Non-progammers across every part of a business can now create applications that enhance employee productivity and increase engagement and agility via low-code and no-code app development. And that’s not all. Low-code and no-code are also assisting brands in the process of customer experience design to deliver seamless digital experiences across all of the touchpoints of the customer journey.

Let’s take a look at the ways businesses are using low-code and no-code in the CX design process.

Secret Weapons for Brands

Declan Ivory, VP of customer support at Intercom, an engagement OS provider, told CMSWire that one of the most promising aspects of low-code and no-code is that they can put the ability to design customer experiences into the hands of employees who know what customers want and need.

“Empowering customer support pros to develop new automations themselves versus waiting for development resources in IT means organizations can act quickly on new or changing customer needs,” said Ivory, who emphasized that customer support team members can be a secret weapon for brands. “They have invaluable firsthand knowledge of the most common questions customers are asking.”

Ivory believes that such technology enables customer service agents to apply insights to build automated ways of getting ahead of those questions or provide quick self-serve solutions.

According to a Gartner report, by 2024, 65% of all applications will be developed using low-code platforms. Low-code application development provides the opportunity for non-programmers to build real-world applications that can be used in many areas of a business. The greatest advantage of low-code and no-code is it provides brands with the ability to accelerate development timetables and bring new, improved or enhanced CX features to the customer faster.

Jason Beres, senior vice president of developer tools at Infragistics, a user interface controls and tools provider, told CMSWire that the rise of low-code and no-code has multiple benefits.

“If they can dream it, they can build it — and without any prior experience in coding, or a development or design team,” Beres said. “But this ease of use and simplicity can also lead to the undesired side effect of poor user experience and poor visual and interaction design, applications that have no user testing and little-to-no user input before ‘shipping.’”

Beres emphasized that brands are more effectively using low-code or no-code along with CX design to improve the customer journey. “Digital product design platforms enable digital product teams (marketing, design, development) to design, prototype and test experiences or customer touch points before they are released to market,” he said. “For example, a design team can create multiple options for a specific experience, and test it with real users while collecting real-time analytics to determine the effectiveness of the designed experience.”

As with most CX initiatives, CX design using low-code or no-code is an ongoing process of eliminating pain points in the customer journey while improving the overall customer experience.

“This is an iterative process that informs the UX team so they can do low-cost updates on design, and test again with users — meaning they aren’t building any product or engaging in high-expense product development until the CX is perfected,” said Beres. He added that the process can range from super simple to extremely complex, anything from a mobile-app design update to a website change in messaging or interactions, or even a full-blown web-app experience.

Related Article: What Do Low-Code and No-Code Mean to the C-Suite?

Digital Product Design Platforms for Improved CX Design

User experience (UX) has to do with the quality of interactions between a user and software, while customer experience (CX) design represents all the touchpoints a customer has with a brand and is focused on making each touchpoint as positive as possible.

By using low-code or no-code platforms, it’s possible for brands to improve their digital customer engagement while decreasing reliance on customer support professionals. Additionally, such platforms can enable customer-experience professionals to design a customer experience touchpoint (such as a mobile app, website, chatbot, etc.) using reusable components. The focus of CX design in conjunction with low-code and no-code is to eliminate the pain points that occur when the customer is interacting with a brand’s websites, apps, applications and products or services.

Although there are many available design tools, they often don’t provide brands with an end-to-end solution for application development. One such tool is Adobe XD, a vector design platform, which Adobe described as “a powerful and easy-to-use vector-based experience design platform that gives teams the tools they need to craft the world's best experiences collaboratively.”

Learning Opportunities

Like other design tools, such as Sketch or Figma, it enables teams to design applications up to the point where they are handed off to the development team. This is a problem that a digital product design platform solves, as it enables teams from various departments to design and create an application from concept to the generation of production-ready code.

Digital product design platforms merge low-code platforms with design tools to enable brands to improve CX and low-code capabilities by combining standardized development practices with standard design strategies. Infragistics’ Indigo.Design is a digital product design platform that can accelerate time-to-market by integrating UI prototyping, design systems, user testing, app building and code generation in a single platform.

Beres said the benefit of Indigo.Design is that UX teams can design experiences in their favorite design tools, such as the previously mentioned Sketch, Figma or Adobe XD, and in a single click, open them in Indigo.Design, enabling collaborations with stakeholders and unmoderated user testing.

Related Article: What’s Behind the Explosion of Low-Code and No-Code Applications

The Challenges of Low-Code and CX Design

Although there are several challenges facing brands relying on low-code development platforms for CX design, the most significant issues revolve around the limitations of such platforms.

Many low-code and no-code applications are limited to the tools, components and functionality included in the platform being used, and the inability to use external or third-party software in the application causes a lack of flexibility and customization.

James Harvey, CEO of QLess, a digital queue management and customer experience platform, told CMSWire that brands must understand the limitations of second-generation (i.e., current) low-code and no-code platforms.

“Things like sophisticated workflow, advanced analytics, tight control of the user interface, complex data integrations are limited with low-code/no-code platforms at their current level,” Harvey said. “This means companies may not be able to have total control over the user experience or build complex algorithms — instead, these tools are mostly adopted to help internal customers. He added that these tools are useful for quickly grabbing customer data to augment the core experience. “But they rarely run part of the core customer experience — yet.”

Additionally, many brands that have been considering low-code or no-code solutions are concerned about vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in refers to the dependence on vendor-supplied customization, professional services and proprietary or licensed vendor technology. If a brand has met the limits of a low-code or no-code platform and wishes to add additional functionality, it may need to begin from scratch with another platform or software package.

Low-Code, No-Code Shaping Brands' Outlook on CX

Low-code and no-code development platforms are changing the way brands look at customer experience design by enabling employees in marketing, sales, customer service and other departments to create applications that can be user-tested and stock-holder approved. These tools reduce time-to-market and save valuable production time while eliminating pain points in the customer journey and improving the customer experience.