The pandemic has increased the need for speed as companies rush to catch up and digitize their face-to-face interactions. Mobile apps are more than ever essential tools, and OutSystems makes building them a lot faster – our customers have seen up to 10x increases in app development speed. Like Lucro, who rolled out an application in less than a week to help small businesses apply for critical pandemic-relief loans through the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
While development teams using OutSystems can move very quickly – it can take them only weeks to develop and deploy a full-blown, critical B2C mobile app – the definition and design part of the process often remains mostly the same. The two parts of the app development process move at very different speeds.
Defining and testing a great user experience involves many people and many steps. Teams of UX and UI designers must follow a process that includes, for instance, discovery, user research, user testing, designing low-fidelity mockups, and design iterations that end in high-fidelity mockups that must be handed over to developers. Delightful experiences are hard to create, so, understandably, this process takes time. And with the speed at which developers can move with OutSystems, we’ve seen many customer’s teams become frustrated because it takes them longer to design their apps than to develop them.
Are you ready to get started with Experience Builder?
Design, Prototype, and Develop Even Faster
After designing the prototypes, designers will need to spend a lot of time writing development specifications, so development teams know what they need to do. The high-fidelity mockups they have created are essentially thrown away at this stage, as developers then spend a good chunk of time replicating them, developing fully-functioning, and scalable apps. Experience Builder accelerates these time-consuming activities, slashing the time needed to turn an idea into a design, and then into an app prototype — to a matter of minutes. It empowers multifunctional teams to accelerate the app development process — from the design stage.
You and your teams can create high-quality experiences at speed, from design to development and production, using a single platform to make designer and developer collaboration easier, reducing throwaway work – Try Experience Builder now
The app is generated with the same standard architectures and frameworks as its pro-developed counterparts. The sample apps include not only UX and UI best practices but architecture and scalability best practices too (assessed using Architecture Dashboard). Because it takes so little time to build an app prototype, they can be tested earlier, to get meaningful feedback.
Deliver Delightful Mobile Experiences Fast
With Experience Builder, we reduce the skillset needed to complete 80% of app development tasks, such as designing and building common flows, screens, patterns, behaviors, and more. Developers can easily navigate between Experience Builder and Service Studio as all assets are named the same on either side. They can open take the app prototype and extend it, connect data, and add integrations in Service Studio. The entire process takes place in a common platform from design to deployment.
Anyone can build an app by selecting fully functional, pre-built app templates, and by mixing and matching common user flows (a series of screens, organized logically, and follow UX and UI best practices). The apps can also be customized to fit branding guidelines by adding a logo and choosing the app's primary color. Once happy with it, click Publish and open the app in the browser, as a PWA on a mobile device to test with users and stakeholders, or you can open it in Service Studio.
But moving faster is not necessarily doing things better. When it comes to B2C mobile apps, the experience has to look and behave perfectly. Which is why these flows and templates include a lot more than meets the eye. They result from months of research and collaboration between cross-functional product experience teams, that have looked at industry-leading apps to incorporate everything you need for top-notch user experience. Each screen that’s dragged and dropped is fully-functional and includes B2C sample data. All screens come with built-in native behaviors and smooth animations and allow you to maximize the use of device capabilities using native plugins.
We also made sure Experience Builder is easy to use. It offers an intuitive web interface that you can use to create prototypes visually. You can easily self-register to use the builder, and all user role management is taken care of in LifeTime. To get you familiar with it, the first time you use Experience Builder, an onboarding experience walks you through the main features so you can get up and running quickly. You can also trigger this to run again at any time (click ‘?’ at the top-right of the interface and select Open onboarding).
So What’s Inside The Box?
Experience Builder includes 5 App Templates (Mobile Banking, Customer Insurance, Patient Healthcare, Onboarding & Login, and Product & Checkout) and 40 common user flows (such as user onboarding, card management…). This translates into more than 150 screens and over 20 native plugins. And we're just getting started. Everything complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2, Level AA Conformance. You can check the full list of app templates and their descriptions in our documentation.
Users can start by selecting an app template for the most common business use cases. They can choose a Blank app and build their app from scratch using the 40+ industry-specific or universal flows (such as an authentication flow). If a prebuilt app template is chosen, flows can be added or removed to customize what is included.
During publish, we validate the app that’s just been created, making sure the user journey makes sense, and that there are no missing links, etc. We prepare all the metadata (actions and business logic), all the assets (screens and their actions), we compile and generate your app, and then we publish it to the user’s development environment.
Get Started With Experience Builder Today
We're continuously developing Experience Builder, and your feedback is invaluable. You're the reason we get up in the morning, excited to create new products. We're never done. Your feedback helps us take Experience Builder to the next level, add new features, and improve your user experience. If you want to report an issue, ask a question, or share your thoughts and suggestions, click Send feedback inside Experience Builder located at the interface's top right corner.
With Experience Builder, your app development process is accelerated from idea to design to development. Not only is it a lot faster, but you get the best experience out-of-the-box and app templates that are not only architecturally sound but also scalable. Move faster and get your app out the door in record time. It’ll literally take you minutes to get a prototype you can test and iterate upon to perfection. The move from Experience Builder to Service Studio has been thoughtfully designed to avoid any roadblocks. We made sure that developers get no surprises when extending the app – everything is validated during publishing because fast is only better if the app’s quality is flawless. So try Experience Builder today and check the documentation to learn how to get started. Haven’t got a Personal Environment? Sign up for a free personal environment and see for yourself how easy it is.