How to Use App Builders Without Knowing How to Code

Don’t let coding intimidate you from creating a killer app. Today, with the use of app builders, anyone with a great idea can create apps without technical skills.

Why use an app builder instead of learning to code or outsourcing its design?

For starters, app makers keep costs low through one-time costs or subscriptions. An app builder also lets you tap existing design resources. Plus, you aren’t wrapped up in months of code school, letting you build apps on the side.

Interested in building your first app and need direction where to start? Keep reading, this guide is a great entry-point for all aspiring app developers.

The Best App Builders for Non-Techies

Typical (small) app development can take anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks. For many, this is a huge time investment for a relatively untested idea. A great way to shave the time down into something manageable is using one of these app makers.

Shoutem

Shoutem offers WSYWIG development for iOS, Android, and HTML5. Using drag-and-drop features, you’ll create an app much akin to visual website builders. The platform offers a CMS giving you full control of the app’s content and appearance.

Advanced features found in Shoutem include:

  • Push notifications
  • CSV data import
  • Advertising & analytics

At under $20 for its basic plan, Shoutem’s base HTML5 plan is a great entry into app development.  

BuildFire

One of the most inexpensive App Maker options: BuildFire. 

BuildFire offers custom development through its visual platform letting you add features a-la-carte. This offers low-cost basics with room to grow through premium extensions and support.

The out-of-the-box designs let you create apps for:

  • Business
  • Communication
  • Events

…and several other popular categories.

At $59/mo, BuildFire is a steal given its simplistic development platform. Plus, you get managed services and upgradeable features by request.

Appery.io

Appery offers enterprise-level app design at a small business budget. Their visual platform to create iOS/Android, HTML5, and hybrid apps in a series of clicks. Templates, themes, and data imports make quick work of realizing ideas.

Notable features of Appery include:

  • Cloud-based development tools
  • Extensive codebase and extension support
  • Native device control

Appery has a larger financial commitment pricing in at $99/mo for its Pro plan. 

Creating Your App: Beginner Tips and Tricks

Creating your app with a building platform is a rather straightforward process. Because you aren’t required to code, the main challenge is transferring the idea to the screen. Use the following tips to turn your app idea into reality.

Compare

Hop on the app store and see what’s out there. Install apps and see what makes them intuitive and engaging. Keep a journal of what you liked and didn’t like.

Sketch

Draw the app and framework to lay down the basics. Pass the idea through your friends and the design community. Get feedback to refine your idea so when you do develop it’ll go smoothly.

Build

Use an app maker to create a prototype. Focus on function over form as you tweak the app into a usable item. Then, circle around to refine the UI and graphics to match your aesthetic goals.

Test

Get the app into the hands of a few testers to find bugs. Get their feedback to refine the experience. Consider having a professional look it over to make finalized designs and tweaks.

In a World of Possibility, What Will You Make?

App builders let non-techies realize great ideas without needing to code. The skill gap is closing and with it comes an opportunity to make something awesome. The only question is… what will you make of it?

Entertain your ideas and go beyond the basics. Check out our how-to articles for more, great guides to building neat things on iOS.

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