Minimum Viable Product: Between an Idea and the Product
A product with just enough features to gather comprehensive qualitative feedback
Every customer wants to be heard and understood. The software world offers an excessive number of apps and websites, but only some of them receive users’ attention and love. To find out whether your idea can find a place in this competitive environment, create a minimum viable product first or partner up with an agency that can provide you with MVP development services.
What Is MVP?
The minimum viable product is a perfect opportunity to let potential users voice their attitude and to test out a product before its final launch. Gathering and analyzing qualitative feedback is a primary task of an MVP development company. Based on such findings, the business modifies its product idea to meet the customer’s expectations. After that, another MVP is created and tested, the customer research findings are updated, and the project is adjusted accordingly. This process turns into a cycle of MVP product development and takes place over and over again until the ultimate customer satisfaction is reached.
How MVP Software Development Is Conducted?
Each and every product is different, and so is the process of its development. Before we jump into details as for how MVP software development is carried out, we want to point out that it is an individual and iterative process.
At first, you have an idea. Even if you feel that it is revolutionary and genius, in fact, it still may be rather vague.
Our task as of an MVP development company is to help you put this idea into practice. We start with conducting research: we study the needs, interests, and demographic characteristics of the target audience, we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, we check out all the features we may implement and select the best ones of them. The information is organized and presented with the help of graphs, charts, tables, or any other visuals we agree on.
Now, your idea seems clearer, but it still not presentable.
We create a Proof of Concept. Basically, it is aimed at summarizing the discovery stage and verifying that a theoretical idea can be put into practice.
Ok, you know that your idea is feasible and comprehensive. You know that it can be done, but how?
We need to understand what the user wants to see once they open the application, which actions they are most likely to take, or how they think. For this purpose, we map a user journey – a visual representation of a hypothetical user and their experience with the app from the minute they realize the need in a certain service, through the moment they first find and click through your app, and up until they make a decision whether to make this service a part of their lifestyle.
After that, we develop a prototype, which is a simplified version of the product. It is interactive and working, it demonstrates the final product design and navigation.
Here, you have your idea implemented. Kind of. It can be shown to all the stakeholders but not to the client as long as it is just a rough draft.
We make ultimate decisions about UI/UX and finalize the visual design, after which we start coding the minimum viable product.
Your idea is illustrated, put in the code, and partially implemented – ready to meet its first user.
We finish the process of MVP software development, launch the MVP, gather customers’ feedback, and analyze the results, according to which the MVP is modified.
Once you see that your customers are fully satisfied, you are willing to start implementing the final product.
MVP Product Development Cycle
Let’s imagine, you want to create a bicycle. A cool, sturdy, and eco-friendly bicycle.
What if the potential clients do not like it and your effort goes in vain? Or what if you are on a shoestring budget and you need to persuade investors first?
You conduct a discovery stage: what a bike is, what parts it consists of, what bikes people like, and what riders complain about. After that, you answer the most important question: what you can do to make your bicycle stand out among the others.
Let’s say, you found out how to create a bicycle chain that never falls out the chainring. Once you have a clear idea, you create your mechanism: a chain, with a chainring and pedals – your proof of concept. You show it to your investors, tell them more about your idea, and receive their approval and support to keep going with the project.
Yet, it is not the time for the final bicycle as you have not seen it yet in actual size. You create a full-scale copy of the bicycle, carefully choose all the colors and materials, make it resemble a real product. However, the pedals won’t spin yet, and the steering wheel won’t turn. This is your prototype – looks pretty impressive but does not work yet.
Your investors again review the idea and approve your design, but now they need to see the functionality. You again create a full-scale bicycle, but now, it has a working wheel, pedals, breaks, gears, and a sit. That is going to be your MVP. At this point, you can actually let your users try it out. They get on a bike, test it, and share their opinion with you. The more people tried it, the more comprehensive feedback you have. However, be sure not to show your bicycle to the people you do not trust or they leak your idea to a next-door guy who also makes bikes for a living.
Subsequently, you modify your product in accordance with what your customers had to say until you are sure that you get it.
And only after all these steps, when you have received financial support from your investors and approval of your customers, you are ready to launch manufacturing. You change a wooden seat with a cushioned one, install safety lights on your bicycle, lubricate the bicycle chain, put stickers and a bell, develop a marketing campaign, and start selling your product.
Why Is MVP Important?
The MVP framework can and should be used within industries of all sorts. While for the manufacturers of traditional goods, it is a long and strenuous process, for the software developers, it is rather simple and accessible. Therefore, if the decision of any other business to disregard the minimum viable product development when creating something innovative is somehow understandable and can be justified, for a software development company, it is unforgivable. Eventually, if one decides to run a risk and implement the idea before checking up with the target audience, they put money, time, effort, energy, inspiration, and supporters on the line.
If you are interested in MVP development services, please, feel free to contact us.