Mobile Apps: How to Develop a Minimum Viable ProductAlfred
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a concept where a new product is created from the collection of real data from users’ feedback. The idea of MVP is to introduce a product into the market that can be improved constantly as the developer learns what users want and provide them with a product that serves them better. It also allows the addition of features essential to solving a fundamental problem based on the feedback of users rather than assumptions.
Purpose of an MVP
The MVP method offers a platform where an app developer can confirm his assumptions and improve on them to serve the consumer better The concept of MVP is to give maximum value faster at low costs. The advantage of an MVP is that it allows you to learn about your prospective customers and the market as a whole. It also enables you to understand whether you are right track when it comes to your app development process. This way you can tell whether to change or proceed with your app development strategy.
Developing your MVP framework
There are steps you can follow that can assist you to make your MVP approach successful. This mobile app development guide will outline the steps you can follow.
1. Know your business needs
The first and important step is to determine a gap in the market that you will try to fill with your product. Always ask yourself what value your product will add to the market and the long-term goal you intend to achieve with your product. After understanding what challenges you intend to solve with your product, then it is time to set your success criteria. This will help you gauge the performance of your product. It can tell you how successful the product has been in meeting the needs of your customers. It is always advisable for the success criteria to include several metrics that you may want to measure.
2. Look for opportunities
After identifying a gap in the market, you should look for ways in which you are going to solve the existing problem and make a difference using your app. You can do this by first pinpointing who the users of your app will be You can then identify the users’ end goals and outline the things they do to achieve their end goals.
Secondly, you need to highlight the strengths and challenges people face when using your product. Look at the features your customer access, their strengths as well as the pains. Always ensure you note down these pains and gains as they are valuable when you want to improve your application. Finally, summarize the gains and pains as opportunity statements as they offer a chance for the development of a better product.
3. Choose features to work on
You should be able to decide which features to include in your minimum viable product and which to put in your product road map. The opportunity statements you summarized above will help you determine what features to include in your MVP. Ensure you list all the features you want to include in your application. This will give you an idea of how your mobile app will be Before working on your features choose all the important ones and use a prioritizing method like a prioritization matrix so that you can work on the most important features first. Once you are done with the steps above, your mobile app idea will be ready for the market. You will be sure your minimum viable product will be an improvement to the existing mobile app.
Importance of starting with an MVP
1. Minimizes development costs
Every app you develop requires some investment. The more complicated it is the more you have to spend. You will need to pay much more to get additional features and attractive designs. Developing an MVP, on the other hand, requires minimal resources. It is also built over time allowing your development costs to spread and you can use resources you get from the sell of previous versions of the minimum viable product to develop your MVP. And in case your MVP is not successful, your losses will be considerably low.
2. Allows you to test your product and assumptions
An MVP allows you to test your assumptions by putting your mobile app on the market. Your customers will then give you feedback which will tell you whether your assumptions were spot on or not You can then use your users’ behavior and needs to guide you in developing the next versions of your product. This way you will avoid losses and wasted efforts that come with developing an unsuccessful app laden with many features.
3. Attract investors
Ideas are good but most of the times they do not get you the funding that you require. Investors prefer an operational application that has the potential to grow. Your best bet, in this case, is an MVP as it can prove the viability of your product and as a result, stakeholders will be more willing to invest in it
4. Reduces time-to-market
Entering the market early plays a big part in the success of your startup. Minimum viable product allows you to enter your product in the market faster compared to creating a full version of the product. Also, you get to test the market and make changes before launching the full product. This way you create specific features that will streamline your marketing. Specific app marketing strategy helps in saving you time.
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Things you should consider to make a successful MVP
Choosing the right features to include during your app development is always a daunting but very critical task. However, if you want to make your application successful, you need to keep the overall goal of your product in mind. It should tell you what features you need.
Also, to make your MVP successful ensure the core functionality of your app is working well. The app should also look complete to create a good first impression for the users and it should grow with users. Systematic changes will give your application a good environment to grow and get accepted by your users.
What to avoid in your MVP?
There are features that you can avoid in your MVP to make it simple and increase the chances of success. They include;
1. Copied features
The main aim of your application is to be unique. Your MVP should, therefore, align with the goals of your business. Copying features from other mobile apps will only add to the bulk of your app without adding any value.
2. Every feature requested by users
Even though it is the users’ feedback and requests that will shape subsequent versions of your app, it doesn’t mean you should include each and every request made by your users. Always look at the most important features requested and those you think can add value to your application.
3. Unnecessary add-ons
Add-ons are good for your application but they shouldn’t come at the minimum viable product stag. You can add them later during your app development.
A minimal viable product is very necessary when you have an mobile app idea as it will help you create an application that will meet the needs of your customers while aligning with your business needs.