Wait, should you even build that?

Combining the Power of Low-Code Development and CX

Photo by Tianyi Ma on Unsplash

Low-code platforms have helped many organizations transform their digital infrastructure by making it possible to build applications and websites faster than ever before. At Highland, we’ve been able to build enterprise-grade applications in as little as four weeks with only two developers!

As amazing as it is to develop at that kind of speed, there’s still a larger, more strategic question that needs to be answered:

How do you know if you’re building the right thing?

A common (and expensive) mistake businesses make is building new digital products without first designing for Customer Experience (CX). This leaves companies with beautiful, powerful technology that doesn’t solve real customer needs, leading to low conversion rates, and disappointed business leaders.

First: What exactly is low-code?

Low-code platforms remove complexity from the development process. There’s minimal hand-coding, quick setup, and simple deployment.

All of this simplicity and speed means that organizations are better equipped to adapt and respond to fast-changing business conditions and requirements. They can build more applications in less time with fewer developers.

You can see low-code development at work in this demo:

The #1 Low-Code Platform for Digital Transformation | OutSystems

At Highland, we love working with the OutSystems low-code platform to help our clients build transformational technology to solve a wide range of business challenges. Today, OutSystems is the most powerful and fastest-growing low-code platform, with a presence in 52 countries, over 245 global partners, and more than 100,000 applications built. We’ve found that the platform is still incredibly flexible, allowing developers to add their own custom code when they need it.

Combining Low-Code and CX

If you’re currently using a low-code platform and building new technology faster than ever before — great!

But let’s go back to our question from earlier:

How do you know if you’re building the right thing?

Low-code development without CX insights can get dangerous fast. The ability to build quickly and easily means that it’s easier to say yes to creating products that don’t have a validated value proposition.

User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX) research are critical components to our development process at Highland. Both kinds of research allow us to take a step back and explore the social, emotional, and functional needs of users and how technology can help address those needs.

Read more: Here’s a fun way to distinguish the difference between UX and CX

CX and UX research can help answer questions like:

  • How are purchasing decisions being made?
  • What are the jobs people are hiring this application to do for them?
  • How will your target audience navigate your website or app?
  • What kind of calls to action are people responding to?
  • Do user actions vary based on desktop, tablet or mobile use?
  • Are these applications being used for work or for play?

For companies who want to apply a CX mindset to their low-code development efforts, I recommend trying some of the following resources:

Getting Started with Design Thinking

This guide includes practical tips that will help your team embrace key design thinking mindsets.

JTBD interviews are a great CX research method that can help you understand your customers on a deeper level, so you can build technology that they’ll actually use.

Journey maps help you understand the path your customers are on as they interact with your organization. This approach pairs well with JTBD research.

These resources provide step-by-step guidance that can help you apply critical CX thinking to low-code projects.


If you’re using low-code and CX in combination, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send me an email.

Highland Solutions is a preferred OutSystems partner with one of the largest teams of Certified OutSystems Developers in the Midwest, including one of the few US-based OutSystems MVPs. Want to know more about OutSystems development at Highland? Get in touch with our OutSystems Practice Lead, Anthony Ortale.