Hi Vladimir! Nice to have you with us. Please tell us a little about yourself and about UI Bakery.
My name is Vladimir Lugovsky, and I am the CEO and co-founder of UI Bakery, a low-code development platform. Since my childhood, I’ve had a clear understanding that programming and computers are my passion, and that’s exactly what I want to dedicate my professional life to. For more than 10 years, I’ve worked on different positions in IT, having started as a junior software engineer, and now being mainly involved in business development.
In 2015, I co-founded a tech company Akveo, where among other products we’ve brought to life the UI Bakery low-code web app builder. In September 2019, shortly after beta-release, we launched the first version of UI Bakery on Product Hunt where we became #1 Product of the Day and #3 Product of the Week.
UI Bakery is a visual web app building platform tailored to create web business applications. The platform is smoothly designed and allows for app customization, API integration, Angular code generation and export, and app deployment & hosting.
UI Bakery is the only low-code development platform that generates and allows you to export your application Angular code. As I said earlier, we do not lock you in within UI Bakery. You can just take your web app code, edit it, and use the code outside UI Bakery if you wish.
Right now, we’re in a search of our product-market fit, trying to make our way to a high-grade low-code solution. Not so long ago, we released data connection and app deployment & hosting in UI Bakery, which exponentially increased the number of our users, and the revenue as well.
Every startup has its story. How did you get the idea of building UI Bakery and what do you consider as the biggest milestone for UI Bakery?
Before UI Bakery went live, we’d brought to life some other Open Source products: Nebular (a web UI library), UI Kitten (a React Native UI library) , and ngx-admin (an admin dashboard template) . The last one was especially successful, and its success made us consider developing something like UI Bakery.
At that time, the users of our ngx-admin often turned to us asking to add some functionality that will allow them to make ngx-admin match their brand. There were quite a lot of requests like this.
Firstly, we decided to simplify the design process and make it more affordable for small companies. We developed a machine-learning algorithm that could generate an appropriate color scheme based on the uploaded logo. But this was not enough, so the idea failed.
Our users needed to have more opportunities in the product we offered. And here starts a long way of validating hypotheses to understand what exactly the market needed. We’ve come to the conclusion that people wanted to customize not only color themes but the dashboards and applications they build. At this time, we haven’t even heard anything about no-code and low-code development platforms.
We’ve soon found out that the clients needed a sort of combination of a form builder, a front-end as a service, and a low-code/no-code platform.
After the neverending research, a range of surveys, a lot of interviews with the current and potential users, UI Bakery is finally live, and we are helping our clients solve their challenges.
Throughout our way, our vision has transformed. Now, we want to provide our users with a convenient automated way to create their apps’ interfaces. The UI people create in UI Bakery should also be able to communicate with chatbots, databases, voice, AR, VR, and other technologies. In a long perspective, UI Bakery will not be a simple web app building tool but something much more powerful.
Regarding our key milestones, I would name two:
Enabling high-quality code generation & export, and releasing data connection.
With the code generation and export feature, we guarantee that you won’t be locked in UI Bakery. You can take an app you’ve built, and go your own way if needed. Thanks to this freedom we provide UI Bakery users with, we’ve got a number of loyal customers.
With the data connection feature, UI Bakery users have become able not just to build “static” frontends but make them fully-functional by connecting needed APIs, adding business logic, creating and managing workflows, etc. Everything – without leaving the platform.
What do you think are the major distinguishing features of UI Bakery that set it apart from the rest?
I would name some of them, starting from the most competitive one:
- UI Bakery is the only low-code development platform that generates and allows you to export your application Angular code. As I said earlier, we do not lock you in within UI Bakery. You can just take your web app code, edit it, and use the code outside UI Bakery if you wish.
- UI Bakery has Nebular, a very popular Open Source UI library with a range of ready UI components under the hood. Nebular in its turn is based on Eva, a customizable Design System. Thanks to these powerful Open Source tools under the hood, UI Bakery provides you with rich app customization and branding opportunities.
- UI Bakery has a constantly growing library of free ready-made dashboards and app templates for you to use, and what’s important – we’re developing new templates based on our users’ specific requests they can and do leave in our community. We’re always open to feedback and suggestions.
- Among the recently released features, UI Bakery has enabled the 1-click app deployment & hosting feature for free. You can either deploy and host your web application on the UI Bakery domain, or use a custom one without leaving the platform.
