What can I use to rapidly test my ideas?

Can I build a product in a week , weekend, day or even an hour? The question makes sense because it is always better to have something out in the wild and quickly. But, even though I know this: I struggle with moving from an idea to a product. Ideally, I would like to move really quickly through this process to test whether an idea matters or not. If you have any suggestions as to what apps, products, books, etc may assist in rapidly testing ideas I would be most appreciative. I am also answering this question below. (Update - 23 October 2017. Thanks. Keep the recommendations coming. I think I am going to try as many as I can over the next few weeks - will post updates below).
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66 recommended
  1. 123

    Simple, responsive, one-page sites for pretty much anything.

    Louis de Vaumas
    Louis de Vaumas3Toolbox Freelance · Written
    I’ve just built a product in 3 days using just Carrd and Typeform. I didn’t realized the power if Carrd before!
    Comments (14)Share
    Really solid quick site creator at a reasonable price point ($19/year)
    Ryan Troll
    Ryan TrollCofounder @ ProductMaven · Written
    Very awesome rapid testing solution IMO. We use Carrd at our agency to help our clients get their concepts out of their heads and into the wild, fast. We've since moved over to Carrd 100% for this stage of product concept validation. Can't wait to see this powerful app grow over time.
    Comments (1)Share
    • Brendan Hersh
      Brendan Hershdev/designer/domainer

      Carrd is the most amazing web building platform I've seen to date- and trust me, I've tried everything. You start off with a blank page, or choose from expertly-designed templates, then you can build your own site with content LEGOs: drag text under an image, make a row of links across the top, or even add some of your own code.

      When you discover control bars that let you break your site into pages, though, it's when everything changes: Carrd goes from letting you create business-card like pages to making full-blown websites for anything- home base for your app with dedicated support and contact pages, a sign-up form for an event that plugs names and comments into a Google sheet, ANYTHING (how do I make extra bold?)

      Carrd is now my go-to tool for anything web-building related. I made a website for a friend and even made a few bucks off it. I'm also teaching an HTML class for my homeschool support group and there will be a whole lesson on Carrd!

      I just want to say thanks to @ajlkn for my favorite website for websites, ever.

    • Suraj Rajan
      Suraj RajanCo-founder, invyt.in

      Found it to be extremely useful to create a profile site that I can easily share with people so they can find all my social media handles by just going here !

  2. 55
    Ship Your Side Project

    Make enormous progress on your side project in just 6 weeks

    there is a very useful pdf which discusses some criteria to choose between projects. amazingly, it is pay what you want.
  3. 51

    Bringing social accountability to work 🙊

    Interesting and important idea - build publicly and have someone to hold you accountable
  4. 11

    The world’s first user flow diagramming tool for designers

    Look like a simple way to understand user flow on your app or website.
    • Filippos Protogeridis
      Filippos ProtogeridisProduct Designer, Director at IMRSV

      Have been waiting for a tool like this for a while, really glad to see the work you have put into this 🙏

      Would love to see more powerful integration with Sketch/Zeplin/Invision. Automatically migrate Sketch Prototyping flows into Overflow. Ability to Export to Zeplin/Invision.

      Best of luck, looking forward to see more!

    • Akın D
      Akın DSoftware Engineer

      I requested beta access and recommended my friends to do so. But we didn't see any information that's saying "Windows users can not request beta access, because we will provide it for macOS users only".

      Today got our emails with a download link which will let you download a .dmg file and then learned that beta access is for only mac users but they are *planning to support Windows after public release...

      Then what's the point of getting early beta access requests from Windows users?

      Very disappointing beginning for us indeed!

  5. 8
    Webflow CMS

    Build professional dynamic websites without any code

    • André
      AndréDo it or don't

      I thought I could build my site with this, but then I found you can't allow users to create an account, maybe with some hackery it could be possible but site I'm trying to build is to big to rely on hacks.

  6. 8
    Ship by Product Hunt

    A toolkit for makers to ship awesome products ⛵

    Product Hunt released Ship for this exact use case too..
    Comments (1)Share
    • Kunal Bhatia
      Kunal BhatiaCo-founder & Design Lead @SlidesUp

      There was a void left by people who wanted to reach the Product Hunt community but weren't ready to launch. You had to put a lot of effort into creating a webpage just to do a 'Pre-launch' hunt. That's all simplified now.

