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November 17, 2023

What Is No-Code Development?

The Latest Guild Roundtable Empowers Digital Product Designers to Take the Build into their Own Hands
Karla Fernandes - Bravo Expert
Karla Fernandes - Bravo Expert

As designers in today's market, we have powerful, reliable no-code tools that allow us to build our own apps, giving us full control of our own products. With no-code development, we can deliver fully functional MVPs to our customers to cut out the cost of development teams, shorten the time-to-market and help them iterate fast.

No-code isn't new, but it's grown in recent years. One statistic says that by 2024, low-code app development will be responsible for more than 65% of app development activity (Gartner). It's crucial that designers keep up with the market and continue to upskill as it changes, taking this as an opportunity to get ahead.

As a UX/UI & Digital Product Designer with over 25 years' experience, I was recently given the chance to speak about app creation at a Guild Event. Here's a brief summary of what I shared.

To start, there are some tools you may need. To help you get started, I'd recommend...

To Build

Free downloadable tools to help you build your own apps without the need to code.

  • Figma ( A Figma file is essentially a blueprint of how your app prototype will work. With Figma, you can build your entire product visually without actually running anything.
  • Bravo Studio ( Bravo comes in to convert the Figma structure you have created into a real prototype that you can test live with real users using Bravo Vision (a previewer app) on your phone. I've already published 5 apps using Bravo Studio.
  • Airtable ( resembles apps like Excel and Google Sheets but allows you to bind your data to your app prototype created with Bravo Studio. Its smart fields accommodate a range of data types from dates and currency to images and videos. With Airtable, you can run your app from your phone with real data plugged in.

To Plan & Track

Helping you stay on top of your time. is an invaluable resource for freelancers. I recommend logging your work to be able to estimate how much time similar projects will take up in the future, and how much to charge your customers

To Learn

These tools offer a wide array of audiobooks on topics such as ideation and self-development. They're a great place to get your creative juices flowing, enabling you to find the topics that interest you the most and expand from there.


And now to the main topic, you want to build an app but don't know where to start? Here are the 5 steps I follow:

1. Have an Idea

Ideas aren't hard to come by if you start close to home. Maybe you're terrible at looking after your plants — they keep dying on you. So you conceive an app that tells users how much water and sunlight their plants need every day.

When you have that spark of inspiration, try jotting down 30 ideas for products that could help solve your problem. Some ideas could be non-digital but have the potential to lead to a digital version further down the line. You could take something that's already on the market and build it better, or combine your idea with a pre-existing one.

Use the connections you have to get people excited about your product and reach more customers.

2. Create a Figma File

I'm especially fond of Figma for building up a general idea of how your app will work, but there are many tools out there to choose from.

Go through the thinking processes you would on any design, considering the holistic user experience. And, most importantly, run tests. If your customer's budget is limited but you want to test the product for yourself, run it by friends and family to see whether your idea appeals and how they react to your prototype

3. Bravorize your File

On your Figma file, use Bravo Tags, each of them will be interpreted later on so that it knows what to do and how the user will interact with it later.

4. Use Airtable to Bind Data

Load your data into Airtable. Then you can bind it with the design elements into Bravo Studio and run your app with real data.

5. Publish

When everything is done, it's really easy to publish on both App store and Google Play Store (iOS & Android), as Bravo lets you publish on both systems at the same time. Super straightforward!

I taught myself to use no-code tools from scratch. Having put over 300 hours into it, I now have 5 apps published and 2 in development. No-code development offers anyone the chance to put the products you want to see out into the world.

I can do it — what about you? Are you ready to build your own app? If there's anything I can help with, feel free to reach out!

Karla Fernandes

UX/UI & Digital Product Designer

Building your mobile app prototype or MVP using powerful and reliable no-code tools!

Want to talk? book the perfect meeting here:

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