Can you share a situation where a customer experienced a major cut in costs and development time using UI Bakery?
Sure, we can take one of our recent case studies as an example. The customer was a European startup operating in the repair and sales of Apple devices. They needed to conduct digital transformation with the minimized development efforts and costs. Specifically, Reboot needed a web app to automate the Apple device assessment process and contract of sales generation to facilitate managers’ work, improve warehouse logistics, etc.
After several weeks of work, Reboot got a full-fledged web app with a responsive design created 60% faster and 3x cheaper thanks to the use of UI Bakery. The newly-built web application allowed Reboot to automate their time-consuming manual tasks, hit the new markets, and attract new customers. Now, Reboot and their retail business partners save lots of time needed to conduct trade-in or buyout processes.
What skill level is needed to develop a web app such as an event management or similar app in UI Bakery?
* You need to change your future app with custom code, which is possible right in UI Bakery.
* You decide to download your ready app Angular code and change it manually outside the platform.
Nevertheless, as I said, building a functional frontend with UI Bakery is possible without any programming skills at all.
What significant improvements or new features can we expect in UI Bakery in the near future?
Not so long ago, we released the UI Bakery roadmap. Here, anyone interested in the UI Bakery development can track its upcoming updates. Among the key ones, I can mention the following improvements that we’re going to implement soon:
* Reusable components. This is what our users have been waiting for impatiently for the last months. This feature will allow you to create custom widgets and components, and use them within UI Bakery.
* More integrations. UI Bakery already allows for integrating with REST APIs. We’re going to enable the integration with most popular backends like Firebase, Airtable, Google Sheets, etc.
* PWA. Although UI Bakery provides you with a possibility to build web apps with a responsive design, we’re also going to give our users a possibility to convert a built web app into a progressive web app (PWA).
* Teamwork. Right now, it’s not possible for several users to work on one project simultaneously without interrupting one another’s actions. Following our product strategy, we’re going to enable teamwork in UI Bakery in the nearest future.
What kind of growth do you expect in the adoption of no-code/low-code in the next two/three years?
Watching how more and more new no-code and low-code app builders appear almost every day, I can say for sure that the low-code market is going to increase in the next several years. This opinion is confirmed by a number of the latest researches. For instance, according to Forrester, the low-code market will be around $14 billion by 2024, while now it’s around $7 billion.
This growth in the use of no-code and low-code tools is attributed to the desire of businesses to save time and development costs, and avoid the need to hire mature software development teams when they need to create MVPs or PoCs, or white-label applications on short notice.
What impact do you think that the continuous phenomenal growth in no-code/low-code space that we are witnessing will ultimately have on the careers of those from the traditional programming backgrounds?
First of all, no-code will hardly ever be able to replace coding. Although low-code tools are very powerful nowadays with their visual development, app development lifecycle capabilities, app deployment & hosting, and other features, they still do not allow you to build an application architecture. There will always be a need for mature technology teams when it comes to the development of high-grade web and mobile applications with some really complex logic.
In my opinion, no-code and low-code development platforms will continue to exist in parallel with a traditional app development approach. No-code and low-code tools will allow you to build an MVP and hit the market 2x or 3x faster and cheaper than within custom app development. Nevertheless, if you need a scalable and highly flexible complex application, you’ll hardly do without experienced “traditional” software engineers.
Any advice for non-technical entrepreneurs who are quite enthusiastic about building products using no-code tools?I’d advise the newcomers to set down clear goals by answering the following questions:
- What do you need to build – a website, a web app, a mobile app, etc.?
- How tight is your budget?
- How many people must be able to work within the platform at once?
- Do you need an admin panel for your app with role management?
- How many application end-users do you expect to acquire in the next months after you enter the market?
- Do you need to have the ability to export the created project from the platform?
- Do you need the platform to allow you to deploy your app without leaving the platform?
Once the answers are ready, they should explore the expanding low-code market to find a low-code development solution that will fit their particular needs. Luckily, a range of low-code and no-code tools provide free plans or at least free trial periods when you can taste their functionality for free. There are the no-code development platforms offering free plans with absolutely no limitations in the number of features you can try for free.
To help those looking for their perfect low-code development tool, we’ve gathered about 20 of them here and here . We’ve listed their strengths and pitfalls, provided pricing details, and highlighted the main competitive advantages of these tools.
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