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E24: Introduction To A No-Code Ecosystem Called Bubble

by Sean Boyce

With a no-code ecosystem like Bubble you can build custom applications without having to write any code.

On this episode I talk about:
  • What a no-code ecosystem is all about
  • Why you should explore Bubble.io
  • The resources Bubble provides to build custom applications
  • The platforms (web, mobile) that you can build for using Bubble
  • Learning how to get started with Bubble through their academy
  • An example of a Bubble application I built for a nonprofit to scale impact
If you’d like to learn how to scale impact at your nonprofit by more than double in less than half the time, sign up for my free 5 day email course – https://nxtstep.io/impact/

Episode Transcript
0:11  
Hey everyone, Sean here and today what I want to talk to you about is a no code ecosystem called bubble. 

0:35  
Now you can find this tool at bubble.io. So on that website it will walk you through explaining more about what bubble is and reason why I describe it as an ecosystem is because it’s way more than just a low code or no code tool. Now on the show, I talk quite a bit about how you can leverage tech and software in order to scale impact and I believe bubble is one of the best examples of the most powerful tools available today in terms of what you can do to leverage tech and software without needing to know any elements of really intense software engineering or programming. You don’t necessarily need to have those skills and you can really build something fairly comprehensive when it comes to applications that run either on a computer or a phone using an ecosystem like bubble without needing to write any code, which is really convenient and it helps you build prototypes much more quickly and much more easily because you don’t need those skills in order to do it. 

1:36  
Now, with bubble, you can build just about anything. I’ve talked about other tools like Typeform which enable which is more of a survey tool and enable you to get data from somewhere and connect to something that’s a key part of probably what you might build into your application. But with bubble, you can actually build pretty much anything so not just what Typeform is capable of. You can build whatever you would like whatever kind of system you need, in order to better scale impact your organization for your clients or your internal team members. Whatever the intended purpose of what you need, you can essentially do it with bubble it really gives you the ability to create something custom without having to write actual code. 

2:17  
Now, I’ve used bubble in order to create all kinds of great products. To help my nonprofit clients with scaling impact and we’ve done so across platforms and when I say that what I mean is how you’re accessing the internet, right it can be via laptop can be a desktop or it can be a smartphone device, your mobile phone, regardless of what it is you are using. You can create an application with a bubble to run on any of those platforms and make it look great at the same time which is really powerful. So again, using bubble gives you the ability to build something that’s very comprehensive, and it’s a great tool that you can use if you want kind of an all in one solution where you don’t need to be connecting a lot of things together, which is really common these days with the no code and low code systems out there is oftentimes you have to pull a number of different systems together and then connect them in order to create the experience. 

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3:15  
I would say that one of the biggest differences and advantages of a system like bubble is it enables you to do all of that right from within the bubble tool. So they provide you with a lot of out of the box tools that you can just kind of drag and drop into the application that you’re building and are different widgets to do whatever it is you need. You need to capture text you need to add buttons you need to display information, you need to have a little map, whatever it is you need in your application in order to create the experience that you’re looking for. You can do it right from within bubble. You can kind of think of the system, almost like a Website Builder, but for applications instead. So if you’ve ever used or have become familiar with things like WordPress and Squarespace, those are seemingly no code systems as well too, but those are tools to help you build websites. Bubble is essentially the equivalent to help you build applications. So that’s how you can kind of think of the bubble tool and how it relates to something else. That’s probably fairly common. That you know as well. 

4:14  
Now a recommendation I would have, if you’re going to consider using bubble and building prototype apps or applications, whether it is to make sure you invest some time into the design element. Bubble makes it a lot easier to do the building, but it won’t necessarily influence you all that much when it comes to how to design the look and feel. And in the tech world we refer to this as UI and UX for designing out the user interface, which is essentially what it looks like and creating the user experience. That’s the UX component. That’s essentially how it behaves and what it does. So the experience that you ultimately wind up with putting some time and effort into the design element will make it a lot easier for you or whoever is going to be building it to know what to put where that makes that will make sense and that will help you speed the project up and ultimately leave you with something that creates the kind of experience you’re more than likely looking for. However, regardless of what it is you plan to do, I’d recommend you start small and kind of grow from there. So don’t plan to make it too complicated in the beginning. Start with start with a basic functionality. Build that first and then you can build onto it from there as soon as you get people using it because then you could start getting feedback with it, which is great.

5:25  
So just to give you an idea of what I built with it for one of my nonprofit clients, one of my nonprofits helps the underrepresented populations with securing a better financial future. And as part of this program, they work with financial coaches. In order to learn how to do that. One of the challenges that that was preventing that program from scaling better was that the clients wanted more access to their coaches. The problem was that the coaches were a constrained resource they didn’t have more time and were already essentially over capacity with how much they were helping clients so they couldn’t give more time we needed to figure out a way to enable them to create better leverage so that their clients could have some form of access to them in a way that made it easier for more coaches to work with more clients because the program is growing. 

6:19  
So we created a companion financial coaching application that enabled the clients to have their coach essentially right in their pocket, because it could be on their phone and a lot of clients again, didn’t have access to laptops or desktops, but most of them did have access to a phone or a smartphone device. As such, we made sure that the financial coaching application we built with the bubble ecosystem, was able to run great on a phone for the client and because the coaches were primarily using their laptops or desktops for work, that it looked great on those devices as well too as we designed out kind of the coach interface. 

7:00  
So in this application, what it could do is it enabled the client and the coach to be able to message one another so that the client and coach had direct access to each other and enable them to schedule and organize and manage their meetings that they would have occasionally as they were working together through that throughout the program, and it enabled the client to both track their progress in terms of what the coach was asking them to work on and monitoring the progress in terms of how well that process was growing. So they were able to kind of better reinforce for the client all the progress that they had made, and for them to see, you know, the rewards of the work that they had invested thus far as well to in order to further reinforce helping them stay on the track that they were on to make it a ultimately a better experience and drive more successful outcomes for those clients as well too. 

7:53  
So I wanted to introduce the bubble tool to you in this episode. And I would encourage you to go to their website bubble.io And they also have a great resource they call it the bubble Academy. It’s essentially a bunch of resources available to you for free where you can see all the cool things that you can do with bubble so they provide a lot of training material here as well too. And that’s available at bubble.io forward slash academy. So if you go there you can see a ton of great free resources about getting started with bubble and all the cool things you could do with it. I encourage you to take a closer look at this because as an ecosystem without needing to write any code you can build essentially any kind of application which should help you and your organization better scale impact through technology and software.