Any entrepreneur knows the difficulties involved in validating your idea and turning it into a reality. While it may be hard, taking risks is crucial to gain traction and buzz about your design or new product. How do new business owners know whether or not their concept is feasible, or if it’s going to benefit consumers? The solution is an MVP or minimum viable product.

An MVP is used to assist in validating your idea and give insight into understanding your customer’s needs. Keep reading to learn more about MVPs, how to build your own, and why they’re an integral part of any business. 

What is an MVP?

A minimum viable product (MVP) is where a lot of businesses start. It plays an integral role in development and design. An MVP is a product developed with minimal features to satisfy early customers and gain feedback for future product development. For example, in mobile app development, and MVP is the most basic version of the application. A new product is developed with only the core functionalities, then given to an audience to test how they respond. Using the findings from the test audience, the final product will be developed with the full set of features.

Why Use an MVP?

If you want to launch a new product idea quickly, while staying in a small budget, an MVP is the easiest way to do so. It allows developers to receive user feedback in order to further develop the product efficiently. Plus, it’s the most efficient way to gain insight on what users really need and want from your product. Easily collect data, quality feedback, and minimize errors by testing your MVP on a targeted audience. 

Top 5 Ways an MVP Can Help Your Business:

  • Minimize Development Costs 
  • Early Testing Opportunities
  • Gain Crucial Feedback From Real Consumers
  • Save Time
  • Attract Investors 

The 6-Step Guide to Building an MVP:

Step 1: Market Research

From surveys, focus groups, personal interviews, and observations, market research is used to gather information on your user’s needs and preferences. Remember, keep an eye out for your competition, learn what they are offering and think about how you can make your idea stand out. 

Step 2: Share Your Idea

It’s time to get the word out on your new product. Let users know what value your product will hold, how it can benefit them, and why they should purchase your product. Convincing users how your product will benefit them will help get your launch off the ground. Develop your MVP based on providing value to your users. 

Step 3: Consider the Design Process & User-Friendliness

Users like convenient and easy to use products, they don’t want to be confused, turned off, or frustrated when using your app. Keep things simple, design your app in a way that’s easy to use, and try to look at it from the user’s perspective. Remember to look at the app flow from start to finish. Does your app offer a purchase or delivery section? If so, is it easy for users to check out quickly and efficiently? There are essential questions to keep in mind when further developing the product. 

Step 4: List the Project Features

Bear in mind all of the features you want to incorporate into your product before building the MVP. This is to help you organize your thoughts and ideas better, and once the MVP is built, it will be easy to go back and cross-check with your priorities list. Start by creating a list of features for each stage of the design process, then prioritize them. Throughout the whole process, keep asking yourself questions like – What do my users want? Will my product benefit users? Is my product user-friendly? An easy way to organize your list of features is by splitting your functions list into four categories: 

  • Must Haves
  • Should Haves
  • Could Haves 
  • Won’t Haves

Step 5: Build Your MVP

Have you decided on your main product features, and learned about the market needs? If so, you’re ready to create your MVP! While an MVP is a prototype that will not have all the bells and whistles of your final product, it still has to be enough to fulfill the needs of your customers. Meaning it should be easy to use, engaging, fast, and reliable. Keep in mind building an MVP mobile app usually takes around 1-2 months, where a full app will take approximately 6-12. 

Step 6: Build, Measure, and Learn

Remember an MVP is a stepping stone and not your end-goal. This is where you need to take the time and maximize learning opportunities. Once you have your desired features for the MVP mapped out, you can start the development process. This is the first step of a much larger project, but you have to start somewhere, right? An MVP is designed to help you continually receive feedback and help you improve your product. Once the product is completed, it’s time for it to be tested. This is the point where QA engineers working to improve the quality will do their first round of testing. 

After launching, collect all client feedback. Only after collection your client’s reactions to the product will you be able to determine if the product is up to par and can compete with similar products in the market. 

The users will let you know where your product is lacking, what features they liked, what they didn’t like, and what is unnecessary. This feedback is invaluable and must be taken seriously. Use this feedback to improve your product. Then, test it again, get more feedback, and measure the quality of the product. This is an ongoing process that will continue until the very final stages of product development. 

Bonus Tips:

  • Always listen to your user’s feedback, positive and negative
  • You are building products to benefit people’s lives
  • Communicate with your users, always ask them what they desire from your product