#NoCode rant

I understand the concept behind #NoCode as digital products built on existing tools. That's perfectly fine; it makes creation much more accessible and allows for hypotheses validation and quick iteration with minimal effort and resources saving.

I've been there, I've done that. Google Forms to run surveys, Google Charts to create data visualizations, Mailchimp to run advertisement campaigns and send out newsletters, Notion (and the like) to publish all sorts of webpages, and the list goes on. You can also extend the concept to visual tools that let you create apps and websites through a WYSIWYG interface.

Some people got it right: #NoCode as a mindset. If you got an idea to solve a problem, start by re-using stuff. Competent software engineers have been doing it that way for decades, and the whole Open Source movement relies on it.

On the other hand, there're too many people speaking of it as something entirely new and ground-breaking; they even compare it to the advent of the printing press. "Break the code barrier" is one of the most widespread mottos, and it makes sense. Even I've stumbled upon that barrier many times. I assume non-technical people need flashy buzzwords to easily recognize the value some products could bring to solve their problems, so using #NoCode as a commercial slogan works somehow. But just that, marketing.

What I can't stand for is UX designers advocating for it. It feels wrong. It's not about the empty and useless designers vs. engineers debate, or the "should designers code?" argument. It's that they are focusing on tools again. In the designers' realm, taking User-Centered Design as an example, we can assess the vast impact it has on digital products. It's a methodology, and the tools you use at any step of the iterative process, whatever the technique you'd choose, are the least significant bit. The high-fidelity prototyping phase could be the one that better leverages #NoCode tools. But the benefits of simplifying and speeding-up prototyping can't overtake the advantages of in-depth research and thorough testing.

Regarding the Web, I'm biased towards thinking that there can't be real innovation without code, or better said, without "custom code" because there always be code. New problems require new ways of thinking first and new tools, therefore #NoCode, last.