You probably wouldn’t want to fully develop an app that you don’t know will succeed. So, to understand what your customers want, you first need to test the software before creating it. And that’s where MVP (Minimum Viable Product) comes to the rescue.
An MVP is an important step in software development that allows you to test and preview the product, so you can make changes before releasing the actual and final product.
In this article, you’ll find a guide on building an MVP, but before going any further, let’s first look at what an MVP is and why you need it.
What’s an MVP?
A Minimum Viable Product is a test or a beta version of your product. It’s a product with enough features to be functional for early users who can provide feedback. After early customers have used the product, the owner gathers user feedback to make future integrations based on the target audience’s requirements and needs.
Building an MVP enables business owners to evaluate the viability of their product based on user experience. In the end, you have two options: scale up by meeting the client’s needs and requirements or abandon the project early if the product doesn’t charm its target audience.
The term MVP was created by Frank Robinson in 2001 * and then popularized by Eric Ries, who defined MVP as “The version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
However, ‘least effort’ doesn’t mean that MVP shouldn’t be usable, considerate of user needs, and reliable. It has to be viable too.
Why do you need an MVP?
You can create the best app in the world, but what’s the point if no one finds value in it? So how do I know if my idea is valuable? Build an MVP.
Building an MVP has many benefits. For any application, it can act as a shield. It could help you to protect your business from damage. Also, you can use it to attract users and investors early on. An MVP allows you to show your idea to potential investors. If they like your idea, you can get great financial support and proceed with the entire development process.
Another advantage of building an MVP is that it lets you test the product before fully implementing it. If you launch your app with complex features that don’t meet users’ needs and requirements, you’ll need to eliminate the unnecessary features you’ve already paid for.
Thus, building an MVP is cost-effective. Full app development needs lots of time and money, while MVP costs less due to incremental development. Therefore, you won’t spend money on features that might not work. Furthermore, you can define product weaknesses and improve them, and after obtaining profit, you can invest money in additional features.
Now that you know what an MVP is and why you need it, let’s jump to the important question; how to build it?
Here is a guide on how to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP):
- Define a problem statement
- Do research
- The must-have features
- Build and launch an MVP
- Receiving feedback and analyzing results
1. Define a Problem Statement
When building an MVP, first, you should start defining the problem you want to solve. You can write it down and check its performance with MVP. Testing your app idea is crucial to save resources and ensure that there’s a need for your solution. It doesn’t matter if you’re an advanced expert; you still need to learn if the problem you want to solve exists.
2.Do Research to Build an MVP
The next step you should take is market research. It’s a fundamental point for any project. If you want to avoid ending up broke, analyze.
Similar apps might be available, so you need to explore competitors, calculate the market size, and identify the target audience. Often, startup entrepreneurs skip this part because they think their product is unique, but this approach will likely lead to failure. This is because customers already use a similar app and are unwilling to switch to another one. That’s why market research is vital.
You need to do your homework before starting to develop an MVP. Do thorough research, analyze your competitor’s work and find opportunities to provide better services than theirs.
3. The Must-Have Features
Most apps fail because of product features that aren’t necessary. That’s why when you build an MVP, you must define the essential features your app should have. You can determine which functionalities to include in MVP through feature prioritization. Knowing your target audience’s wants and needs will help you identify and prioritize features. Your team can brainstorm and create a list of all the must-have features.
Just keep in mind integrating too many features too soon can harm the user experience. The only features you should include in your MVP are those connected to your app’s overall goal.
4. Build and Launch an MVP
Once you have learned about the market needs and decided upon the main features, you can build your MVP. Since MVP reflects the finished product you want to create, it should be engaging and user-friendly and, under no circumstances, should fall short of quality standards. Concentrate on the key elements that will provide users with the solution as soon as possible. When your MVP is made public, you can decide which feature should be developed first for the finished product.
In other words, even though an MVP doesn’t have the quality of the final product, it still should fulfill the customer’s needs. Moreover, it must be reliable, easy to use, and suitable for users.
5. Receiving Feedback and Analyzing Results
The most crucial step in the MVP development process is measuring the results. This will define the future direction of the development of the finished product and is the actual test of your product’s workability. Feedback and reviews are also a way to measure your app’s success once you fully develop it.
Pay attention to what the users are saying. Even if you can’t please every customer, user feedback can provide you with a clear idea of how to improve features.
It might not be easy, but it’s totally worth it!
An MVP is an excellent idea since it allows you to quickly create a simple product and test whether your target market would be interested in it. Before you begin, define the problem you want to solve and research the targeted market. Set goals and stick to them. Use features sparingly; prioritize them and put only the ones needed. If you take the right steps, you’ll have the MVP. It might not be easy, but it’s totally worth it!
Don’t forget the feedback after. Take advantage of them, improve what’s needed, and continue with the full development of your product.