After months of planning, development, and hard work – you’ve finally done it, developed a product! The first users have received your product and you’re enjoying your first successes. But it all started with a minimum viable product (MVP), right?
Our article is a step-by-step guide on creating a minimum viable product, its primary goals, and its advantages. Let’s get started!
The basic concept: what is MVP?
In development, the term MVP is a kind of mantra. How about breaking it down to its essence?
When we talk about application development, MVP means the initial version of an application that has the minimum necessary functionality and has enough potential to attract investors and/or start generating revenue. In other words, it’s what’s left after removing all the add-ons and additional features.
For example MVP in healthcare. MVP refers to the initial stable, useful version of medical apps that features core functions only. An MVP can be offered to very early customers to gather their comments as well as use the findings for further product growth.However, minimum essential functionality does not mean a lack of functionality, because an MVP should also be “viable”. This means that the product must be reliable, take into account the needs of users, and be easy to use.
This is where it’s worth taking a closer look at the purpose of an MVP.
Purpose of an MVP and advantages of creating itThe main goal of an MVP is to test a business idea at a minimal cost to resonate with the target audience and identify further iterations to increase value.
By the way, testing a business model in the form of MVP is one of the most popular startup launch schemes. Distinguished companies like Figma, Slack, and Uber started their adventure to unicorn status with MVPs.
MVP has gained popularity due to the benefits you and your business receive. Using an MVP provides you with:
- Idea validation
- Reduced time to market
- Low cost in comparison with a fully-featured product
- Early adopters attraction
It is also worth mentioning that MVP solutions can help your business cope with such a task as fundraising. For example, if you are at the very beginning of a closed beta test and you are going to look for investments, then the implementation of your product can be simplified and the UI and UX basic, because you just need to show your idea.
Crucial steps: how to build an MVP
Trending on Quora are questions like “How unpolished can my minimum viable product be?”. There is an expression: you launched your product too late, if it doesn’t embarrass you. However, if you focus on the “M” in the MVP acronym much more than the “V,” you’ll get a below-average product.
To avoid this, you should focus on understanding the steps involved in developing MVPs. The following steps must be followed to successfully create an MVP:
- Start with discovery and market research. In the first stage of the MVP development process, we suggest you find answers to the most important questions about your design idea: What problem does your idea solve? Who is your target audience?
Of course, an expert team can create excellent code without this information. But if your goal is to create a successful product, you need to find out if your idea meets the needs of the market. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye on what your competitors are offering and how your product idea can stand out.
- Map out a customer journey. This step is vital to the MVP because this kind of visualization and customer potential interaction with your product will provide a high-end user experience on your platform and help to retain users.
In order to compose the map effectively, you need to constantly consider the application from the user’s point of view and make sure you know: your customer personas; actions that your users are going to take; the target actions for your users (end result).
- Come up with UX. In creating the UX (user experience) you will be greatly assisted by the previous step. Frame the UX of your project and you can easily lead the customer through the platform to the end result.
- Prioritize core features. As we mentioned above, the ideal MVP solution is a result of a balance between minimalism and product viability.
To prioritize MVP features, ask questions such as: What do users want? Does this product offer something useful to them? Categorize all the remaining MVP features from high-priority to low-priority, then create those features in the product backlog with priority in mind. The main reminder here is to say that the MVP should not be of lower quality than the final product and should meet the needs of the user. Therefore, it should be engaging and suitable for users.
Creating an MVP: pricing
Since we’ve figured out what the steps of MVP development are, let’s talk about what the price of such product development consists of.
Generally, the MVP development process takes up to 6 months. But the actual cost and time of MVP development depend primarily on the feature list of your product type. The number of features directly affects the pricing. The logic is simple: the more features worth implementing in the product, the more developer hours will be spent. Therefore, it is recommended to reach an optimal price that is in line with the core functionality of your MVP.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that an important factor influencing the development of a minimum viable product is who exactly will create it: a development team from the service provider, freelancers, or your internal teams.
Specific prices for MVP development will depend on your every choice. To find out how much MVP development will cost in your particular case, consult a software development company, such as Yalantis.
Some people think that MVP is about all the features they would like to implement if they have the budget for it. Others treat MVP mostly as a way to save money on development and strive to create a product, in a short time and very cheaply. Either way, in 2023, it is uncommon to release a product without an MVP.
If eventually you start developing your product, remember to find a balance between features, have a solid plan, and be extremely careful about selecting your future team. Whatever challenges you face in creating a minimum viable product, you can turn to a software development provider like Yalantis for expertise.