We asked Cottrell Consulting founder, Joshua Cottrell-Schloemer, about building an app that helps him test out new portfolio designs. The main goal of the app is to serve as a portfolio and contact page for data visualization consulting services. Josh is a product manager. He wanted to find ways to leverage his product skills without heavy coding. He chose Bubble because the no-code platform offers almost all of the customization options that he could get from a full-time developer.
Tell us about your app and what it does.
This project is both a portfolio and contact page for my data visualization consulting services. It primarily focuses on my Data Studio work and gives me a chance to easily test out new portfolio designs. Eventually it will also serve as an onboarding portal for new clients.
How does your app work?
Right now the app serves primarily as a website/portfolio. Users can visit the page, learn about my services/background, get in contact, or click through to live examples of my dashboards. It's really difficult to describe performance dashboards to people, so you have to rely heavily on visual examples or real-world examples. I use the site to test different ways of describing my work in a language that non-technical clients can understand.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
I'm an ex-startup guy and up until 2020 I was Digital Nomad-ing my way around east and southeast asia with my wife. I'm primarily a product manager and as we traveled I was trying to find ways to leverage my product skills without having to do heavy coding. I started with visualization tools like Data Studio, Tableau and PowerBI but I realized that to achieve truly custom and fine-tuned products, I would need something with more customization. Bubble provided a perfect way to bridge that gap. I've been using it as a learning tool on and off since then and hope to eventually be building performance dashboards for my clients entirely in Bubble.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
Bubble gives me almost all of the customization options that I could get from a full-time developer. As a product manager, I'm all too familiar with the challenges of taking an idea from a designer and whittling it down into something that can be handed to a developer. Being able to fully own that process makes building new things exponentially more efficient for me. It has also given me much more empathy for my developers and drastically improved the way I spec all of my projects.
What have been your milestones or successes so far?
The first time someone contacted me through my new site was really exciting. It validated the whole idea and made me feel like my little consultancy was being seen by the world. A lot of the milestones have been related to learning - like the first time I successfully built a responsive page or the first time I successfully built the flow for receiving a message in my email. Every little step gives me a deeper understanding of building digital products.
What are your future plans for your app?
I am really excited to build out an onboarding portal for new clients. I want every new client to be able to log in, see their project status, submit all their documents/specs, message me, submit bug reports, and even more. I think it will lend a lot of credibility and will allow me to scale a bit farther as solo consultancy.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 500,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.