Here’s the scenario. You’re a wanderer who’s just ventured into the unknown “NoCode” space. You’re even second guessing whether it’s “NoCode”, “Nocode”, “No Code” or “No-code”. Who wouldn’t know!? (Dweeb…🙄)
Anyway, you ask your friend Google about some of the handy tools you can use to get started on your journey. And the all-knowing Google says: “Thou should checketh out Bubble and Adalo for building thou web applications”.
So that’s what you do. But before building anything - you have to understand how to use the tools. In this battle, we look at who’s got the better user onboarding.
Bubble welcomes the user with a set of interactive tutorials. Users are instructed how to save data, build a registration flow and use APIs amongst nine other lessons.
Throughout each tutorial, you’re guided around the builder with pop-up tips for each step and a red arrow (which you can turn off if you dare). It’s kind of like painting by numbers.
✔️ Become familiar with the builder
✔️ Straight into creating data structure
✔️ Shown how to integrate with third parties (iTunes API tutorial)
Where comrades may fall:
❌ Validation errors
❌ Caught in loops of death where I had to exit tutorials as I couldn’t progress
❌ Occasionally elements seem to just disappear from the screen
If you dive into various online forums or hang around the NoCode bunch on Twitter, you’ll often hear remarks that Bubble has the greatest learning curve.
I noted when going through the tutorials: “I still think it’d be pretty hard to do it yourself straightaway - I anticipate having to look up loads of stuff.”
Indeed, I tried to build a registration flow by myself afterwards and managed to get stuck 😭
Adalo goes for a different approach - more high-level.
After choosing your app type, template and branding, you’re guided through the different tabs on the builder. Then a “Getting started” Youtube video pops up. The focus is on three key areas: Components, Data and Actions.
Admittedly, I zoned out for a few seconds during the video and found myself a bit lost - but onwards we march towards the beast! I tasked myself with a few seemingly basic tasks - like adding a welcome message for the user and uploading an image.
✔️ Already has registration flow built (login and sign-up screens)
✔️ Basic users table in place
✔️ Easy to change branding across all screens
Where comrades may fall:
❌ Could be clearer where to go for additional support
❌ Upgrade required to use API integrations and get data from third party sources
Due to the lightweight onboarding, the user may not be aware of all the things Adalo can do.
In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine being able to launch an app without using external APIs. This makes the free plan seem hugely limited.
It’s a tough choice for our nocode companions - do you let users figure things out for themselves or try to showcase every little thing that your builder can do?
Bubble goes for the ‘hand-holding’ approach - but there are numerous bugs that risk turning off users.
Adalo’s approach is more Spartan. Abandon the newborn user and let them figure it out. The risk here is that users will churn before understanding the true potential of the builder.