How to build a Minimum Viable Product successfully?
Suppose you have a great product idea in mind but are not sure about how the market will react to it. Introducing a new product to the market is always risky. But you can minimize the risk by developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
MVP offers a significant amount of opportunity for enhancement and provides early validation of your concept. With the MVP, you can test your product idea, measure its success rate, and make improvements as per your Target Audience’s needs.
In this article, we will go over the step-by-step process of creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), as well as the benefits of having an MVP and the approximate cost of developing the MVP.
A Minimum Viable Product means a product with limited essential features that can solve users’ primary problems. This method will give insight on how to allocate resources in order to achieve your organization’s goals as a whole.
It is basically a prototype of your software product idea that can be released to public users to get their feedback and suggestions. This MVP allows you to evaluate your product idea and also how the target audience will engage with the product.
A minimum viable product (MVP) is developed via multiple iterations that attempt to gather information about users’ problems and, eventually, to identify which features are necessary to solve those problems.
Airbnb is one of the most successful MVPs. Airbnb was initially an Air Mattress, Bed & Breakfast. In 2008, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia struggled to pay their loft’s exorbitant rent in San Francisco. Their initial plan was to determine if there was a market for homeowners who wished to rent out their properties. Rather than creating a fully functional website and signing contracts with partners and home owners, Chesky and Gebbia did something brilliant. They made a “minimum viable product” that was just a simple website with pictures of their own apartment.
This allowed them to test their idea without incurring any initial expenses. They discovered that they could rent rooms to individuals attending nearby conventions. After three paying guests, Chesky and Gebbia founded Airbnb in 2008 and used their revenue to gradually improve the design and functionality of their website.
Today, Airbnb not only offers accommodation but also provides its users with a list of restaurants, events, and ratings in the cities of their destination. With four million listings, what was once a startup is now valued at $30 billion.
There are several benefits to building an MVP for companies in the process of software and application development.
Building an MVP reduces the large capital investment initially in product development and, at the same time, lowers the risks at product launch time.
The MVP acts as a validation round that enables you to observe your concept in reality and apply the necessary improvements to make it more attractive and helpful to the user.
As it is developed in several stages, the cost of creating an MVP is substantially lower than developing the final version. When your app begins to generate revenue, you may use that money to fund the creation of new features.
An MVP may also serve to attract investors. With a functional product, you will have more opportunities to acquire funding and consideration from angel investors.
An MVP gives you a clear vision of your product from inception to completion, and you can focus on the core features of the product.
MVP Development Process
1. Market Research
The first step in developing a minimal viable product is to evaluate your business idea by doing Market Research. Suppose, you are having a fantastic business idea that offers an outstanding solution. But have you checked that your audience really requires the solution?
To ensure that your audience needs a solution, you must conduct market research before, during, and even after the launch of your MVP. Market Research will assist you in identifying your audience and their pain points, and how you can provide a solution. Before beginning the development process, market research is all that is required. Acquaint yourself with the various types of research methodologies that can aid you in launching a successful product.
Sometimes you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes by asking yourself two questions: Why do I need this product? And how will it benefit me? Addressing these questions will assist you in comprehending the primary objective of your product and locating the optimal solution to meet your potential clients’ actual demands.
2. Target Audience
Once you have confirmed that there is a need for your product, you must define your Target Audience. Obviously, you want your solution to benefit as many people as possible.
However, attempting to target all users everywhere may dilute your emphasis. It is impossible to convince everyone to use your solution, but it will be easy to serve a selected group of people.
Create an in-depth user persona, gathering as many specifics as possible, such as the Target Audience’s age, occupation, level of education, income, family, interests, anxieties, and aspirations. The more you understand your target customer, the more effectively you can customize your product to match their needs.
3. User Flow
Once you have a clear understanding of the Target Audience, it’s time to decide on user flow and how your product will appear.
The User Flow is a very crucial MVP phase, as it will help you to define core features. It is necessary to describe the procedures required to achieve the primary objective. These are the objectives that end-users will pursue when utilizing the product. Once each of these method steps has been outlined, it is time to specify each step’s characteristics.
