Project Tips | 7 min read
The Real MVP: Tips for Successful MVP Development
In theory, an MVP (stands for a Minimum Viable Product) definition is easy — you just include only necessary features to your product.
But if you have your own vision of the project, there is a strong temptation to make your project perfect and amaze everyone with it, so defining why an MVP is necessary and important and how to develop it requires some special knowledge.
There are a few tips to help you stick to the chosen strategy and launch the product as soon as possible. The first thing you have to do before your first steps in MVP development is answering the basic questions about your product to define the most important features.
Target audience (Who will use the product?)
Value (What problem do you solve?)
Benefit (What is your revenue?)
Result estimation (What defines success and failure?)
Time (When do we have to deliver it?)
Scope (What features are needed to satisfy all the above?)
The final question is the most important one. The quality and success of the MVP will depend on the correctness of your answer.
MVP Is Not a Result
The mistake often made by the entrepreneurs thinking of what Minimum Viable Product is — perceiving it like the final product containing the minimal set of features needed for it to function. In fact, MVP is usually just the first release of the product. It usually contains only the essentials and helps to save money and get quick feedback from the user to continue the improvement of the product and delivery of the improvements to the market.
Useful tip: Try to refer to an MVP as a process, not a result. An MVP is important because it gives you valuable information on how to plan the future of the product. Every time you release something to the market, user feedback provides you with valuable data and allows you to learn from your mistakes. Thus, every next version of the product is better than the previous ones.
Launch for Feasibility
You are ready to invest and have a lot of ideas regarding the product. But, no matter how sure you are about your future success, an MVP is the first step in product development and the only way to test the product on the market. Moreover, if the main idea is catchy, you may be not the only one who came up with it, so it is sensible to carve out a niche before someone else does it.
Useful tip: When you decide which features are the most important, think about the key problem an app should solve, and which features directly solve it. Consider usability and conduct thorough research — find out if you can sustain competition.
An MVP is simple, but you shouldn’t think about it as a primitive one. The best strategy for how to develop an MVP is a cupcake model — it demonstrates a simple model turning into something more difficult. The thing is the value provided in every version of the product — at first, it satisfies needs on the basic level, then, bit by bit, when you are sure that the product resonates with users’ needs, the solution is improved, some new features are added.
Useful tip: Users have to enjoy every version of the product. Your final product is the sum of the successful MVP releases.
The development stage is usually more time and money consuming than the design stage. It takes 2-3 times longer to develop a product than to design it, moreover, development is usually more expensive work. Since we aim at launching the product as soon as possible to save some money, it is reasonable to make sure the product design is satisfactory and functional.
Useful tip: Ask the designer for an app prototype. Thus, you will be able to test an app before it is developed and see if everything works the way you want it to. You will be surprised, but it won’t take a lot of time. Usually, it takes from 3 hours to 5 days depending on the project.
Attention to Testing
Let someone else play with the prototype — conduct user testing. This way you make sure the product is as convenient for the user as you expected. You see if they come through if there are any difficulties and how they cope with it. Maybe some amendments will be introduced — the popularity and profitability of the product are determined by users' loyalty, so don’t ignore it.
Useful tip: Keep in mind the audience who tests an app and who will use it. If the product is designed for some particular audience, make sure user testing checks if the product is accessible for them. Also, people who take part in the testing shouldn’t know anything about the product — engaging your team or family is not a good idea, they know how things work and can’t be objective.
Find the Team
Planning the product you may face a lot more difficulties than you initially expected. What you really need is the team that has the necessary expertise to answer all your questions. Ask them how they do an MVP, maybe the team can show the MVP product examples.
Useful tip: Finding the team you can trust is not easy, so do the research and contact different companies before you choose the only one.
Do Not Rush for Perfection
Trying to make a “masterpiece”, business owners sometimes come back to the work that has already been done, rethink some features and change requirements over and over again. That’s how an MVP works — it should be done qualitatively but quickly.
Useful tip: Decide on the idea and scope of the features to implement. Set the strict deadline. Stick to the decisions, think carefully before approving the work done. And remember — Done is better than perfect.
Questions left? Eager to know what is the next stage after the MVP? Want to discuss your project specifically? We are ready to answer any of your questions and help your product to take off.