THE CHALLENGE: BUILD IN WEEKS, NOT MONTHS.
Squareshot was using a legacy infrastructure to capture requirements from clients and streamline their internal operations. Their problem was that their technology was outdated, and the vendor was able to offer limited support.
Their software kept crashing, creating poor end-user experience for their clients, and also disrupting their day to day operations.
Since this was a mission-critical application for their business, they had to figure out an alternative solution, which was robust enough to automate all their business processes, and could be deployed in weeks, instead of months.
That’s when they decided to go on the no-code route.
They stumbled across my profile on Heep, and hired me as their no-code automation consultant. I was tasked with creating a backend solution that would be able to store all the information that their clients would share, and automate their internal business processes.
The solution had to be built on top of no-code platforms like Bubble, Airtable, Zapier, make (formerly: integromat), and had to be robust enough to seamlessly sync data between different platforms, while providing a single unified view to their team.
DESIGNING A MULTI-PLATFORM SOLUTION
Given the fact that Squareshot wanted to build a user-friendly app, along with a sophisticated internal operations system, the stack had to be multi-platform, since there was no single app or platform could achieve all the use-cases.
However, that’s the power of no-code:
“You don’t have to find a solution that does everything to achieve your end-goal.”
Instead, you can architect a solution that does one job really well, and then interconnect each platform/app using integration platforms, like make and zapier.
Here’s a high-level preview of how the multi-platform no-code stack looked:
To summarise, here are all the platforms that were used in the project, along with their core use-case in the solution design:
- Bubble: The front-end of the app (customer-facing)
- Airtable: The back-end of the app (used internally)
- Stripe: Collect payments from client and manage subscriptions
- Mailgun: Send email notifications to the client
- PandaDoc: eSign proposals and agreements (through API)
BUILDING A SOLID NO-CODE BACKEND WITH AIRTABLE
Squareshot’s client portal was designed to store all the client records in Airtable.
I worked on re-designing the database architecture, and built workflows that would streamline the flow of data from the front-end application (Bubble).
- Implemented semantic data relationships between various abstract entities
- Built a unique Name-ID system that can track projects, shipments, invoices, etc. at the company level and avoid deduplication, without any external scripts
- Created highly interactive action buttons that are connected to external platforms (Docspo, Stripe, etc)
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN WITH AIRTABLE INTERFACES
Developed a clean and minimalistic interface on Airtable that would allow Squareshot’s internal team to easily access any information they might need.
Built mission-critical automations inside Airtable to streamline internal workflows. I used two platforms to automatically trigger actions and move data between different platforms:
BUILDING WORKFLOWS WITH ZAPIER
- Built 15+ Zaps with multiple steps
- Integrated third-party apps, like, Stripe, Docspo, etc, and connected them to Airtable via Zapier
- Built a highly modular architecture that is easy to maintain and scalable
- Leveraged complex modules like paths, scripts, etc to reduce executions
CREATING SCENARIOS WITH MAKE.COM
- Built 15+ complex scenarios on make.com
- Connected the platform with Zapier via webhooks for sending emails via Mailgun templates (not supported by Zapier at the time of development)
- Implemented notifications via Mailgun (email) and Bubble to (in-app)
RESULT: CLIENT PORTAL LAUNCHED IN 3 WEEKS
I was able to hand-over a fully functional client portal to the Squareshot team, and they were extremely pleased with the end-outcome. The core development of the portal was finished in less than 3 weeks, and the app went live, just a week after that.