Power users — the most engaged or expert users of a piece of software — are a developer’s most important customers; as they not only use the software to its fullest, they also shape its future development by providing feedback about their experience. In low code/no code development, however, power users play a slightly unorthodox role.

What are Power Users?

In the world of computer software, power users can be thought of as those who use an application with unusual regularity or with an exceptionally comprehensive understanding of its features and capabilities. Power users can be contrasted with regular users, who use the software less frequently or only use its basic features.

Power UsersRegular Users
Use software daily or at above-average frequencyUse software at normal frequency
Use an advanced or wide range of featuresUse a basic or limited range of features
Maintain dialogue with developers to report bugs or request featuresMay not have a relationship with development teams

For example, a power user of spreadsheet software might use the application to perform complex accounting tasks several times per day; while a regular user might use it every few days to make simple charts for presentations.

Because low-code/no-code platforms like TrackVia are explicitly designed to make app development accessible to all, there are often fewer “expert” features compared to other types of software. Additionally, since an LCNC platform enables the development of new apps and workflows, these new apps may eventually have their own power users which may not be the same as the power users of the LC/NC platform. 

The ability of low code/no code platforms to branch out and easily create new processes, workflows, and applications that take on their own power users creates an overwhelming web of power users to consider. 

The “Problem” with Power Users

Power users play a critical role in software development. As the most regular and/or advanced users of an application, they are often the driving force behind updates, bug fixes, and new features. They can bring about these changes by communicating their experiences directly to the development team.

But developers must be careful when focusing solely on the needs of their power users group. Although these users provide invaluable feedback on the usability of the software, they remain a minority group by definition. The experiences of power users are not the same as those of regular users.

When creating software, focusing too much on the power minority can cause difficulties in developing the product. Although the power users are often the first to report bugs and ask for the most feature requests, the features they are requesting may not be the best options for the software or the most used.

The problem with power users is that they will typically put the needs of their own business before the needs of the software itself. They may want features that are overly specific to their field or features that the average user will not understand. And the more features that get packed into the software, the harder it becomes for less technically skilled users to navigate.

Power users have an advanced set of skills with software that the majority of users do not. And by giving the power users exactly what they want, you can’t guarantee that you are creating the right feature sets for the majority of users.

Power Users and Low Code/No Code

Accommodating the needs of power users can be especially tricky in low code/no code development, where platforms must be accessible to a range of users across a range of industries. When universality is paramount, the addition of niche features tailored to power users can be alienating for the average user. 

That being said, power users play a vital role in low code/no code platform development, albeit a different one to power users in other areas. TechTerms defines power users as those who “require top-of-the-line machines” and who “always want something faster and better.” In a LCNC environment where simplicity reigns supreme, power users take on a new role: leadership.

Within the low code/no code framework, power users are similar to end users in that they are both go-to groups for software developers when designing programs because of the feedback they provide. Due to their similarities, it may seem like a natural next step for power users to lead and train groups of end users. But because these groups have specialized technical knowledge, this development can lead to issues with LC/NC programs becoming overly complex. 

Power users should instead focus their leadership on citizen development; internally-based, scalable, and intimate knowledge of the company’s current processes.

In LCNC development, the role of a power user is not only to develop their own expertise but to share their competence with as many teammates as possible and make LCNC development part of an entire staff’s skill set.  A successful power user may therefore be one who ceases to be a power user over time.

Overall, LCNC power users are the champions that help to get a company on board with working to improve processes. Beyond that, they can also be the ones spearheading a citizen development program. With their knowledge, they can help train others and manage a team of citizen developers within a business.

Conclusion

As with all software, low code/no code platforms have a number of users who run the software regularly while using the full breadth of its features. At TrackVia, we encourage our power users to exploit the platform’s capabilities and report their experiences to our development team. But we also believe a power user should play a role in sharing their experience with others, as a team of citizen developers is more powerful than an individual.To start building apps for your business without coding experience, sign up for a free trial with TrackVia.

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