99designs In-Depth Review: Is it Worth your Money?
Spoiler: It works and it’s really easy to use. Here is what I learned and some tips to get started. As a UX designer, I was both curious and critical about no-code tools, so I wanted to try them out. I decided to create a Pomodoro timer app based on an idea I had earlier this year while working on a Daily UI challenge. I set a 3-day time limit for this project and decided to go with Thunkable as it seemed best for my use case. So here are my thoughts on this experience: This is what the Thunkable interface looks like It works and it’s more powerful than I thought I managed to create an app that works across the target platforms (iOS, Android and Web). There are some limitations that you can’t go around — for me it was the app not being able to work in the background. However, I was genuinely surprised by how much I could do and that you can actually export your app and start using it straight away. I was also impressed browsing through the component list and discovering basic AI features, such as text, speech and image recognition, integration of Google Maps and various database applications. Adding a button to your screen Anyone can do it You add components to your screen by dragging them from a list. You immediately see the result on a preview screen so it’s pretty easy and intuitive to set things up. Then you can customize the designs. This is how to make your objects interactive You don’t need to know how to code Knowledge of basic programming principles will help you but it’s definitely not necessary. Every component that you place on the screen using the Design mode has a list of all possible functions it allows you to use. So for example, a Button will let you create an action once you click on it. It’s easy to navigate and there are tutorials to help you get started. I had great fun working on this project. Here is how I approached it and some tips I learned along the way: Start small and define the MVP. And by M I really mean the minimum — which is much less than you actually think you can do. I designed only 2 simple screens (the splash screen and the actual timer) and it took me 3 days to have everything working and being properly displayed across devices. First, create a simple design. Think about what you want to achieve, what’s on your screens and most importantly how things are connected. What happens when you click on a button? But don’t be too attached to the visual design — it’s possible that things will change because of the limitations that you may later discover. Before and after: updated design to match Thunkable’s capabilities Revise your visual design if you need to. Not everything works like you want to. For example, I had to drop the idea of an animation showing the passage of time, and the white button shadows didn’t work on Android. So after setting up basic components I went back to Figma to revise my design decisions. Look at your interface on all devices. » Read More
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