Building a digital product takes a lot of time and effort. We know it very well. It’s no longer about the solution itself but about everything connected to it. In order to fight off the competition, let’s focus on a factor that has a crucial impact on the app success – its users. That’s to say, when creating a product with a software development company, make the target audience your priority. And what’s a better way to do this than building an MVP?
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product and is a concept that allows to find out whether the product with the essential functions meets user’s needs. It checks how customers respond to the product value proposition. This method is especially popular for startups.
We can say that MVP is a kind of test, an experiment. One of the main goals of MVP at the early stage of launching the digital product is to gather information and feedback from the target users. However, the basic version doesn’t mean anything wrong here. It still has characteristics such as app’s core value, workability, usability and visual appealing. All of these features contribute to the core value of the product. Nothing more.
Is MVP necessary? What are the best practices in creating it? Let’s find out.
MVP is a process that if done correctly and effectively, can bring a lot of benefits. It can overnight change the fate of a company, and from an unknown startup, make a successful company. Here’s the proof. Or tons of it actually. Let’s take a look at Facebook, Dropbox and many other successful companies that also wanted to validate their core idea with the audience. You’ll be no different.
There are many perks of creating MVP before launching a final product. It allows you to:
In other words, your product fulfils the user’s requirements. How’s that? Because earlier on, during the MVP stage, together with a team of experts, you cooperate with the target audience in creating the final product. Thanks to that, in a short amount of time, the early adopters can determine if it’s something they need, which brings us to the next point.
One of the main objectives of building an MVP is to learn about the product as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. Providing the target group with the early version of the app is a great way to find out what customers are willing to pay for. And the best part is that it’s all done with minimal expenses.
Because your team works with the target audience and gets reliable feedback, they adjust your product to the user’s needs. This, in turn, reduces the odds of failure and increases the chances of success. In other words, you won’t have to watch as your idea fails on the market. It just won’t happen, as you’re going to have a base full of customers that signed up to use your product.
Including product end-user in the process, you save the resources that can be now spent on marketing, further development or your other projects. What’s more, the software house won’t have to go back and forth to fix the emerging shortcomings as it already had been uncovered during the MVP stage. You’re going to have a fully functional product that’s ready to launch and is adapted to the market.
Now, since we already covered the benefits, it’s time to talk about some tips for MVP development. How to ensure that the process goes smoothly? Let’s see what to do to increase your product’s chances for the success:
There are many misconceptions about these three methods. How do they differ from one another? Let’s find out.
While all of these methods aim to check the idea, there’s a clear distinction between them. PoC is the quickest way to check if the idea is feasible. This method is excellent for innovative projects when there’s a higher risk of potential setbacks and problems.
When we talk about MVP, we think about a basic version of the app with features and functions that allow the target audience to decide whether they find it useful or not. Here, we focus on user experience. Are our assumptions right? Is this what they want and need?
While preparing the Prototype, we get to see how the concept will be done. We build an interactive model that allows the team to test the product with users quickly and efficiently. We sometimes choose to create Wireframe Prototypes which are focused more on user flows and app functionality, while others centre around design as well as the layout.
To sum up, all of these methods are cost-efficient ways to validate an idea. Thanks to them, the product is user-friendly and ready to conquer the market.
Now, we move on to the process itself. How do we build, develop and execute MVPs? How to get from an idea to a product? The answer is simple – do one step at a time.
Step 1 – Research
When you come up with a concept, you make a ton of assumptions. You’ve got a clear image of your target groups, their needs, and of course, the product itself. However, some of the hypotheses may be wrong; it’s normal. Did you know that the most common reason for product failure is not complying with potential customers needs? Interesting, right? It’s that easy! So, what you should do next is to get in touch with your target audience, learn about their needs and get them what they want. Which bring us to the second step.
Step 2 – Find a target group & map their journey
When creating a product, the first thing you do is finding your potential users. Then, you try to get to know them as much as possible. Learn about their behaviour and likings, habits and patterns. It’ll give you an insight into their needs which will help you in fulfilling their needs.
Step 3 – Define the main problem
Once you know the target audience, it’s time to define problems they’re facing. Next, select the one that corresponds with the created product and focus on it. How is your app going to solve it? What’s the concept’s primary value? Decide which features are extra and which ones are must-haves. The simpler, the better. Don’t you agree?
Step 4 (optional) – Make a PoC
This step depends on what kind of product you want to prepare. Is it innovative one that doesn’t exist on the market? If so, there’s more risk and uncertainty connected to it. Thus, what you should do is develop a PoC to validate your idea and see if there’s a demand for your product. It’s better to make sure your concept is viable. If you’d like to learn more about PoC, see our article about it.
Step 5 – Offer the potential customer the early version of the product
MVP is all about customer validation. We should remember that it’s a product that ought to meet the needs of the target audience. Therefore, it won’t be incomplete or unattractive. At this point, all the features should be connected to the product’s primary objective. That means, only the important ones.
Step 6 – Gather the feedback and iterate
Having all the necessary pieces of information, go back and re-evaluate your product. Next, adapt it to users needs and fix all the problems they reported to you during the process. It will provide you in overcoming a significant uncertainty. Namely market adaptation.
Let’s try to answer some of the questions concerning MVP.
Now, it’s determined by approach and technology you’re going to choose. Has this solution already been made, or is it going to be a brand new one? If it’s a custom software development, it’s going to take more time, but the product will be adapted to your business needs.
Keep in mind that building an MVP also requires a workshop, prototyping, designing and developing. Sometimes, there’s a landing page or a video as an MVP while in other cases, there are much more complicated projects to carry out. Thus, as I mentioned before, the time depends on the scope of the project.
There are many ways to test the MVP. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet and digital transformation, you’ve got endless options available. From social media, landing pages, blogs through online advertising to traditional ads on TV or radio. Surely, there’s one that works for you. Use it to meet your potential users. Give them your MVP, gather feedback and improve your product so that it’s exactly what they need.
Do you know what the most common reason for product failure is? That’s right, useless app features. In other words, some components are rarely used or entirely dismissed by the target users. Why am I mentioning this now? It’s because startups, more than anything else, rely on the success of the idea. It often may be their to be or not to be. Luckily, thanks to workshops, PoC, and (yes, you guessed it) MVP you’re going to get all the needed information and feedback. Instead of creating a whole product, do a landing page and see if there’s a demand for it. You have it? Great. Then, you’re ready to go. MVP allows you to get clearance on what’s needed in the app quickly and to build it accordingly.
Some companies offer to create the entire product immediately. Well, if you follow us, or even better, you cooperated with us, you know it’s not how we do it.
At Gorrion, we care about your time and resources. That’s why we recommend building MVP first during the workshop. It’s a part of our software development process. With the use of the MVP, you can check how your idea is going to be perceived on the market and bring it to life at a relatively low cost.
What’s more, since the research feedback allows you to improve your app, you are continually working on your product and simultaneously, increasing its value. Also, MVP is a much cheaper solution than designing a whole project with many functionalities and features. It allows to reduce the risk and save money that can be spent on marketing or promotion.
The point of a successful MVP development is to keep a balance between usability and efficiency. This process brings results in the form of a solution adapted to the market, which translates not only into the success of the digital product itself but also the entire company. Moreover, it enhances the app launch and helps in finding faulty features to a product and enables you to make all necessary changes to satisfy your customers.
Want to build an MVP? Book a meeting with Lukasz or send us a message. We’d be happy to meet you and discuss your idea.
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