Minimum Viable Product or MVP is a common term used in software development which refers to basic version of the product or service with minimum basic features.
The primary objective of an MVP is to deliver value to customers while minimizing the investment of resources and time required for development. It serves as a tool for gaining valuable feedback and insights from users, allowing for iterative improvements and further product development. The concept of an MVP emphasizes the importance of building only essential functionality to validate assumptions, test market fit, and reduce the risks associated with the product’s development and launch.
A product is viable only when it can provide solutions that help a specific need of the customer, based on its technical feasibility and economic value. The idea of MVP is to avoid the risk of developing a product that is not viable.
As software becomes increasingly dependent on software, it becomes more important to design software that meets a specific need, has a unique appearance, functionalities, user experience (UX), and so on. To develop a usable product, certain core features should be considered. Let’s look at some of them in detail:
- A product needs to be viable, that is it should be able to solve a specific need of the customer. A non-viable product will cost money and time, may never be used, and may never become a huge success.
- A product should be technical feasible. If a technical infeasible product is presented, the developers will get in trouble with their managers, and there will be no one who will help the product get built.
- A product should be able to make customers’ lives easy. If a product is not viable, then it may cause a lot of problems to users and it should not make it into the marketplace.
The team or company that builds a non-viable product is wasting their time and money, and the product doesn’t serve a particular purpose. They don’t know whether it can be sold or it is a good idea. If a product can do the job it should do without the help of features that make it technically infeasible, and still provide a unique user experience, then that product is a viable one.
Importance of MVP
These days, more and more businesses are beginning to understand the importance of MVP. They are building products that can be useful for them without wasting a lot of money and time. The development of a product that is designed with MVP in mind will help the business to minimize the risk of investing their resources.
What does MVP Mean for a Web or Mobile App?
If you have an e-commerce website and you want to build your own app for it, then an MVP is a great idea. First, build a functional website, make sure it is a viable product, and check that it does not break the web. An MVP that uses a website is more feasible and valuable than an MVP for an app, so start with a website.
In an e-commerce website, the product is an online transaction. You want to build an online checkout or ordering experience. First of all, make sure that it is easy for the customer to use and check out. If a user faces a lot of issues in a checkout process, it will not get successful. Also, add other interesting features to it. An e-commerce website will be perfect as a base for an MVP.
If you want to build a business around an app, then an MVP is still the right thing to build. First, ensure that the app will solve a specific need.
How to develop an MVP for a website?
Step 1. Define the product. Define the business’s goal, what they want to achieve, how the business will be profitable, and other features.
Step 2. Decide the website design. The website’s appearance plays a very important role in its conversion rate. A website that is ugly will be hard to use. You should also define the website’s design, look, and feel before you start building it.
Step 3. Decide the functionality. If you are planning to build an app for your website, you should create a website that will be able to do everything an app will be able to do. Make sure that it will allow the customers to buy things, login, and everything else.
Step 4. Define the development environment. What programming language will you use? Where will you get the tools? All these things should be decided in advance.
Step 5. Set the budget. It’s very important to set a budget. Some developers will say that you can get away without one. It is wrong! Without setting a budget, you will never be able to develop a viable product.
Step 6. Set up the project. First of all, it’s important to define the development cycle. What will be the milestone? Are there any timelines?
How to develop an MVP for an app?
An app is not a website. It’s a complete mobile solution that contains a lot of functions, a nice UI, and everything else that an app has. An app, of course, has the unique advantages of the mobile phone and other devices. An MVP app will not look like a website. So you will need to start with an app idea.
Step 1. Develop the core features. You should know what the app is going to do. It is important to determine whether there are any additional functions or tools that it is going to provide and whether it is possible to have a smooth user experience, and so on. Make sure that it will have a lot of features, or have an interesting UI.
Step 2. Analyze the market. You will have to see what people are using right now. Look at what is available in the market, and what the competition is offering.
Step 3. Write the features. A product that is not viable cannot become a success. So, it is very important to write all the functionalities that the app will contain.
Step 4. Develop the back-end. The app has to have a back-end. It’s not possible to build an app that doesn’t work offline. You should develop the server-side code and the cloud. Your product will not be successful if it cannot be used offline, or if you don’t have an online solution.
Step 5. Develop the front-end. The front-end is the part of the app that users see. Look at what the competition offers, and see how the app will look. A complete front-end solution is important to have a successful product. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and make your app look unique.
Step 6. Write the code. Write a script in your favourite programming language, such as Node.js, PHP, C#, and so on. Your front-end and back-end should be connected and work perfectly. The app needs to be ready to go live and users should be able to use it. It is also important to write tests to ensure the app is working correctly.
I hope now you understand what is a minimum viable product (MVP) in the context of software and mobile app development. Do you have any questions about the topic, please comment below.