We are fortunate to have a vibrant community of thousands of members from all different places across the globe. We come together to talk about tools, tech, no-code and new ways to make creating and building even more productive than before.
At Makerpad we love sharing our member’s journeys through learning no-code, using new skills in their workplaces, building projects and even launching businesses.
Each week we highlight a member from our community and share their story, background and previous projects through our Member Spotlight blog post series.
Hey Sam, great to have you be part of the Member's Spotlight. Can you give us some details on your background. What first got you interested in no-code?
I’m born and bred in Somerset, New Jersey. I studied journalism at Rutgers University, but my education fueled my transition into UX design. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a problem solver by trade. I worked with Treebetty - a graphic design studio where they create ‘simple apps for a measured life’. Before working with them I used their habit tracking app called Done.
Growing up, I always wanted to be an author. I still moonlight as one. I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan. I’m writing my own fantasy novel, and putting together a collection of short stories too. I’ve also been blessed to edit a couple of books. I also write articles related to startups and UX design principles here.
For me, no-code tools are only a means to an end, and which one you use doesn’t matter nearly as much as the valued outcome it provides. As Indie Hacker Pieter Levels says, “ship to learn.” I’m 100% behind that way of thinking.
With no-code, designers can build, validate quickly, launch and learn.
It’s interesting to see your approach to projects from the intersection of writing and design. Can you take us through a no-code project you have built in the past and what tools did you use for it?
My first no-code project was a Notion template that I started before beginning to build a web-app on Bubble. The no-code phenomenon (for us coden00bs) coupled with my recent introduction and ensuing obsession with Notion led me to try prototyping a goal tracking UX in it.
That became a template called Climb Higher. It’s a home for all of your personal goals, skills, and projects.
In fact, the template was a precursor to a real goal tracking product that I and Jenny Talavera — the founder of Treebetty, are building together. The template is a set of bets I created to further our user research before investing precious time building the features into our Bubble backend of Strively.
I wanted to create a goal tracking system that gives users the confidence to tackle bigger goals, learn cool skills, and finish projects they’ve always wanted to start. The main principles are to define success, to establish consistency in preparation, to strategize & to reflect.
So Notion and Bubble are the two main no-code tools that I have used up to now. I've been using Figma for a couple years for prototypes. Stripe is also considered no-code. API's can arguably be called no code now that there are no-code API connectors. No-code is not literally ‘without code’, it's just a product the end user can better manipulate or integrate to make a new product.
That’s a great idea to prototype a first version of an idea in a really simplistic way. So let's bring things up to the current day, what are you currently working on and what stage is it at?
Since I can’t code, yet I have a desire to make, I’m really thankful for no-code. We're building Strively, a personal growth tracker and community. We're building it in Bubble right now. We caught on just as Bubble started hitting full stride last year.
Strively allows you to connect and grow with people through fun challenges. Strively is for groups that want to build or maintain connections, and grow at the same time.
This might be a family, spread around the world. Maybe it’s a team of co-workers, all working remotely. Or maybe it’s a group of classmates, all motivated to achieve the same goal.
Strively provides a place online to gather and track progress on your goals. You can work on a challenge privately or challenge yourself in a group. Strively then collects artifacts of your journey.
Strively provides motivating 3, 7, 15 and 30 day challenges focusing on building personal habits, creative habits, mental wellness, fitness and more. Strively also provides the tools to create your own challenges over any length of time. Overall it’s built to motivate and encourage.
It’s great to see a product come out of the mindset of challenging yourself to grow. Thinking more of the future, what are you looking forward to seeing happen in the no-code space in the years to come?
I expect to see more people interested in no-code. I mean why wouldn't you be interested in no-code? Even if you can code, having the ability to sync no-code stuff into your product is amazing. With no-code, anyone can build a functioning product if they know what they are doing. It isn’t always easy, no-code just makes it viable. No-code is just a coded, packaged and painted toolbox.
In time I want to see more power and performance, really. I think we underestimate just how heavy no-code products can be on a user's device. It can hurt performance, and run slow. I think this can be optimized in the future, and what I'm most excited for.
Tools are interchangeable but it is very easy to get drawn into using a set stack for lots of projects. Do you have a favourite no-code tool? And what's the next no-code tool you're thinking of trying out?
I wrote this article Ship to Learn which is basically a love letter to Notion, however Notion is just one of many tools that makes building projects possible. I invite you to use methods flexibly to iron out your product’s principles first.
I bought a Carrd subscription a while ago but still haven't made a website yet. I'm thinking of making a personal site for myself.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Sam. We look forward to hearing more about your journey soon!
Keep an eye open for our next Member Spotlight blog post coming soon!