I've used Airtable extensively to build simple internal apps as minimal viable products, but would love to build something bigger without coding. What are your favorite tools to build MVPs?
Different concepts require different tools and hence the answer to this is very wide.
Sketch + Invision : This is a great way to test out a marketing webpage if you don't want to code something (or can't). The ability to put up a design and add hotspots and links does the job of simulating a web page.
IFTTT + Existing Services: This combo comes really handy when your product/service is all about ensuring that multiple services work together for a specific use case. Let's say you have an idea for a group event planning app. You can use a combo of Google Forms + Sheets + IFTTT + Gmail to simulate a workflow.
Google Sheets: I'm a huge fan of Sheets (you won't hear many designers say that). The primary reason is because it's a powerful platform for creating MVPs for products that need some level of database driven outputs. For example creating an ROI calculator for your customers.
Glide: This is something I've only played around with. But I love it because it runs off Google Sheets and generates such amazing apps just from a spreadsheet - I created a Recipe app for myself. (of course there's a learning curve if you want to do something complex but it's great if you aren't planning on learning how to code anytime soon).
I use webflow over squarespace or wix just cause it lends me more control and basically takes same amount of time to build stuff(it takes a bit of a learning curve) but once u get there, there is SOOO MUCH you can do with no code.
layering zapier + ifttt on top of webflow just makes me build super powerful mvps that can do almost everything i can think an mvp needs to do. The cool thing that once you have an mvp that powerful, you dont need to go build a custom website once u find there is demand, you can pretty much continue relying on this stack for a year or two until you rlly nail u product market fit, raise money and then start investing in ur infrastructure.
Coda/Retool + Integromat for Internal apps. Bubble/Thukable + Integromat for external apps. We recently wrote an article about this: https://blog.integromat.com/every-tool-you-need-to-build-without-code-9a63e54a58e5
It really depends on the MVP. We use the same stack for MVP as for post-MVP. We've used Meteor in the past, but now we build all new apps with Node.JS, Vue.JS, Vuetify, GraphQL, PostGres. We use Prisma as a GraphQL layer on the database. For landing pages we use static-site generators: VuePress for i18n, otherwise Gridsome, with Bulma or Tailwind. We deploy to Netlify.
It really depends on the kind of product you want to create. I'm a coder myself, but these days a lot of people are using and loving no-code tools like Bubble and Glide.
For simpler use cases, I've used Coda and it's getting better by the day…
Others have already mentioned some other great tools which may fit perfectly somewhere in the pipeline: Zapier, Airtable, Integromat (didn't know about this one, seems legit).
Check out Makerpad — it's a great place to learn how to use no-code tools like these. I think it's the best place for that, in fact.
If you're OK with (learning) a bit of coding, you'll (soon) be able to get a prototype / MVP up and running fairly quickly with Vue.js (using Vue CLI or Nuxt.js), Buefy + Bulma, and simple serverless functions, and then you can host it all on Netlify (free) or ZEIT Now.
May you create great things! 😉
I'm part of the team behind a new solution, Clutch, that I'd love to shamelessly recommend. Not just for MVPs but for fully-fledged scalable solutions, too.
You can use it to build production-ready apps, design systems, websites, etc. There aren't any limits because you can easily ingest your Clutch code into existing codebases via exporting directly to npm/git.
Interested to see what you all think! clutch.io
Webflow for the landing page/website with a CMS ;
Google Spreadsheet/Airtable to deal with my database ;
Zapier/parabola/integromat to connect everything and make automatic change
It really depends what type of MVP you’re trying to build. If you’re looking to develop apps, platforms, software, etc. Sketch is perfect for design work and InVision is great for prototyping/UX. They both have excellent capabilities and require very little training.
This stack is the bulk of what we use at Makerpad and once you know the ins and outs plus some more complex ways to link them (Webhooks etc) then you can do almost anything without code to build what is a software product. You can build profiles, answers etc - essentially could mimic some of the functionality on Capriche! People have used it to build marketplaces, with messaging functionality too
Bubble, DivJoy, Carrd, Airtable
I know that's a pretty long list, so I should explain it a bit:
For a simple landing page or small app, even with registration (Auth0/Firebase) a combo of Carrd + Airtable is great, as Carrd have a pretty flexible builder and a direct Airtable integration. Carrd does create 1-page apps though, so keep that limitation in mind when using it.
Bubble is great as a drag-and-drop app builder. I was initially sceptical before I used it, but it is powerful. And pretty fast, too. Like building any app, the more logic you add, the more surface area you create for sluggish behaviour. Also offer a nice selection of free/paid templates to create messaging systems, niche apps etc.
Finally, DivJoy is great if you understand a bit about React and how apps are built and deployed in a more "hands on" way. They recently added a neat integration with Firebase Cloudstore to quickly spin up apps powered by a real-time db, Auth etc. Just remember you'll need to deploy it to somewhere like Firebase or Netlify.
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