Nick Lightbody
6 min readMar 10, 2021


What is No-Code or Lo-Code and why should I care? The importance of semantics in marketing productivity software.

People respond positively to an offer that they recognise either because they’re familiar with it or because it’s something new to which they are open.

Accordingly the meaning understood by the observer of an offer is crucial and language needs to be used in a way that those for whom it is intended understand – or at least recognise.

As digital products and services become increasingly more sophisticated and complex, and often confusing, there is a move towards categorising some software offers with the labels no-code & low-code, intended apparently to widen the potential market for such software.

These are obviously very important sector defining labels / buzz-words that mean a great deal to the people using them – but the question is

do they actually mean anything useful to people in their intended market?

What is the intended market?

Campaigns based on these concepts are looking to encourage take up from those who do not see themselves as software programmers. Pro-code seems to apply to the sort of software that these people would necessarily avoid trying to use and is used as a comparator for something completely different which is offered as being necessarily easier to use and hence more accessible to the novice.

This approach appears to be most relevant in the productivity area

This area is traditionally occupied by spreadsheets. After email, spreadsheets were the killer application that made it justifiable to buy a personal computer for a business. This was before web browsers became popular – since there wasn’t much web to browse at that time.

Even today, in many educational institutions, spreadsheets are used as a means of teaching about databases because visually the concept of rows and columns is entirely understandable when looking at a spreadsheet. As are calculations based on data.

But spreadsheets rapidly become extremely difficult to use when you try and take their metaphorical similarity to a database much further.



Nick Lightbody

A British former lawyer designing sustainable micro responsive web sites because “less is better”.