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5 Critical Steps To Build A Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Posted by: | On: 7th Dec, 2017 | Uncategorized
Guidelines to Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Guidelines to Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

A minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product’s initial users. Minimum Viable Product helps you to initiate your business or things that you are passionate about and make a profit out of them while giving you ample time for further development or enhancements. Over the years many have significantly shaped the MVP paradigm. The most influential person among the lot is Eric Ries, the author of the Lean Startup methodology. He defined Most Viable Product as “that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort”.

The Concierge Minimum Viable Product

Concierge MVP is something that most people seek these days. The concierge MVP is a minimum viable product where you manually guide your user through the solution to a problem. With Concierge MVP, you develop a better product at an unendurable cost by customizing it for every customer. But it’s advisable to move on if you can’t get your customers to pay more for a better product. Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman initiated their business “Jennifer Hyman, with this approach. They provided an in-person dress rental service where their young customers could try and buy. This boosted their business especially among college students who felt it as a much better option when opposed to online rentals. This led to a significant increase in online rental business. The renting service yielded them good results and 34% (and then 75%) of women rented, where 5% of 1,000 women on their mailing list rented dresses from an emailed PDF. Their initiative validated Concierge MVP. Even today some retailers have adopted this technique of try and buy in the recent times.

Another classic example would be an automatic couponing program for the retail sector. Suppose your client requires a software program that sends their users coupons based on their client’s weekly purchases. And also help their clients decide which shop they could shop at to save more money. The initial step would be to figure out from shoppers what they would purchase each week (through face to face or emails). This will enable you to direct them to the best grocery store and provide them with coupons on a weekly basis. This will also enable the software developer to understand if/when the users don’t access the grocery store and if savings really influence their store choices. Or if they are particular about certain brands and if they are, what are their preferred food categories. Concierge MVP can save you from investing massive effort in developing a web application. You can make better decisions by understanding which ideas will work from your hypothesis and which needs to be trashed.

  • Identify what Problem You’re Solving, and For Whom

Primarily what you ought to do is figure out what problem you’re solving and whose problem is it. Evaluate your startup business concept. It’s better to slip into the shoes of your customer and figure out why they would require the software. How would it help them? On answering these questions you will get a fair idea about the goal of the software and the best solution for the actual needs of the future customers.

  • Analyze your target audience

The “future customers” can be called your target audience. The bunch of people who you’re hoping will purchase and utilize your product. But why would they use it? You will have to figure out a problem that your software or product can solve for your target audience. The best way to find a problem that needs a solution is to think about your personal challenges. One classic example would be that of Uber, which was primarily an app that provided premium black cars on demand in a few metropolitan areas. But despite the name premium, uber cars were surprisingly cheaper transportation that delivered convenient traveling for its customers. Although its service was targeted at an unaffordable customer segment, e.g. those who can’t afford to order a premium black car from the conventional taxi service as it’s too expensive. In a similar way, you can find solutions for a problem within a particular segment of the market. All you ought to do is imagine that you want to develop an application or software that would save people’s money.

  • Jot down the vital features and prioritize them

Once you have your target audience sorted out and have a solution for your target audience problem, you can focus on the features you would want to provide through your software or product. Its advisable to list out the primary features and the supportive features if any. You could also make a list of complementary features or add-ons that may be beneficial to your customer but not mandatory.  When you have all this listed out, you can start prioritizing them.

To prioritize features, do the following:

  • Question yourself: Which is the most important benefit or action that I would want to deliver to my software or app users? This will be your primary feature
  • Think further: What additional features can I offer? (You need to justify why you need each of these features, then trash out the least significant ones.)
  • Categorize: Segment all the remaining features under the categories ‘mandatory,’ ‘complementary or nice-to-have’, and “supportive features”. The Story Mapping technique may make this process a lot easier. You can develop a matrix with a horizontal row displaying the vital process stages (the user flow) and underneath each stage, list a number of features that are dedicated to this stage.
  • Define Scope: Once you have prioritized all your features, define their scope for the primary version of the product and proceed to build an MVP.  You can initially create a prototype to see what your final product looks like.
  • Define the MVP – Build, Test, and Learn

For an app platform, you might want to have iOS, Android and web platform. For the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development just choose one because it’s the initial product. Once you build the MVP, test it and get the feedback from your customers and validate your hypothesis. Ensure that the app reaches the potential users at the earliest. After the testing or validation, you can add more features to enhance your product. Always opt for a simple and clean UI. A more advanced or creative UI can be done later when more features are added or product developments are made. You should not spend more 2-3 months on developing MVP. If you are taking longer, it is not a minimum anymore.

Conclusion

If you’re curious to know how much it would cost to develop an MVP, you should know that building a product depends on several factors. One of the most significant factors is project complexity. You can find out more details about the MVP product development by getting in touch with us. If you have any questions or want us to help you develop an MVP or minimum viable product UI/UX design, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free technical consultation.

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