4. Define Core Features
After User flow creation, you must determine which features will and will not be included in the MVP. Focus on a smaller portion that gives the most value to the customers. These features must address the particular solutions that were identified through customer research.
A minimum viable product (MVP) should include the most essential and fundamental features that enable launching the product on the market, receiving feedback, and further refining the product. A single well-chosen feature is preferable to a pot of half-cooked features.
The initial release of a product may be basic. However, if your idea provides a viable solution to an identified problem without affecting user experience, it will attract people. MVP is all about problem-solving, not implementing features.
At this point of the development process, you must determine which features will and will not be included in the MVP. As the heart of your product, focus on a smaller portion that gives the greatest benefit to the user.
To define the Core Features of the MVP, you can list out all the features you intend to include in the final product. Now, separate the features into 2 different categories.
A necessary set of features that allows your product to function and allows customers to assess its usefulness.
Nice to have
The characteristics that your product should acquire over time to increase its value.
You should now have a solid foundation to develop a Minimal Viable Product. You have defined your Target Audience, and pain points faced by them. You also created the user flow and core features that are included in the MVP.
Now, you can focus on developing an MVP.
5. Develop an MVP
The purpose of the minimal viable product is to reduce the amount of time spent on development, Testing and Learning. At this stage, you should not worry about perfection, and your focus should be on releasing the MVP as quickly as possible.
When developing a Minimum Viable Product, you must select a team with prior experience and have in-depth knowledge of developing MVP and prototypes. At the same time, they must understand the product’s particulars and requirements. You need to make sure that everyone on your team understands and supports your vision.
Our Remote Developers team has extensive expertise in developing Minimum Viable Products and Prototypes, beginning with defining the “Must Have” features, selecting the appropriate technology stacks, creating attractive UI/UX, and developing error-free code. Our team follows the Agile methodology and shares daily and weekly updates with clients.
6. Testing, Learn & Improve
The MVP testing phase begins as soon as there are QA-ready pieces of functionality. Test engineers make sure that the functionality meets the project’s needs and look for possible problems. Once the engineering team verifies that the minimum viable product contains no major errors, it is time to release the application to users.
You should collect both qualitative and quantitative user feedback. Ask users what they like and dislike about your product, what features they would like to see, and what they think of the user interface and app design in order to collect qualitative feedback. For quantitative purposes, you can record the total number of users who tested the application and how many liked or disliked the MVP.
Your customers are the only ones who can determine which features your product lacks and which are unnecessary. After collecting user feedback, you can begin refining your product and then test, learn, develop, test, and learn again. It is important to keep testing, learning, and measuring, then testing again, until the product is finalized.
How much does it cost to develop an MVP?
In any new product development, cost is the most frequent question discussed. The cost of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is dependent on a number of factors, and it is difficult to provide accurate numbers.
The type of the MVP affects its prices too. Non-functional prototypes or low-code solutions might be developed with less capital investment, while other MVPs may require a slightly more substantial amount.
Moreover, the development model you choose has a major role in deciding the cost of MVP. If you decide to develop in-house or hire a team in the US, the hourly rate starts from $150 to $200 USD per hour. And Offshore development teams charge $40 to $60 USD per hour. So even if it takes around 500 hours to develop an MVP, the cost of development in the US will be $75,000 to $100,000 USD, while the Offshore Development team develops the MVP for approximately $20,000 to $30,000 USD. You need to consider various factors while selecting the MVP development model. Appsvolt offers a mix of onshore and offshore IT Staff Augmentation services to keep the initial development costs low while maintaining quality.
The development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) has repeatedly proven to be a valuable step in the software development process. It allows organisations to test their product ideas and solutions and also provide the right feedback, which can be modified to meet market demands. MVP sets up a business for making decisions based on data and can be used to get more investors.
Do you have a product idea in your mind? At Appsvolt, we will assist you in identifying User Flow and Core features that can be included in the MVP. Our Design & Development team will make sure to have an attractive UI/UX with a quality product.