No-code vs. Custom-code: Which one is Better for you?

By Thomas Gonzalez|Posted 08 Jun, 2022

No-code vs. Custom-code: Which one is Better for you?

In the last few years, designing software can be done faster, simpler, and with a lower barrier of entry than ever before. One logic is that user-centered design has come to the forefront of most software development processes.

At the same time, the need for the software creator to code is being replaced with drag-and-drop interfaces, freeing up space for creativity, continuous testing, and rapid prototyping.

But does this movement mean that custom coding will disappear in the next few years? Or, can these two approaches exist in parallel, enhancing each other?

This article will explain the concept of no-code and custom-code development in building user-centered design. Ideally, you’ll find out whether you’ll benefit more from a low-code development approach or if custom coding is what you need for your projects.

What “No-Code” actually means

As the name proposes, no-code development is the practice of creating digital products with little or no coding. 

It’s made possible by platforms allowing users to develop software solutions by just dragging and dropping necessary elements into the related fields.¬†

The main goal of these platforms isn’t limited to visualizing product designers’ ideas like in Sketch. Instead of creating a UX mockup, they let you build a virtual interface with functioning features.

Today, the main focus is shifted from product functionality to product presentation. Latest businesses understand that the strong orientation towards users has become a gold standard in the digital world. 

Naturally, as technology develops, design options play a more critical role than before. These features create a demand for quick prototyping and frequent user feedback collection. The birth and rise of no-code development is a technological response to this global trend.

Advantages of No-Code Development

The potential benefits of the no-code development approach go far beyond speed and simplicity. 

This practice can significantly lower the gap between app development’s creativity and execution stages, hugely changing how businesses embrace innovation. Here are the key benefits of using no-code development platforms.

  • Rapid Delivery

Rapid delivery is probably the most apparent benefit of the no-code approach. You can quickly build a web or mobile application with no-code automation tools, even if you can’t code.¬†

The accelerated development speed can help startups that plan to launch a product in a highly competitive market gain a considerable competitive advantage.

  • Reduced Cost

Developers are costly. No-code keys allow you to bypass that, taking away a lot of the overhead that needs a skilled team of developers on staff. You can construct apps faster and cheaper in the long run.

  • Easily Changeable

The trouble with traditional hand-coding is that you can’t change functionality or feature at the drop of a hat, especially if you’re coding in a foreign language. With no code, you can. If you need to change something, you execute a new reason and can have your change prepared in hours.

  • Driving Force

No-code tools lower the barrier of entry to innovation and facilitate a digital transformation process. It lets business professionals with no or minimum technical background bring their ideas to life without waiting until developers will do the work. 

This implementation is called civil development, and it supports enterprises resolve IT challenges faster.

For example, a marketing department may need quick internal transformations to improve efficiency. Low-code can be a great solution in these scenarios as it doesn’t require a lot of time and money from an enterprise.

Additionally, no-code development creates more favorable conditions for building user-centered design for business applications. 

It is because the people who need the software solutions are the ones who produce them, in opposition to assigning the task to the IT section.

  • Usability Testing

To produce an outstanding UX design, a development team should try a product on its potential users before its release. 

The more iterations occur, the more the chances of a successful product launch increase. This is the basis of the most agile development methodologies.

Programmers can quickly and smoothly build a product and test every core feature with no-code tools. As a result, they can develop enough knowledge to tailor a user experience to the needs and wants of a target audience. 

Besides, no-code development allows the performance of the Lean UX approach. This Lean UX method prioritizes quick iterations and puts an even greater priority on gathering user feedback.

What “Custom-Code” actually means

Custom-code development is assembling software products using the manual hand-coding method. 

It is a development process that aims to build a product from scratch and offer limitless customization opportunities.

Usually, custom-code development is employed when a company wants to develop software with a particular set of functionalities and goals. 

It aims toward a specific group of users or organizations.

The central concept of using custom-code app development is to design reliable, customizable, and feature-rich software that fits the current business needs and offers limitless flexibility in building features that fulfill the expectations of current and future users.

Advantages of Custom-Coding

  • Specialized Interactivity And Uniqueness

With no-code development, you can develop a good design. Yet, this method won’t let you build a unique solution.¬†

In other words, if you need an application with specialized interactivity, custom coding will be a more satisfactory fit for you.

This slightly more traditional product development method usually needs more resources, giving you a higher level of space and expertise. 

Developers can enforce any product idea you have. Whereas, if you select low-code/no-code development, your choice of features and UX design elements will be limited to options proposed by a tool dealer.

  • Security Concerns

Customized solutions permit businesses to have their security built into the software. 

Hackers generally find it easier to penetrate low-code apps, but the risks of a data breach drastically decrease with a custom app.

  • Complex Functionality

Complex functionality can only be implemented with custom coding. It tells those no-code solutions won’t be of help for businesses that need an enterprise-wide application.¬†

Likewise, when it comes to using creative technologies such as AI, virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, etc., there is no choice to custom code development.

No-Code vs. Custom-Code: Which one is Better for

your Business

Both techniques can help most businesses ‚ÄĒ each addressing different needs. However, to help you decide what type of development to select for a specific project, some hints will help.

Choose No-Code Development for:

  • Easy tools for automating accessible business functions.
  • The new digital products that have to be released quickly (e.g., to outrun the competition)
  • Fundamental solutions for stopping jams in exact workflows.
  • Unique digital products that require regular user feedback to be built suitably.
  • If you’re unsure whether people need a specific functionality, concept proof.

Choose Custom-Code Development for:

  • complicated feature-rich solutions.
  • Long-term development tasks with uncertain conditions.
  • Products based on VR, AI, AR, or any other creative technology.
  • Exceptional products that cannot be developed with no-code devices.

Yet, you can use both techniques in one project. 

For instance, you may be competent in building a high-fidelity prototype with no-code devices to test critical hypotheses and then move with custom coding to complete a full-fledged product.

We still need traditional coding to create better low-code and custom-code development platforms. Standard coding should be applied to solving complex problems considering daily work routines. 

However, we don’t need specialized technical skills to work with low-code and no-code. Combining them benefits the entire company by enabling everyone’s freedom, speed, and autonomy.

Final thoughts

In the no-code vs. custom code war, there is no single conqueror. No-code development can be an excellent key for building accessible applications, usability testing, prototyping, and experimenting. 

The broad adoption of this technique can drive creation across different initiatives and develop creativity in product development.

However, the no-code technique cannot compete in the ranking and special features possible through custom development. 

Writing code remains vital for developing excellent and complex software solutions.

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