetual bug-fix cycle as low-level developers just do as instructed without overall architectural guidance.
The final trap is getting locked into an agency, a platform, or a programming language which can become costly to extract yourself from.
We first came across the no-code option when we started to look for a registration system fit for a Digitised Event which would use natural language programming (NLP), semantic analysis, and structured behavioural data to form the core of a profoundly personalised registration experience. Sending out the requirements resulted in ridiculously high prototyping costs for a beta test. Instead, we built the prototype on Bubble at a tiny fraction of the cost. Those experiences inform this article.
Why rely on a no-code approach?
We became increasingly convinced of the benefits of no-code platforms once we tried them in Digitising Events.
No-code platforms allow non-technical users, such as business owners or product managers, to create and manage their applications without learning to code. With this access to technology, creative owners or their product teams can explore new opportunities for people without a programming background.
The no-code platforms significantly reduce the time it takes to build, test, and deploy applications. You can create functioning applications more efficiently using drag-and-drop interfaces, pre-built templates, and other visual tools, allowing you to prototype and respond quickly to changing market conditions or customer needs.
Programmers are costly and often lack domain knowledge. The solution? Reduce reliance on traditional programming.
Building custom applications can be expensive, especially when hiring developers or outsourcing work. We learned this first-hand from the quotes offered for our scenario. You substantially reduce the cost of application development by building your applications or making changes to existing ones without relying on external help.
Collaboration is another fantastic benefit. Due to its visual nature, it brings together technical and non-technical team members. Because everyone can contribute, we can leverage diverse perspectives and skills, leading to more effective and well-rounded workflows and solutions.
Like others, the Bubble no-code platform we use is also easily scalable. Where scalability proves a challenge, low-code platforms can be useful. But with this no-code platform, we were able to prototype most of our digitised registration on the free tier. When ready to scale, we do not have to worry about re-provisioning the architecture.
Maintaining the application became more manageable, as users could easily make changes without modifying lines of code. This leads to fewer errors and more efficient troubleshooting. Innovation was overflowing as users could rapidly prototype and test new ideas, leading to more creative solutions.
But it's not all roses in no-code land
Overall they are great for highly data-driven applications like our personalised registration experience, where design is more about simplified usability, and you can afford slightly higher load times between four to six seconds. We would not recommend them for content delivery solutions like article sites or training sites, where breakneck load speeds are essential. A headless CMS better serves those.
The biggest thing to understand is that while you are not coding in the traditional sense of using a programming language, you are still programming. The team working on the application will need to learn a programming mindset to logically order a sequence of events and avoid the programmer's equivalent of spaghetti junctions. This mindset takes time to develop but is teachable. Our team attended several online courses for this very reason.
While no-code platforms are friendly enough for non-technical users, there is still a learning curve involved in mastering the platform's tools and features.
Unlike a cloud-based solution, you are responsible if functionality breaks. You can't raise a support ticket if some functionality does not work as expected. Thankfully though, you can submit tickets for platform issues. If your solutions are to be deployed externally to the organisation, they will need robust testing, and your team will need the capacity to react to support requests.
So, while no-code platforms are friendly enough for non-technical users, there is still a learning curve involved in mastering the platform's tools and features. Employees may need training and support to use the platform effectively.
There is also a significant cultural shift, especially for non 'digital-first' businesses, as employees must adapt to new ways of working and collaborating. Resistance to change can be a barrier, particularly in organisations with a deeply ingrained traditional software licensing culture.
You may also face potential integration challenges if the no-code platform you have chosen does not have native connectors or plug-ins to a service. However, with the proliferation of open APIs, the issue is gradually receding. Choosing a platform with a vibrant freelance ecosystem will help you effectively navigate these challenges should they arise.
The final downside is platform lock-in. On Bubble, for example, you can export your application data and the designs, but you would have to rebuild the logic in your new environment. If you do want to explore Bubble, I would highly recommend taking a course with Coaching No Code Apps.
Riding the LCNC Movement in Digitising Events
Our excitement around no-code platforms stems from how quickly you can prototype. Use it to combine and collide usually siloed datasets to create meaningful intelligence to shift knowledge, information, engagement and action.
We have long believed that registering for a Digitised Event is where the engagement journey starts. We can not abdicate registration to a third party. It is that important. With this in mind, we ran a series of what-if prototypes in our no-code registration model.
What if you could know all the relevant behavioural data of the registrant as soon as they started the registration? How could you steer the registration? What if you could understand their intent? Could this guide better recommendations? And finally, what if you knew their most significant challenges? How could this inform their journey to our Digitised Event?
We can access this information. But it is in various data silos that any third-party solution would struggle to access without potentially violating privacy laws. With a no-code solution, it is our platform and our data that are colliding, allowing us to explore very quickly – successfully, we may add – the art of the possible.
Let's agree that shifts in knowledge, action, engagement and information are at the core of Digitised Events. The only way to achieve this is by having frictionless access to all the relevant data. And that means creating applications we can control, improve, and guide to achieve these outcomes. The maturing of the no-code movement may be a timely boon for Digitising Events.