Mini 'essay' about features as a follow up about the recent DnD and ChatGPT posts

First of all, I’ve been with Thunkable for about 4 years, over that time the platform has evolved and a lot of great features added. It is very good, there’s no denying that…

However, some features like the drag and drop builder, I never use…

Overall, Thunkable seems to be going the way of “how many users can we get on-board”, rather than “how can we make the existing tool better” - for current (professional) users (and promote that to new users e.g. “Professionals and Beginners alike use Thunkable!”).

Also, why, after 4 years is there still no responsive web UI builder, like Adalo, for example. Why is there an option to publish it, but no way to have anything but a portrait phone (or small tablet in DnD).
I feel like Thunkable doesn’t have clear goals, are your product managers on hiatus? Is Thunkable full of Devs and Sales people that don’t know what customers want and how to drive the company to support a wider market? Sorry but Thunkable seems floating in a fog of questions and answers with no radar to navigate.

There is a big list of things that could be added, and some other providers have as standard, here are some of them;

  • Bluetooth
  • Fingerprint Sensor
  • Light Sensor
  • Pedometer
  • NFC
  • Gravity and other Sensors etc.
  • Phone/ SMS
  • Audio settings (silent/ loud)
  • Cryptography/ Key-guard
  • Background activities
  • Deep links (very useful)
  • Transitions for screen links
  • Onboarding/ interactive slideshows
  • Firebase remote config
  • Other Firebase Authentication options
  • Faster map points/ poly rendering
  • Navigation via Google or other map provider
  • More built-in, external storage options e.g. S3 (AWS/ Wasabi)

Adding ChatGPT when Thunk could be adding business orientated features; like more external data connections, plugins that work with other services, integrations for Make.com, or n8n.io doesn’t make sense to anyone but casual users (I’d be happy to see examples of it being used IRL).
I’m sorry; but if Thunkable could integrate with 3rd party services as a one-click feature, then the service could start to be on-par with other ‘enterprise tier’ app builders?

Is Thunkable’s goals only to get the amateur users? If so why isn’t the UI more intuitive or seemingly hasn’t been improved in years (not including DnD, which IMHO is a mess anyway).

Or perhaps Thunkable actually wants to get Agencies and Enterprise customers on board, who can create apps for customers in minutes, not weeks - and bring those types of groups across from competitors, rather than being the sub-par option…

Look at Budibase.com, open source core, a decent start-up project and doing very well:
Anyone can run it on a cheap $10 VPS; it is a complete visual app builder with SQL, other database and dozens of other connections and integrations, as well as community plugins - and Thunkable still hasn’t improved it’s UX for ages, in fact there are new bugs and old ones still there.

For example, even now there are issues like the text box gets smaller when typing in a URL for the top bar navigation:

thunk-small-text-boxes-URL




Lastly, can you please move Intercom Chat out the way. Some components that have few options don’t scroll, but then those options are hidden.
Maybe use something like Chatwoot or Chaskiq (both FOSS) so you can change some of the code and allow users to hide or drag the chat icon to a convenient location, for example a button on the top bar and hide it when not in use, it’s already possible on Intercom:

view links to Intercom articles...

Create a custom launcher | Help Center
Hide the Intercom Messenger launcher | Help Center

There is documentation still up from years ago with useless information and empty promises of “it will be updated soon”… It’s the kind of tactic you see from tiny companies who want to have a big presence (more so in Asia as they know their western customers won’t visit), so have a lot of marketing, but lacking real information because they don’t have the operations or time to update it (of course Thunk has been updated, don’t get me wrong).

Honestly, it’s not really good enough for a company providing this kind of service to have bad UI, poor UX and old documentation. ChatGPT? How about a Full Screen view on the designer, or a Dark Mode, which everyone, everywhere has?

I think Thunk needs to really try and understand what new Agency/ Enterprise customers need, not just what the lowest paying users (think they) “want”…

More high-level features is better for everyone.
Please hire more devs…
If Thunk spends $100k on one senior developer, you’ll get more planning and more done overall, than a new team who want $30k each, because that Senior Dev will understand what you need, and know the hurdles and time it will take, rather than a team of newbies cracking out a buggy MVP in a week, that then has to undergo “public” testing and be put on the back-burner, or left not-working but in plain view.

*cough* IAP *cough*

Sorry to any community-only users who expect something for nothing, but life doesn’t work that way, and if Thunk doesn’t attract more paying customers over time and add more significant features to compete, how can the free version survive…

Please understand I’m being constructive to seek genuine improvement, not destructive just for the sake of it.

Better understanding = more features = more paid users = better features…

Thank you for your time.


Lastly; I can’t change my username on here, yes i’ve tried, and it’s a little frustrating…

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There are many other things also but what you’ve mentioned is a must

Hi Eric,

Thank you for the direct feedback and pointed requests, and for being part of the Thunkable community for the last 4 years. We know that you share these frustrations because you have invested a significant amount of time and energy into using our platform. And invested users, like you, are what keep us moving forward. Our goal is to provide the most intuitive and robust mobile app development platform - we are working towards that goal every day.

As you pointed out, there are many features, functions, and product enhancements that will go a long way towards making our goal a reality for our users. Our team has grown from around 20 people about 6 months ago to over 40 today, and we are continuing to hire for all roles if anyone is interested! As we bring on new teammates, you will see many new product developments (including some you’ve mentioned) become a reality. We are already actively working on a number of them, and I will talk to our team this week about how we work on the others. I will also have someone from our team reach out directly and chat with you more about these issues if you are open to it.

We recognize your frustrations and sincerely appreciate you voicing your concern. And we want to continue to hear your feedback, input, and feelings. Our job is to serve users like you to be able to quickly turn their ideas into apps.

Thank you. We will keep working towards making Thunkable the best no code development platform for native mobile apps.

Best,
Arun

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Hi @hdawc :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback. We just changed how people can request the live chat (PRO) feature. You can click the chat icon on the top navigation bar, and the intercom chat panel should appear.

Regarding IAP, we are looking into it and will give you an update later this week.

Best regards,
Wei

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@arun
Thank you Arun for your time and reply, I really do appreciate it and I’m sure other users will as well.

On a personal note; I apologise if I came across as abrupt, I am passionate (and maybe too honest!) about helping and improving, especially I can see Thunkable being an even better product for millions of users, because in some ways it is easy to use (google sheets integration) but in others there could be improvement (better UX for blocks and easier integrations to speed up data connections).
I would be happy to help where I can and am open to further communication.

Overall; I intend to continue to use the platform and really hope to see it expand and grow as I’m sure many others here do.

Thank you Wei for that, I’ll check it out.

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The new show/hide chat feature is fantastic, it really makes a difference, thank you!

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