    • Jeremiah Smith
      Jeremiah SmithFounder @ Startuptracker.io 🎯

      We've been using our upcoming page for the last couple of weeks and have collected over 1,000 emails already 😊

      Saves days if not weeks by giving you tools to launch and iterate out of the box.

      Welcome to the future 🚀

  7. This provides a way to learn about validating an idea, and running experiments.
  8. 7
    Atomic.io 2.0

    Ultra fast, scalable and fully collaborative prototyping

    Kunal Bhatia
    Kunal Bhatia51Co-founder & Design Lead @SlidesUp · Written
    I'm a big fan of prototyping my ideas and using design sprints to validate how useful they are to potential customers / users. This approach helps you de-risk your idea fast. My go-to tool right now is Atomic, but there are lots of tools that may fit your needs. With Atomic, I'm able to prototype many types of, and sometimes complex interactions with very little effort.
    Comments (1)Share
    • Kunal Bhatia
      Kunal BhatiaCo-founder & Design Lead @SlidesUp

      Atomic is my go-to solution for ideating, creating something to test with customers, and communicating with developers. You can get an idea of how I use prototyping tools in general here. It includes an overview of many tools in this space.

  9. 7

    Build a fully functional web app without any code

    ErlichProprietor, Pied Piper · Written
    Game over. Try it. You won't regret it.
    If you want to start playing with prototypes, I'd suggest having a look at Bubble for web apps.
    Jim Canto
    Jim CantoLow-Code/No-Code since 2008 | 4-HIRE -> · Written
    There is very little you can't do with Bubble. And last I checked, it is more affordable than Webflow.
    • Keith Crosley
      Keith CrosleyGRUPZ.com

      Look: There’s no platform that can enable someone with no freaking clue about how to build an app to magically build one... But boy does Bubble come close.

      I love visual/no-code/alterna-code environments and have worked on several of the most famous ones. Bubble is right up there.

      I feel like this tool‘s positioning (“you don’t have to be a coder”) belies its true strength. It‘s GRRRREAAAT for those who would rather NOT code most stuff.

      I do my best to help folks out in the forums at forum.bubble.is, but wish it had a StackExhange equivalent -- it’s that deep. Love it and wish it the best. You can build awesome stuff on Bubble, but (duh) prepare to learn some computer science In the process (this is a GOOD thing)...

    • An app that's more about doing something technically than paying any attention to the user or use-cases. Is just very impractical, with all the real-world features difficult to impossible. Just look at data-upload: https://forum.bubble.is/t/best-way-to-bulk-upload/1690

  10. 6

    Catch 'em all. Keep 'em all.

    One of the most important parts of developing new ideas is a direct communication line to your users. Intercom is popular but expensive - I'd look at Freshchat which has a free tier and is pretty solid.
    • Bernardo Campos
      Bernardo CamposProduct Owner at Parafuzo.com

      The analytics section of this product is a joke compared to LiveChat. We use both (for different use cases) and are really unsatisfied with Freshchat. It's really hard to have a good grasp of your operation with such scant reporting capabilities. LiveChat offers much more customization and flexibility. I'd definitely recommend you use that.

      It's also been unreliable of late, where several of our users are unable to use the chat. We've reported the problem and it took them about 5 days to detect it as a bug, and they've returned us an estimated 15 days for the bug to be fixed. This is way too long.

      The only reason we haven't switched over completely is because to integrate LiveChat into our android app, we'd lose native support for push notifications and would have to implement it ourselves. We've researched chat apps quite a bit and definitely recommend LiveChat. We've looked at Intercom too and it looks very promising but would only make sense for us if we switched our e-mail support system (Zendesk) to Intercom as well.

    • Arun Sathiya
      Arun SathiyaHappiness Engineer, Automattic

      This is Freshworks Inc.'s latest offering. Here's Freshchat, a modern live-chat experience for businesses of any kind.

  11. 7

    Sell anything directly to anyone.

