In essence, a minimum viable product or MVP helps organisations to cut time and effort to collect feedback using a no-frills version of their product. A minimum viable product only has the basic features, nothing more.
The collected feedback is used to further refine the product development process to come up with a product (or service) that actually fulfils user needs and makes them stick to it.
Airbnb, Dropbox, Spotify, Uber, and Zappos are some of the top brands that leveraged the power of MVP development and launched successful globally-adopted products and services. Consequently, other businesses are looking forward to repeating the trick and making the most out of their business endeavours by leveraging the concept of minimum viable product.
If you want to know why you should develop an MVP and how to do it, then you’ve stumbled across the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss how to build an MVP, why to build it, how long it should take to build an MVP, and more. Let’s start by knowing what an MVP is.
MVP full form is minimum viable product. It is a basic iteration of a business product or service with all the must-have features that successfully define the value proposition of the business.
An MVP facilitates:
Typically, an MVP of a product is used to take user feedback that helps the business in future product development. A minimum viable product must consider user needs, i.e., it must have an empathetic design. Moreover, it should be reliable and usable.
There are several reasons to go for building an MVP before developing a complete product. Let us check out the 4 most important ones, one at a time:
One of the most important aspects of an MVP is to allow developers to collect feedback before releasing the final product. Although your product might be viable, it might not be likeable with its initial set of features. Such things can be found out using a minimum viable product.
Furthermore, early feedback collection assists the development team to create a product that is not only error-free but also immediately liked (or loved) by the customer. The earlier your product entices users, the more will be the chances of them sticking with it for a long time.
Creating a minimum viable product introduces testing early in the development process. In a world where software development methodologies like Agile and Scrum are the norm, MVP fits perfectly with testing requirements for a product developed with such software development models.
Launching an MVP instead of a full-fledged product will help you cut on resources, especially time and effort. Instead of going all out, a minimum viable product will help you to expend your resources incrementally.
4.Developing a Market-Fit Product
Any product is developed with market demand in mind. Businesses do not always prioritise developing a product that has no competition. Instead, they build a generic product and modify it over time to incorporate solutions to unique challenges (or problems) faced by the users.
A minimum viable product helps in doing so. An MVP is a great tool not only for businesses to test out a product but also to gather market data. Based on this data, the business decides to add, remove, and/or modify features provided initially in subsequent iterations of the product.
Building a minimum viable product is a multi-stage process. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution here.
Consequently, organisations tweak the steps to make the process align with their requirements and development protocols. In general, though, we can build an MVP in the following way:
1.Do Your Homework
Market research is essential for any business idea to succeed. A business idea backed by loose research work is going to cost you way much more than it should or may fail altogether.
More often than not, business ideas won’t fit perfectly with the market demands. Therefore, the business idea requires evolving to get as close as possible to being a perfect fit.
Fulfilling the needs of the target audience is essential for any business product to succeed. One great way to collect data regarding customer pain points and preferences is by conducting surveys. These can be the same for everyone or different for different user groups.
Another thing that can help you out with market research is competitor analysis. Analysing the competition will help you to develop a unique selling proposition for your brand. You need to find aspects that your competitors have left out or are doing poorly and then work on them to make your product unique and compelling.
2.Brainstorm on Value Proposition
Focus on the value that the product adds to a user’s life. Three questions are important to answer to define the value proposition of any mobile app:
The MVP must introduce value (value proposition) to users even in its most basic state. You need to use buyer personas that you’ve developed for your product to decide on value propositions.
3.Mapping Out the User Flow
The app design must make it easier for users to navigate through your mobile app. To do so, you need to look at the app from the perspective of an end user. Moreover, you should be aware of the top mobile app development trends to incorporate best-in-class and state-of-the-art features.
User flow is important as it ensures that nothing will be left out with respect to the final product. Another important reason to define the user flow is to determine the different stages of the process. The user flow must align with the user journey.
Once all the procedure stages are understood, the next step is to define the features required by them. A user flow design simply represents the steps and actions that a user has to take to perform a specific task. Usually, a mobile app has multiple user flows.
4.Prioritise the Features
An app has multiple features, and obviously, not all of them are equal. In this step, you need to prioritise all of them to decide which ones to include in the app and which ones to leave.
To help you shortlist the most important features, ask questions such as:
Next, prioritise the features with labels such as high priority, medium priority, and low priority. If you want to see how the future product will look and feel, you can develop a prototype for your MVP.
Once you’ve learned well about the market (and client) requirements and finalised the primary features, you can create the MVP.
Making a minimum viable product doesn’t mean compromising with the quality of the product, not even in the slightest bit. Therefore, ensure that your MVP is easy to use, engaging, and helpful for your customers.
This step basically means to implement feedback gathered from the MVP for developing a final, polished product. The Build, Measure, Learn feedback loop helps to:
First, define the scope of work and then move to the development phase. Afterwards, the product requires testing. QA specialists and engineers work on the test results to improve and enhance the product’s quality.
Collecting feedback from the users post the launch of MVP helps the business to determine the level of acceptance and competitiveness of the product.
The cost and time required to create an MVP depend on the product under development. The price to create a minimum viable product could range anywhere from $5k to $50k. Important factors determining the cost of building an MVP are:
The exact cost of an MVP is only revealed once it is complete, nonetheless, an experienced MVP developer like Apptunix will provide you with a precise quote.
Developing a minimum viable product before launching your product into the market is an advisable step. It not only grants you the opportunity to further refine your product with less investment but also develop USPs for the same.
You can either develop an MVP on your own or get help from an experienced organisation. Alternatively, you can develop it yourself with consultation for times when you get stuck.
Q 1. What is an MVP in business?
A minimum viable product is a new product or some major feature meant to validate customer requirements prior to the release of a more rounded product. It is a prototype of the final product that contains only the most essential features.
Q 2. What is the need of an MVP?
Organisations require a minimum viable product to check the response of their product before releasing it in the market. It helps a business reduce time and effort in developing a meaningful and useful product.
Q 3. How long does it take to build an MVP?
The time required to develop an MVP depends on the product. Usually, it requires 1 to 6 months for developing a minimum viable product, irrespective of the product size and type.
Q 4. What are MVP goals?
There are several goals that a minimum viable product helps to accomplish. Most important among these are, testing market needs, validating the premise of the product, making relevant adjustments to the product vision, and knowing where to invest in the future development of the project.
Q 5. What is RAT?
RAT stands for Riskiest Assumption Test. It is used as an alternative to developing a minimum viable product by many organisations. It focuses on testing the biggest assumptions.
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Akhil has been writing content since 2014. Although he has written content across various niches, his forte is technology writing. Throughout his tenure he has worked in various capacities. He is presently working as the Marketing Manager for Apptunix.
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