Builder mobile app - why it's easier, but not better

views 676date 18-09-23 Read Time: 8 min

One way to save money when developing a mobile application is to build it on a constructor. At first glance, this solution seems attractive and successful: you don’t need to hire programmers and designers, you can build the application yourself or find a contractor for a small fee. Take a ready-made template, place fields and buttons, upload content – and the application is ready. Visually, it is almost identical to a full-fledged product: functions work, screens scroll, and the design is pleasing to the eye.

But if it’s so easy, why don’t all customers switch to designers? Why do companies invest time, resources and money in high-quality UI/UX development and professional programming? The point is that an application based on a constructor has significant limitations that are not obvious at first glance. They gradually become noticeable, causing a lot of problems and not allowing the company to get the most out of the product. What features template projects have on the constructor – read in our material.

What an App Builder is and who it is for

A builder is a special program that allows you to create mobile applications without any programming skills. There are many such services, and they all work on a similar principle: they offer the user a catalog of design templates and a set of functional elements that can be placed and customized according to your needs. There is no need to code or develop design layouts, it is enough to understand the simple tools of the designer. Building an application from ready-made blocks is easier and cheaper than full-fledged development and programming – and this is the only advantage of the Builder. It is necessary to clearly understand certain limitations of a template application and not to have high hopes for its intensive promotion and development.

We can only name a few cases where the use of a constructor is more or less justified:

  • Need a very simple mobile tool with 1-2 typical functions;
  • The application is designed for a small audience or for internal use only;
  • Development, improvement, major updates of the application are not planned;
  • The application serves as a temporary solution at a certain stage;
  • There are no plans to actively promote the product and build an audience;
  • No integration with third-party platforms and services required;
  • The company operates in a highly specialized niche and does not need to compete with competitors;
  • The application serves as an auxiliary tool that does not affect business development.

Features of mobile applications created on the constructor

Limited functionality

Application Builder services offer a catalog of features, but this is only a basic set, which can be difficult to adapt to individual needs and atypical customer requests. In most cases, you have to compromise and adapt to the features offered. Why limited functionality is not the best for your project:

  • Behavioral factors worsen, rejections and app deletions increase;
  • Users leave for competitors;
  • Complaints increase, store rankings decrease;
  • are not achieving the desired conversion rates.

Lack of individual approach to design

Applications on the constructor are created in a template design, interface elements are selected from the offered variants. The choice is usually quite large, but all solutions are not unique, they can be applied by any user. There is no individual approach, we are not talking about UI/UX development based on audience analysis and user scenarios. You just choose template components and try to create an attractive interface from them – that’s all.

Why is it not the best option? A template design that does not make sense in terms of User Experience and User Interface runs the risk of becoming just a pretty picture, unable to hold the user’s attention and guide them down the right path to a targeted action. Businesses will not benefit from an application unless the design is effective, personalized, and focused on a clearly defined audience.

Difficulty integrating with third-party services

For a fully functional application, it may require integration via API with third-party services – payment tools, IP telephony, CRM, website, Google services, analytics systems. When using constructors, such integration is limited, not all services can be connected to a template application, which significantly limits the user functionality and business opportunities. And even if the integration takes place, it will be difficult to maintain the smooth operation of such functionality. What opportunities are missed:

  • Extend functionality with third-party tools;
  • Synchronize the application with the company’s internal software;
  • Make sure the application is integrated with the Web site;
  • Connect advanced analytics tools to evaluate the effectiveness of the application.

Insufficient performance

A full-featured application built by professional developers is faster and less prone to failure. A template solution does not provide sufficient performance, the interface is less responsive to user actions. The difference will not be noticeable if the application has 2-3 simple screens. But for larger projects with a distributed structure and complex functionality, the lack of performance can become a critical problem. What are the consequences?

  • Slow loading screens are bad for audience engagement;
  • It is difficult to implement effective custom scripts;
  • The application loses out to more productive competitors;
  • More complaints and low ratings on the App Store and Google Play stores.

Insufficient resources to scale

It is quite difficult to improve and develop a template application. The designer’s skills may simply not be enough to meet the growing needs of the business. What it leads to:

  • An application without significant updates becomes uninteresting to the audience;
  • functionality is outdated and does not meet current user needs;
  • The product no longer solves the customer’s problems;
  • The value of the application to the business is lost;
  • The tool cannot keep up with the pace of business development;
  • reduces the competitiveness of the application.

As a result, the customer loses time and money twice – the first time when they pay for an application on the designer, and the second time when they have to turn to programmers to create a fully functional product and lay the groundwork for further scaling.

Technical support issues

You can create an app on Builder yourself or order it from a freelancer, because serious mobile development studios do not use such technologies (except for prototyping and creating demos). The only source of technical support after launch is the platform on which the app was created.

When something breaks and users complain about errors and inconveniences, the customer is forced to deal with the problem himself or outsource it to specialists. All this is unnecessary hassle and no guarantee that the bugs will be fixed. Professional developers will not take such a project for support, but only recommend to create a new full-fledged product that can be scaled, developed, promoted, supported – and this will be the optimal solution that will fix the situation.

An application on a builder is not free

An app on a builder is an economical option, but it is by no means a free product. Most platforms for creating apps are paid. The cost is really less compared to full-fledged development, but you still have to pay. The cost depends on the chosen plan – the more tools, templates and features are available, the higher the price. There are different payment schemes – one-time purchase, monthly subscription.

The rate may increase with the number of downloads of the application – in this case the customer is completely dependent on the rules of the platform. And the attractive advertising of a free service usually hides a demo version with limited functionality, or an application filled with uncontrollable advertising banners.

Why is no-code development not a good option either?

Customers often confuse developers with no-code technology-simplified development using pre-built components without writing code. A similar low-code technology also uses no code, but at least gives developers that option.

Compared to constructors, no-code platforms have more tools for creating advanced functionality and integrations via APIs. However, the method has significant drawbacks that limit the use of no-code for complex, full-featured applications:

  • No code technology is not suitable for realization of individual solutions. Although there are more possibilities than in a regular designer, they are much less compared to full-fledged programming.
  • In most cases, the project depends on a no-code platform. You use the application you’ve built, but you don’t own the code. The product is tied to the platform, which can shut down or degrade service at any time-and you cannot move your project elsewhere.
  • It is difficult to assess the capabilities of a no-code platform in advance. After paying the fee and getting started, you may find that there are not enough tools for your project, or you may have chosen a platform that is too cool and overpaid for unnecessary options.
  • Considering the services of a nocode developer and the royalty fee, which increases with the number of downloads of the application, a nocode application may not be an economical option at all.

What do you do when your budget is limited?

Small young companies, risky startups, representatives of micro-businesses, private entrepreneurs – all these are potential customers for applications on the constructor and no-code products. Money is scarce, development prospects are still blurred, but still I would like to try and launch a basic version of the application without significant investment.

But even in such conditions you can choose a better alternative to a simplified solution – order development of a minimum viable product with individual design and full programming. Such products are also affordable, since they have only basic functionality. But they have significant advantages: they are created exclusively for the needs of the client, take into account the specifics of the business and audience, and most importantly – offer all possibilities for further expansion.

What is your priority – speed and economy or quality and development prospects? Decide based on the circumstances, but when choosing a template option, keep in mind that sooner or later you will need to build a high-quality application from scratch to reach a more serious level.

0 0 votes
Рейтинг статьи
Notify of
0 комментариев
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments