How to Design an MVP: Tips and Best Practices

How to Design an MVP: Tips and Best Practices

Every businessperson’s nightmare is investing a pile of money, time, and effort in a project nobody needs. Why does this problem chase numerous startups, never letting them achieve consumer buy-in? The issue is in the wrong focus.

While most entrepreneurs dream of disrupting the market trends and winning the hearts of consumers with something new and unique, people only want to have their needs met. And the best way to find them out is to do some field testing with a minimum viable product – an MVP. This sketch product doesn’t possess all the planned features and functions of the final solution. Instead, it probes the user demand and helps the business determine whether such a product will fail or fly upon launch.

Here we examine the principles of MVP design and show how to use this technique to your maximum business advantage.

Why Bother with an MVP?

There are so many reasons why MVP matters in a smooth and cost-effective web design project. Since the MVP presents the core functionality of the planned product to end-users, it helps you:

  • Determine what features the users like and don’t like.
  • Understand what additional functions they would like to see in your product.
  • See whether the product will indeed solve the user problem it is intended to.
  • Identify the planned product’s pros and cons, improving it based on user feedback to achieve greater buy-in.
  • Minimize the development costs by weeding out bad ideas early at the start.

Besides a great set of business benefits, MVPs are also advantageous for the end-users. First, they feel valued as they participate in the product design and decide on its key features. Second, they receive a chance to contribute to a product they will really like, thus increasing their brand trust and loyalty.

MVP Design Step by Step

Now that you’ve realized the value of MVP design at the start of your web development project, let’s see how you can make an MVP hassle-free. The process involves several essential steps without which the MVP cannot live to its promise.

#1 Market Research

Preliminary market research is the basis of any web product development. You need to make sure that your solution is needed and will enjoy high user demand after its release. Thus, the first step should be to analyze the competitors. You’ll see what users currently miss in similar products and determine what they need.

#2 Brainstorming and Visualization

With the set of user pains and problems at hand, you can start planning the MVP of your solution. It’s vital to be creative at this stage, visualizing the product design and features to bring your idea to life. Use creative techniques and brainstorming to refine the idea into manageable tasks.

#3 Design the UI

The next step in the process is to visualize the user’s journey through your platform or app. The basics of a user-friendly UI are intuitiveness and ease of use. Thus, you need to plan the interface to bring your user from point A to point B with minimum input.

#4 Prototype the MVP

The MVP’s prototype is the best way to visualize the product and see how its basic features work. Besides, the prototype helps understand whether it’s really what people want and what you intended to create.

#5 Launch the MVP and Collect Feedback

Once the MVP is ready, it needs field testing by target users. Give the product a trial run, collect feedback, and work through the collected data to refine your further development goals.

#6 Build the EVP

Once the MVP-related feedback is incorporated, you can launch the Exclusive Value Product (EVP). This one will be the final product version, but we recommend not stopping on it and offering valuable updates to users regularly to keep them loyal and improve the UX.

Tips to Make Your MVP Effective

With MVPs forming the basis of market field testing, you can maximize the value of your input in the project. Here’s how to apply MVPs and achieve the best result with them:

  • Don’t forget that an MVP should be a production-ready product version. This means that the MVP should possess the minimum set of working features, not their mockups, that a user can test.
  • Be realistic about user feedback and follow it in development. Even if you have been cherishing a dream product for months, don’t go on with the development if the users don’t like it.
  • Target an MVP to a specific audience and a specific user problem. Otherwise, your effort might miss the point.
  • Build the MVP’s prototype first to see whether you’re heading in the right direction. A prototype gives an exact idea of how the product will work.
  • Go for the Agile development methods instead of a traditional waterfall approach. The former gives more flexibility and enables quick adjustments without a waste of time and money.

So, as you can see, the MVP approach is risk-free from the viewpoint of time and financial investment, giving you a chance to field-test your idea before pouring much money into it. Launching a simple basic product with a minimal set of planned features gives you unique practical insights into whether your idea is demanded. This field testing gives enough data to understand how to develop the product that the target users will love.  

Published by Marianna Snitko

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