The risks associated with crazy business ideas and unique products often discourage entrepreneurs, fearing the investment will go down the drain. Imagine, investing your hard-earned money and hopes into a project, only to find out the target audience didn’t like it, at all.
That’s where minimum viable products come into action; minimizing the risks of failure by giving a taste of the product for user feedback.
This article explores the steps to develop effective and insightful MVPs, guaranteed to help businesses prosper, save costs and time, and reduce associated risks.
What is a Minimum Viable Product?
An MVP is a product with just enough features to give users an idea of the final product, to record their response, change the features to match user preferences, and launch an exciting final product with minimum risks, hence the name: Minimum Viable Product.
Now, why is an MVP important if you have the resources to develop the actual product?
Often customers don’t know what they want or would like to use. Therefore, simple market research does not provide enough insights to plan and develop unique products.
Steve Jobs, in an interview with Business Week, said ‘a lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them’.
Minimum Viable Product gives early adopters a minimal version of the product and observes their behavior, usage patterns, struggles in using the product, and fixes the product so that the masses will love it.
How to Build a Successful Minimum Viable Product?
MVP development undergoes several crucial steps. You want to make sure that the Minimum Viable Product has all the necessary features that will test user preferences, without giving too much nor too little.
Developing just enough features is essential. Let the users give a taste of what the final product will look and feel like while keeping some features to yourself, keeping the curiosity intact.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Business Goals and Industry Trends
One cannot emphasize the importance of this step. Understanding your business goals and market conditions makes the foundation for a great MVP.
The industry trends determine whether the target segment is ready for the product. Look into the potential market gaps and observe what your competitors are doing about filling the gap. The empty spaces will determine what your Minimum Viable Product will look like.
After determining the market gap, evaluate if your business goals resonate with it, available resources to fill the gap, and so on. At this point, you should know your short-term and long-term objectives from MPV development.
Step 2: Craft Potential User Experience with the MPV
Keeping the user’s experience and journey in mind from scratch is the key to developing a successful MVP. Identify how the user will use your mobile app, from opening the app to signing off. It will allow you to think from the end user's perspective and help develop the goal-oriented product.
Knowing the users will help you understand their preferences and develop a product they would like. Start by identifying the characteristics of the people who will use your MVP. You must know which users will avail most of your app features and target them for your Minimum Viable Product. You might also want to test two different set of users for diverse feedback.
Determine the user’s journey on the mobile app, including possible actions performed by the user and the expected reaction from the app.
Step 3: Identify Potential Loop Holes in Your MVP
It is essential to know the strengths and weaknesses of your Minimum Viable Product. But above all, remember the difficulties your user is likely to face when using the MVP. For example, a user may face difficulty in finding the availability of a product or in changing quantity of products in the shopping cart.
Also, identify the strengths of your MVP. Know your competitive edge and determine the value your product will offer to the user. For example, the voice search feature will help users land on their desired page without any effort. Once you have sorted the strengths and weaknesses, a comparative analysis with the user’s actual experience will be insightful.
Step 4: Finalize the Features of Your MVP
Remember it’s important to offer enough features, but neither give too much nor too less. Shortlist the features providing enough value to attract the target audience and encourage them to use the Minimum Viable Product. Also, don’t forget to include your product’s unique features. It is crucial to evaluate the response of users on features that are being introduced to them for the first time.
List down the features you want to include and prioritize them according to impact on the user and the urgency. You might want to use a matrix for your MVP, helping you decide which features to include. Also, determine which features you want to introduce later. You may also divide the features into two or more phases.
However, building an MVP is not enough to yield results. It is important to collect feedback from the app users. Their feedback will help improve the product. The knowledge gained from Minimum Viable Product about your users is invaluable and otherwise difficult to attain. It will also make you think in new dimensions, foster new ideas, and ensure that your final product exceeds user expectations, beats the competition, and doesn’t fail miserably.
Your Startup Requires an MVP
Minimal Viable Product minimizes the risks associated with startups introducing new and unique products. It’s about giving the product to some users before presenting it to the masses so they can identify areas that need improvement. It will save you from significant blunders and ensure a positive response from the audience.
Now that consumer preferences and market trends are frequently changing, you cannot wait to finish your market research and then implement the results in your product. Instead, the two must go hand-in-hand, and an MVP facilitates you to do so.
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