Top 10 Low-Code App Development Best Practices to Follow
Follow these low-code best practices to ideate, prototype, and create a web or mobile app faster and avoid costly mistakes later in the development process.
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Low-code is the present and future of software development. The low-code market is expected to increase from its $10.3 billion market value back in 2019 to $187 billion by 2030 as more companies see the benefits of adopting the platform for their business needs. This is due to the growing need to either accelerate or finish their digital transformation.
We at Appery.io build a huge variety of applications using the low-code approach and have even created our own low-code app builder that helps our customers turn ideas into real apps. We’ve experienced some challenges and learned some lessons that help us maximize the potential of low-code.
In this article, we’re sharing ten application development best practices that will help your company take advantage of all the benefits of low-code options.
Introducing the Top 10 Low-Code Best Practices
1. Make Friends with Your Platform
It’s been widely said (including by us!) that the best part of low- and no-code development is that it takes little or no effort to get cracking at it. It’s true, but don’t let it lull you into a false sense of security. Low-code development opens the gates of app building to almost any department in your company, however, unlike no-code platforms, it does assume a certain degree of technical knowledge.
You don’t need to have an in-depth understanding of the ins and outs of coding, but learning the ropes of the platform you choose will better your chances of building an awesome app. Ensure that your team, including product owners and business analysts, invests enough time getting to know the platform and playing around with it.
Lesson 1: A low barrier is still a barrier. Take your time and study a few video tutorials to get value out of a low-code development platform.
2. Reuse Ready-Made Apps and Components
One of the main advantages of low-code platforms is their out-of-the-box components. Due to the universal nature of low-code platforms, it’s a good idea to find ready-made functionality and develop your app from there. The majority of applications are similar in their functionality, so it’s not a good idea to start everything from scratch. The most time-efficient and cost-effective way is to find platforms like Appery.io or Zoho Creator and take advantage of their predefined components.
Lesson 2. Create the 10% of an application that makes it unique and leave the grunt work to the low-code tool or platform.
3. Release the App Often and with Minimum Functionality to Get Feedback Faster
It’s a better idea to put an imperfect application in production than it is to release a fully-baked one. Succeeding with low-code means dividing your application into meaningful chunks and publishing them as often as you can. The idea is to constantly get immediate field feedback from users and make consistent small improvements. Conduct regular feedback sessions with your team members and see how the app operates and what it lacks.
Lesson 3. Adopt an Agile mentality and iterate your app in short intervals to get immediate feedback.
4. Choose a Platform with UI/UX Design Best Practices
Low-code platforms provide prepared UI libraries with consistent components. They’re easy to use, and it’s a good practice to create a simple platform that borrows the best features from market leaders. It will take less time and money than creating a unique UI/UX and will allow you to release your app faster. In our experience, UX specialists bring value at the beginning of the project, but later their role decreases significantly, and on the off chance that UX and Visual Design support is needed later on, experts can contribute on an as-needed basis.
Lesson 4. The low-code development platform you select should offer ready-made templates that can be easily used and amended based on the examples of market leaders.
5. Don’t Neglect the Low-Code Community or Your Users
To continue developing a good product, you should always communicate with the low-code community and your users. If you’re facing a problem, the low-code community might have already solved it and be able to share the solution with you. Users play a crucial role in your success, so you should allow them to influence your product and interact with it as much as possible. A good platform is one where users can work with the development team to bring about valuable results.
Lesson 5. By finding out the needs of your users and satisfying them, you’ll make sure they have the best possible experience.
6. Attract Specialized and Experienced Developers to Design Your Low-Code Apps
Once you decide to use a low-code development platform, you should think about hiring an experienced part-time or on-demand developer to review your app, identify bugs, and release features if necessary. Often, businesses choose less experienced developers with insufficient knowledge to work with low-code platforms/apps, but developers must understand the default behavior of the elements, create visual structures, and understand the effects of configuration changes. That’s why attracting highly experienced developers from the platform is the best way to avoid technical challenges and make sure that your project is successful.
Lesson 6. To design a successful application, hire full-fledged developers who know all the ins and outs of the platform.
7. Be a Few Steps Ahead of the Development Team
To realize a powerful project, you should keep in mind both it's business and technical sides. You’ll be better off if you’re operating a few iterations of the application in advance because you’ll be well-prepared for the unexpected. This way, your product owner will understand what is expected from him/her going forward. Keep in mind that when creating an application, new ideas and needs for functionality will always pop up, and you should be prepared for scaling both functionality and users. That’s why making a detailed plan in advance will help you avoid stress and allow the process to run smoothly.
Lesson 7. Create a plan a few iterations in advance of your team.
8. Weave Low-Code Security and Governance Levels Into Application Value
Dealing with low-code platforms can be challenging, as they work with personal data, and not all low-code development or applications provide the same kind of internal controls. The best practice is to choose a platform that strikes a reasonable balance between the value of the application and the level of control over data. A good platform should give businesses opportunities to work with and store sensitive data. This applies especially to applications that deal with transactional systems.
Lesson 8. Let’s not reinvent the wheel. Choose a platform that already provides opportunities to work with and store personal data.
9. Choose a Platform that Supports Voice Recognition, Image Detection, Chatbots, and Other Smart Features
Combining a low-code platform with the power of artificial intelligence can help you rapidly create and release an application and add value to your business. Imagine that you’re going to create a check deposit app. By incorporating AI into your solution, you can automate the cropping process. If you have a project that requires filling in many blanks, use AI that automates this procedure and has higher speed and quality.
Lesson 9. Delegate work to AI by choosing a smart platform with a built-in set of features.
10. Keep Calm, Try Low-Code
If you've never tried to build applications with a low-code platform, you might be nervous that it will be too limited for your purposes. However, going the low-code route can actually be a huge advantage. All you need to do is a little research (and you’ve already started by reading this article) to grasp the basics and then opt for the right platform. In a few years, low-code app builders could be responsible for 65% of all application development activity. That’s a good reason to try it out, even if it’s a little nerve-wracking at first.
Lesson 10. Keep a positive attitude towards low-code development platforms and invest your time into experimenting with them.
Low-code platforms can make app development simple and transparent to everyone involved in making and using applications. Our app development best practices can help you avoid issues and create better applications at higher speed for an overall better app-building experience. All you have to do is combine the right software with a well-thought-out plan, and you’ll be well on your way!
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