In recent years, a new breed of software has emerged that automates most mundane tasks. They are also known as Low-code/No-code platforms. They use simple drag and drop tools to deploy apps in a matter of hours or days instead of months or years. In addition, they empower non-developers to quickly deploy their digital assets without writing a single line of code.
Whilst these platforms promise to eliminate much of the development efforts, they can be challenging to learn and implement for many users. Hence, the UI UX takes centerstage to ensure zero communication or perspective lags and deliver a simple and intuitive user experience (UX).
But designing a low-code/no-code platform UX is no easy feat. Designers stumble upon many challenges sooner or later, increasing the go-to-market time. Let’s take a look at some of these challenges and how you can overcome each of them:
1. Preserving simplicity while adding advanced features
No-code/low-code platforms allow users to go from concept to launch in a matter of hours or days. The absence of actual coding makes the work faster, but it also means less time for testing and quality assurance. Moreover, using advanced features such as conditional business rules, decision trees, integration with third-party services, etc, may turn out to be a nightmare for non-coders or first-time users.
Solution: Keep the UI UX simplistic and intuitive while giving particular importance to advanced features. The goal is to reduce the learning curves and the time to develop. Consider adding minimalistic info boxes that explain the function of every feature in-tune with how the user is engaging with the platform.
2. Improper scalability and reusability of UI elements across devices
A low-code platform may end up consisting of thousands of tiny UI elements across devices. This means that there should be consistency across screens like landing pages, logins, payments, etc. This poses a design challenge as even the smallest of changes across one element must now be reflected everywhere to ensure a consistent end-user experience.
Solution: A design system must be maintained for any low-code/no-code platform to ensure that the UI elements are scalable and reusable across all apps deployed on the platform.
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3. Differentiating between key and secondary UI elements
The most commonly used challenge faced while designing a low-code/no-code platform UX is overcoming the urge to add every possible feature or functionality. Instead, you need to give particular attention to what you want users to take away from the UI UX design. Every element should serve a purpose and bring the user closer to their goal without overwhelming them with too much information or functionality.
Solution: Remember that less is more while designing for low-code/no-code platforms. The focus should be on streamlining the experience to ensure that users can easily take away what they need. Introduce added features only when they solve a particular problem or are required for competitive differentiation.
4. Ensuring faster user adoption
An intuitive UI UX design helps in increasing user engagement and reduces support costs by ensuring faster onboarding, training, and adoption. But when it comes to low-code/no-code platforms, users may be less tech-savvy customers across varied industries. So the adoption in this case largely depends on how quickly they can understand what the platform is about, how it will help them, and why they should adopt it into their workflows.
Solution: Include customers in the decision-making process early while designing the platform. The designer must conduct user surveys and meet with end-users to get an idea of the use cases. Ask for customer input wherever possible while designing the UI UX so that you can understand their perspective and build a solution around it.
5. Designing for different mobile platforms
Mobile devices have been around for years now, but many businesses are still grappling with the best design for their mobile apps. This is an issue that plagues low-code/no-code platforms as well. In addition, different businesses and users have varying needs, which are likely to translate into unique mobile app requirements.
Solution: Research, research, and more research! Build a detailed profile of your target audience before you start designing the mobile UI UX. This will help you understand their needs and pain points and allow you to build a platform that fits them perfectly. Also, keep in mind that the mobile experience must be consistent with the desktop versions.
6. Keeping Loading Times In Check
As low-code/no-code platforms are typically useful for building business apps, they must perform smoothly. It must not take more than a few seconds to open the platform and make changes on the fly. This is another challenge that designers of such platforms can face since they have to consider several factors like the size of the application, the number of elements to be displayed on a page, etc.
Solution: Focus on delivering a blazingly fast user experience. Load only what’s required and ensure that every UI element is created with performance in mind. Also, choose the right technology stack to ensure that your design is delivered on time.
7. Designing for geography-specific audiences
Businesses of all sizes and across geographies use low-code/no-code platforms, meaning there will be a varied set of users from different backgrounds sharing distinct goals. Therefore, the design should be versatile enough to accommodate these varying needs.
Solution: Give particular attention to the localization of the platform. To get the end-users opinions, you can use customer surveys and feedback sessions. Ask for their input about what works best for them before you finalize the localized version of the app.
8. Leveraging Data for UI Success
Designing a low-code/no-code platform without any data to fall back on is like building a house with an incomplete blueprint. Instead, platform designs should be able to tap into existing data sources to get an idea of what customers need, the problems they are facing, how to best address these issues, etc.
Solution: Base your design on data whenever possible. Use pre-existing data analytics tools to gain a better understanding of your users. You can also use AI-based platforms to understand user behaviors and build an appropriate design process around them.
9. Getting Everyone Onboard
Designing a low-code/no-code platform UX is not just about designing an app. It’s more like creating a blueprint that the whole team must follow while building the product. Keeping everyone on board with the design process can be challenging, especially for enterprises platforms owing to their scale.
Solution: Make sure there are proper sign-off processes in place. Also, try to use the appropriate collaboration tools so that your team is always on top of things.
10. Staying Relevant
While designing a low-code/no-code platform, you must focus on the future. So what can you do now to ensure your platform stays relevant for years to come without requiring significant changes? This requires designers to consider how users will interact with the technology in the future. They also need to be futuristic and think about what new technologies might be available.
Solution: Get involved in emerging technologies such as AI and Machine learning to ensure that your platform stays relevant for years to come. This will help you design a platform that seamlessly integrates with new technologies as they emerge.
Keep the challenges mentioned above in mind while designing a low code or no-code platform, and you should be able to build software that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Remember that great design is ever-evolving. If you are unwilling to innovate and experiment with new tools, you will lose out on future opportunities. Similarly, if you stick to one technology and don’t heed the emerging ones, you might soon find that your platform has become irrelevant for users.
As a designer, you must evaluate how new tools can integrate with your existing skill set to improve the overall design process. Then, with the proper skill set and an open mindset, you should create software that is in line with the latest design trends and fulfills all functional requirements.
Are you looking to design and develop the next revolutionizing low-code/no-code platform? Contact the experts at Divami today!!!