Creating with capabilities

by Joseph Robinson, Mar 06, 2018

In the design field, managers in charge of hiring often work up toward the idea of a "Unicorn Designer".

Being realistic, a Unicorn Designer would live a costly professional life. The costs of time and education to build up a broad skill set is high.

Even if you're a designer in a good place (without any unicorn hunters) because the design umbrella covers such a broad range of skills, it's easy to be snowed under with work. If you're a designer, you need to research solutions and plan how these could be implemented. You need to run focus groups. You need to sketch and wireframe applications. And then, you might write the code that implements those plans and designs.

Those of us skilled in time management (those amazing people who get so much stuff done) still need support to get their work done, regardless of what field they work in. Regardless of what stage you're at in your professional career, you will always need access to a range of support tools.
Codebots supports the design process with Behaviours (once known as Capabilities).

What is a Behaviour, and how does it work?

A capability is a block of code that can be switched on to give a web application a specific feature. You can also turn it off if you like. But don't turn it on and off rapidly like a light switch. It won't break the capability, it just might be confusing for your clients. 

You can use the Diagram Editor to shape Capabilities. The Diagram Editor is a drag-and-drop editor that allows users to design their application appearance. You can place components onto a grid, and connect these components together. You can set up CSS properties while building your design. And after your codebot completes its work, you can further style an application.

Behaviours for User Research

The Questions capability provides you with research capacity. When switched on, the Questions capability allows you to collect data about your users through questions and answers. You can collect data through surveys, questionnaires, or exams. 

A good example of a web app that uses this capability could be a health app that asks questions about a patient's well-being that can help with diagnosing and treating them. And an example that might be more common is a business asking for feedback on products or services.
You can create, edit, and publish documents using the Codebots Platform. This capability also handles versioning, so that you can track changes to documents over time. This is important in some sectors for legislation and procedural requirements.

Behaviours for Client support

The Timelines, History, and Occurrences Capability shows you events over a period of time. It allows you to visualise events on a timeline; you can view past events, schedule future events and create plans.

A good example of a web app that uses this capability is a customer relationship management (CRM) app, which uses timelines to record customer purchases. The timeline capability helps you view interaction history with customers and clients. It helps you manage and plan future interactions, and set reminders for future events. You can set reminders and send notifications to users (or someone else) about upcoming events. The reminders capability can also work as a to-do list. You can track and tick off reminders for tasks as you complete them.

Behaviours for Mobile Development

The Mobile App Capability turns your web app into an Android or Apple mobile app. This capability changes your web app content, shifting and adjusting the design for viewing and interacting on a small screen. This capability puts a native Android or Apple skin over the original web app. This means you get all the functionality of the complete web app, but with native device interactions. With offline functionality, users can continue to work on local data when their internet connection fails, and then automatically synchronise with the server again when they reconnect.

Behaviours for supporting you

For teams with designers and User Experience research needs, the Questions capability makes user research easier. Client and Customer Relationship management becomes easier with the Client Support capability. For designers developing for mobile applications, which is increasingly the case in software development, the Mobile App Capability provides ease of testing requirements for both browser and mobile application viewing.
Behaviours are a core feature of Codebots, for a more general overview of the Codebots platform, click here.