One of the biggest challenges with building a no-code product is picking a tool that works for you. There’s the factor of cost, ease of use, the learning curve, and the customer service to name a few!
Here’s the story of how IndieHacker and no-code enthusiast Katt Risen build a chatbot to solve the problem of analysis paralysis when it comes to building no-code products.
Hi, I’m Katt Risen (at least that’s what I go by on the internet!) Right now, I work at a big European Tourism corporation where I coordinate all kind of projects to improve the digital customer experience.
We have a lot of old software, and our IT department doesn’t has enough resources so everything takes very long. That frustrated me so I started looking for other solutions.
In 2019 I used Sheet2site to create an interactive overview of our product offer. This was before the No-Code ‘hype/boom’. But for me it was the first aha! moment of what you could make without writing code.
Fixing our company’s problem
Another aha! moment was in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. Our company and team was struggling with the communication of all the COVID travel and safety regulations per country or sometimes even per province.
Press conferences with new regulations were often done on Friday evening and our call centers were flooded with calls. Our tools/systems could not handle these kind of content changes (too slow, not market specific, too labor-intensive).
So I created a solution with Softr. One Airtable base feeded our website in 8 different languages. After the government press conferences (about the new COVID rules etc.) we had the changes live in a few minutes instead of days.
It was a lifesaver (although COVID remained a terrible challenge for our company).
Deep diving into no-code
From there I kept using no-code at work, especially for building MVPs to validate an idea and to build a solid business case to convince internal stakeholders to develop the idea internally and connected with our internal systems.
I kept following everything in the no-code space in my free-time – lurking on Twitter, trying out new tools that launched on Product Hunt, reading about it on IndieHackers, listening to podcasts.
Finally, in February 2022, I joined a no-code community (100daysofnocode) and created my first own side-project No-Code Guru and launched it successfully on Product Hunt in April #lifegoals.
About No-Code Guru
No-Code Guru is a wise chatbot that will help you find the right no-code tool by answering 4 questions: Usecase, design, time and database.
COMING UP: At this moment I'm working on adding tutorials for each usecase and tool. So the goal is that every user learns which tool is the best one to build their idea and also immediately a tutorial to get them started.
With No-Code Guru, I wanted to solve a problem that I noticed a lot of beginner no-code makers were experiencing: WHICH TOOL SHOULD I USE?
If you are new to the no-code space, the amount of tools can be overwhelming. New tools keep popping up everyday and instead of building, you get in analysis paralysis and lose precious time on researching or even lose motivation because you are overwhelmed.
The aim of No-Code Guru is not to have the biggest directory of no-code tools or the most advanced usecases/filters. It’s simply to help beginners get started on building and launching their first no-code project.
How I built No-Code Guru
1. Before I started building I validated my idea with a yep.so landing page (this was free!)
- Conversion template based on the guide of legend Harry Dry
- Not too many whistles and bells to keep focus
- Writing helps to clarify the idea
- Collect emails and easily talk to those early supporters
- Clear data to evaluate the idea potential
2. The chatbot was built with a no-code chatbot builder: Landbot.io.
Their paying plan supports Airtable integration. So Airtable can be your CMS where you maintain and update all your data and this data gets send to your chatbot. In Landbot you create a formula which makes sure that the correct results are displayed.
It also works the other way around. I can collect data in my chatbot (email adresses, answers, etc.) that I can send to my Airtable base and use Airtable automations to automate some things (send email, send notification to my slack).
In Landbot the possibilities are endless: custom design, a lot of question and answer options, integration with different tools like Calendly, Slack, Stripe,… It’s really powerful.
3. My website was created with Softr. The same Airtable base that feeds my chatbot also feeds the resource directory on my website.
4. Some other tools:
I use Microsoft Clarity for my (basic) Analytics + Session recordings. I use Crisp to easily get feedback from users. Both are free.
There is not a lot of documentation on Airtable integration in Landbot so it took me some time to figure it out. Other then that the only challenge I’ve faced is the limited time because it's just a fun side project for me. The big advantage is that limited time keeps you laser-focused.
My advice for makers
Number 1 more in general: I can say this as I have been in this position myself – stop lurking and finally start building your dream ideas with no-code. You learn so much, you make a lot of interesting and inspiring maker friends and it really is an energy and confidence booster.
Number 2 specifically for the chatbot: Keep your first chatbot flow and formula simple: launch > talk to users > improve/extend. If you start with a complicated flow there is a risk you will never launch. You can connect with me on Twitter to receive more detailed info on how my chatbot flow is set-up and some tips.