The “Citizen development” era has largely begun, and all the great front-end and back-end frameworks available today are accelerating the emergence of “Citizen Development” tools. This article is very well defining the phenomenon.
PickaForm can perfectly be described as a “Citizen Development” tool.
One of the main particularity of citizen development tools is the ability to create applications with few lines of code (thus, their nickname is “low-code apps”). With PickaForm, most applications will have no code at all. Just drag&drop, and features that can be “activated” or not. That’s all you need.
Quickbase is a first-class tool which provides lots of application templates, allowing you to start in a few clicks. It was probably the very first big Citizen Development tool on the market, even before the expression Citizen Development was born… Nevertheless, Quickbase clearly targets medium to big enterprises, with a starting price fairly high : their “Essential” pack costs 15$/user/month but starts at 10 users, which means a freelancer or a small company of 2 / 3 persons will have to pay a minimum of 150$/month, without all the modules & features. To have full options, you’ll have to grab their “Plaform” pack, which is 40$/user/month… but starts at 40 users. Yes, that makes 1600$/month, which is a big deal for small companies.
Beside this, Quickbase has a UI / UX which is a bit outdated, and, most importantly, they don’t provide a strong workflow engine. They focus only on the database&report side of things.
Podio is a great tool for collaboration and data sharing. With Podio, you can also build your custom applications without coding – and that’s why we’re playing in the same field. This time, the starting price is very affordable, with their “Basic” plan at 9$/user/month, but with a lot of usage restrictions. Their “Premium” offer is 24$/user/month, which is very OK considering what you get for this price.
Compared to Quickbase, Podio offers a modern and sexy look&feel, but we think that unexperienced users will get lost in the UI : many buttons, menus, sub-menus, and a navigation which is not straightforward. You don’t really know where to look on the screen, which is filled with a lot of informations.
On top of this, despite the form builder is quite simple to use, we couldn’t manage to create an efficient layout when having complex forms (with more than 50 fields). Things are simply too big. Users don’t like to scroll for kilometers to reach the field they have to fill in. In the end, we realized they are not tailored to build complex applications, and this will be a clear “no go” for a small company searching for an easy and complete solution to organize its activities.
PickaForm sits in the middle of it.
You can build complex applications with ease, but whatever your application is, you will never have a complex UI : your unexperienced users will never get lost, simply because we provided no options to get lost!
Our pricing start at 15€/user/month, and that’s exactly what you pay if you are a freelancer. Small companies can afford our solution, and at this price, you’ll have all the features unlocked.
We are also alone to offer 3 months of free evaluation.
Beside our great form builder, we have a very good workflow builder that makes our product a perfect fit for bigger organizations.
And to conclude, all our competitors (not only Quickbase or Podio) allow you to design your own forms – to store custom data – but we are definitely alone when it comes to form features : with PickaForm, you can activate your features at the form level, which makes it the most flexible tool of all our competitors.
For example, for each form, you can activate – or not – attached files, comments, emails, calendar events, versions, actions history (audit trail), custom security, linked forms (to create relationships like Project>Task, Company>Contract…), document templates (to build automatically filled PDF on the fly), workflow and even transformation (of a form into another form):
The result is a form with exactly what you need, and not more: why should we display all the features to the user if he will never use them all?
KISS methodology : Keep It Simple and Stupid!
For all those reasons, we believe PickaForm is a great challenger in the field of Citizen Development, because it really allows non-technical people to get results without coding, without doing database stuff, and with just a few drag&drop and features activation.
Hope you’ll be happy with it!