Start-up and app development is always a win-or-lose thing. Having an idea, nobody can be sure that it will capture the users and satisfy their demands in the way you expect. Thanks to the new approach, the risk when setting up a new business is reduced by time.
MVP or Minimum Viable Product is bound to simplify the process, giving you a bunch of opportunities. In this article, we’re going to overlook what is MVP, why you need it and provide a checklist for building a successful MVP.
What is an MVP?
Before we start to dig deeper, let’s define what minimum viable product or MVP means. Shortly, MVP is a product version with just basic features implemented that are tested on the market. This approach allows developments to validate or invalidate the product, run experiments, learn the reaction of the target audience, determine how to add user value as well as experience the core functionality of the website/service/application.
Why You Need an MVP
Though the building MVP seems to be just additional expenses, actually this approach can save your money and nerves before the comprehensive functionality is added. Thanks to MVP software you can create a working version of a product with an immediate value provided.
Besides, MVP helps to gather real customers’ feedback, learn the end-user, investigate the market, test assumptions, reveal the customer pains, find the crucial bugs in the product, etc. prior to the release. The approach can lay the basis for the development iterations, clarify the consecutive steps to take in the project, and showcase business potential.
Key Steps: How to build a successful MVP
We outlined some fundamental steps to take to build a successful MVP for your project. This checklist is bound to help to identify as well as prioritize product features, set business objectives correctly, and understand what you need to get the MVP to the market, etc. So, let’s just elaborate on each step separately in direct order.
Understand your business and market needs
First and foremost, you need to learn the market to clarify if there is any demand for your product. You’re to understand what niche you’re going to fill and the gap to address. One more crucial thing to do before developing the MVP is to analyze the competitors along with their products. That will give an understanding of what is currently available and the reaction of the customers. Besides, in such a way you’ll determine if your app/website/service can stand out from the competition.
After that, you need to identify your target audience (TA). Learning your TA, you’ll get insights into their needs, challenges, and wishes to create the product they need. Just do the market research and interview your potential customers. Therefore, if you want to succeed, then you’re to answer the following questions:
- Who will be my customers?
- What value will my product offer to my target audience?
- What problem of my customers does the product solve?
- Why should the customers buy my product? What makes it unique?
Create a list of long-term goals
Once you know that there is a point to create your product, it’s time to think over how to release it. Strategy and business plan are an essential part of the development. MVP gives you an immediate value to see if the product will stand out and if there is any need in it at all. Yet, it’s the very beginning only. Learning the industry, market and your target users, create a list of long-term goals that you wish to achieve by releasing the final version of your product.
While doing the research, it’s obvious that you’ll reveal the bugs and problems of your product that you must solve. What’s more, you’ll find that your app/website/service lacks some features and it’s better to add them to the functionality to meet the users’ demands. In case you can’t focus on the issues at the moment, it’s better to add them to the list of long-term goals to come back to them in the future. In such a way you’ll add the value to your users, increase loyalty to your product and just improve the service in total.
Map out the user journey
The website/service/app is to be user-centric. That’s why take into account how exactly your users will interact with the product no matter if it’s a website, service, or mobile application. The most effective way to find out is to map out the user journey.
Yes, mapping out the user journey, you can enhance the customer experience starting with the very first iteration. Look at the product through the lens of the customer. Thus, you’ll get highlights into how the site or application should be designed to be really user-friendly. Define user flow to optimize the product and simplify reaching an end goal (purchasing, subscribing, filling in the form, etc.).
Identify user pain points
To succeed, you need to learn your target audience and identify your user pain points. Understanding the needs of your users and knowing what challenges they are going to solve using the product, you can suggest the best solution ever. Focus on the main problem you want to solve with the MVP to come up with the development plan. Some questions to ask:
- What made my customers come to my site/service/app?
- How can my product help them to solve the problem?
- What result are they waiting for, using my product?
Decide what features to build
The advantage of the MVP is the feedback of real users. Thus, you can find out what features you need to improve or add to enhance the customer experience. Yet, there should be a starting point. Thus, you’re to decide what features are basic, which you need to develop and build to your MVP, and which you can save for later versions. Today you can use different frameworks like Story mapping, Prioritization matrix, the MoSCoW method, and others for the purpose.
Success criteria identification
How are you going to measure if you succeed or fail? That’s why it’s vital to set the criteria for the success of your MVP. That depends on your product and the end goal you want your customers to do. Here are the most actionable metrics and success criteria to mind:
- Activations: used to measure of how many users take a specific action to get value out of a product;
- Feedback: to get understanding how the customers react on your product and reveal weak points to improve, features to add, etc.;
- ARPU: to evaluate usability, marketing strategy, track the reaction to any changes as well as to segment the customers and forecast the revenue;
- NPS: to gauge the loyalty of the customers to the service/website/application and your company;
- CAC: to measure the cost of converting the potential leads into your customers or even consumers and plan the budget of your project;
- Active users: to see the big picture and analyze how many customers use the product and back to your service/website/app constantly;
- MRR: used to calculate the monthly income you can expect to receive on a regular basis.
Build, Measure, and Learn
Having built the MVP, it’s time to launch it and wait for the results. Since the MVP is designed to satisfy the early customers, run experiments, it’s important to stay in touch with the users for getting their feedback and idea validation. This information is essential to successful future product development. There are two main ways you can get the customers feedback for the future analyzing:
- Direct – by means of the interviews and surveys;
- Indirect – by analyzing traffic, sign-ups, engagement and so on.
Thanks to the MVP built you can shorten the learning cycle and create the most successful version of the product. Another advantage of the MVP is that it can increase brand loyalty by involving users in the process and give you a better understanding of your target audience, customers’ needs and features to develop.
MVP is vital for idea validation. This approach can help to analyze the market, reveal the user pain points and, as a result, add value for the consumers, improve the product, reduce the costs. The main goal of the fresh approach is providing immediate value to your users, revealing the core features to add, and discovering what will work to properly target your customer. After, you can and should leverage customer feedback to continuously improve the product. It’s not the obligatory step in development, yet it’s extremely important for creating a user-centric service/website/application that will perform well in the marketplace.
DDI Development company brings a unique combination of e-business experience and solid technical proficiency to provide high-quality web and mobile digital solutions in a friendly and creative way. We help businesses achieve their goals by offering professional services. Our expertise spans into several industries including e-commerce, CRMs, e-learning platforms, recruitment and financial systems, etc. Our experienced team has delivered 150+ completed projects.