    Lisa Dziuba
    Lisa Dziuba6FlawlessApp.io Founder · Written
    You can set up a pre-payment with Gumroad, so you can check if someone ready to pay for your idea :)
    Comments (2)Share
  12. 5
    Airtable 2.0

    Beyond the spreadsheet

    I'd also suggest looking at Airtable if you want to look at prototyping something driven by a database, or a process which traditionally relies on spreadsheets.
    Evan Petrack
    Evan PetrackPeople Researcher; Loves GIS & Data · Written
    Second this recommendation of airtable - I'd personally suggest it above typeform for forms + capturing all that date into a usable, good-GUI database as opposed to Google sheets. Bring in the fact that airtable plays nice with IFTTT, then you've got some great automation capability ahead of you.
    I love Airtable. I use it to track/hold everything from press coverage to events.
    • EU based companies are prohibited from exporting personal data to overseas-based service providers unless an exception applies. For Airtable, the only one that could apply is the Provacy Shield.

      Comments (0)
    • Mina Zivkovic
      Mina ZivkovicBrand & Content Marketing, Canvas

      I have just started using it, so I'm still getting proficient at it. So far, I'm in love. I had been digging for a tool to help me with content management and strategy, and I couldn't be happier with what Airtable lets me do.

  13. 4

    App success made simple by google

    saravananFounder of alertfor and taskbloom · Written
    end-to-end solution. developing first app is harder (~1 month), once got hands on experience, one can experiment any idea in a week.
    • Anurag Singh
      Anurag SinghMini Founder. 2 exits < $2mn. Building.

      We're building, and almost live, with a mobile app based Chat product built on Firebase Realtime DB. Firebase definitely made it super easy to build for our use case and we were super happy with having multiple solutions for a mobile app scenario covered from analytics to crashes to auth. However the most critical aspect Auth has given us a lot of trouble. Phone auth in specific, when undertaking OTP via SMS seems to block out numbers it tags as malicious - the problem with this is that more often that not its blocking numbers that are perfectly fine but have logged in too many times. This is just broken and what seems to be an optimisation for cost, is causing a whole lot of troubles during dev and for use cases where multiple logins are required.

      If someone from the firebase product team still see this page, please help solve this. This is literally the only thing making us dislike and no trust the platform/

  14. Alonzo Tang
    Alonzo TangFounder at diggoods.com · Written
    Think with Google gives us many tools to test your ideas
  15. 4

    Make Chatbots to replace your regular old webforms

    Ish Jindal
    Ish JindalFounder, Tars · Written
    Ish Jindal made this product
    You do two primary things to test out your new product idea - 1. Tell people what you intend to do 2. Collect inputs/suggestions/feedback frim prospective users/customers Tars helps you create automated chat interface to tell your product story and gather data from users. Check this quick thing I set up with Tars to test out a new idea - www.sengro.com
  16. Anish Mathew
    Anish MathewCurious about Apps and Cars · Written
    If you are looking to solve problem with business processes through an app, Zoho Creator could be the best way to rapidly test and develop it.
    Comments (6)Share
  17. Dominik Kugelmann
    Dominik KugelmannI show CEOs how to work form their phone · Written
    This book will help you to elaborate, test, and ship your first product (idea) within 5 days.
    Comments (2)Share
  18. 3
    Product Hunt 4.0

    Now with Reviews, Badges, Web Links, and more ✨

    nurulaFounder, Maker · Written
    its free and huge of audiences
    • Arun Sathiya
      Arun SathiyaHappiness Engineer, Automattic

      Product Hunt 4.0 is the best that has happened to Product Hunt yet. Easily one of my most favorite websites these days, and I see myself coming back daily to maintain my streak. I am at a 20 day streak now and I hope to see badges evolve with daily streaks - some sort of perks for people coming more often?

    • Ramy
      RamyFounder @ Letterfuel

      This update is super useful for people deciding whether or not to use a product. Sometime you want to do a deep dive into a product before deciding whether or not to use it.

      The "😻 reviews" feature, as well as the "🔗 Around the Web" section makes this deep dive super easy.

  19. This looks like an awesome 6 day process. And they planning to stream the event.
    Looks like a good opportunity to get something done in six days. And the creators will stream the event.
  20. Leanstack by @AshMaurya and team is a useful process & tool (the lean canvas backed by a web app to help you manage the lean startup process) and an educational series. I'd highly recommend taking a look.
    Comments (1)Share