Minimum Viable Product (MVP) — What it is and How to apply it in the Digital Landscape
Any business starts with a product idea. If it’s a digital product, people start building it right away. But what if that product fails? What if your customers don’t find it appealing?
Is there a way to prevent that from happening? Yes, by building a minimum viable product (MVP).
Today, we’ll discuss what minimum viable product (MVP) is and how to apply it in the digital landscape.
Let’s get started.
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What is a Minimum Viable Product? (MVP)
A minimum viable product (MVP) is an early version of a product (with just enough features) that allows gathering data about how customers interact with it. With a minimum amount of time, effort, and money, it lets you gather maximum user feedback. This feedback and data help you improve the final version by adding or removing features.
The minimum part means that MVP should have just enough features to function correctly. However, it should also be viable actually to solve a user problem.
Why should you start with an MVP before making an actual product? Here are a few reasons:
- It saves money for you. It prevents you from paying top dollars to agencies or freelancers for a product that might not work.
- If the idea works, you will be able to scale cost-effectively. Effectively Scaling your startup helps you grow 20 times faster than growing it prematurely.
- It checks the validity of your idea. Before you bring your vision to life, you need to test whether it solves problems for customers or not. Testing is the most important benefit of building an MVP.
- While the final product takes a lot of time to complete, you can build core features in far less time. So bringing an MVP to market becomes a fast process.
- It provides user feedback. The feedback from early users gives you an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your product. This one is related to checking the validity of your vision.
Now that we know what a minimum viable product is and why you should use it let’s learn how to apply for a digital product.
How to apply the principles of a Minimum Viable Product In the Digital Landscape
First, you have to conduct thorough market research. You have to figure out if there’s a demand for your product. Conduct surveys to gather more information about what people need and how you can fulfill them.
Also, analyze your competitors to figure out their strengths and weaknesses. Prepare a better version after learning from those weaknesses.
At this step, your job should be to collect the maximum amount of data, even if your product idea is brand new. You have to learn how to define what your product will offer clearly. You will build your MVP based on that offer.
Design Process & User Flow with your Minimum Viable Product
After conducting market research, it’s time to design the app or website. Don’t try to build the final design on this step because that would be totally against MVP’s concept. Instead, focus on the minimum part of MVP.
The MVP design and user flow should take the user from beginning to end without any interruption.
Next up, we have:
Project features are an essential part of the process. Most people get it wrong and insert too many features into an MVP. However, it should have just enough features to get the job done.
It shouldn’t ignore the critical features. There’s a fine line between “minimum” and “viable,” so you have to be careful when deciding which features to include and which features to ignore.
Build Your MVP and Validate It
It’s time actually to build the product and validate it. Most people make the mistake of creating an inferior quality product. However, “minimum” and “viable” do not authorize you to ignore quality. Remember that real people will use this product.
Get their honest feedback. You should be unbiased and ready to take any criticism. Those criticizers will be your idea generators. They will also help you figure out if your product is feasible or not.
Learn from the feedback and apply the learning to the original product.
You might be thinking that only startups use MVPs. However, there are plenty of examples that will show you how billion-dollar companies have used this technique. Dropbox, Airbnb, and Google Ads are, to name a few.
It’s Your Turn Now
When you have a product idea, it’s tempting to convert it into a full-fledged product and start selling it. However, it can do more harm than good, and you’ll end up losing a lot of money. So it’s a good idea to start building your product according to customers’ feedback. A minimum viable product (MVP) lets you do that exactly.
So do you have a story about building an MVP for your product? Or maybe you want to share something about your startup?
Be sure to let me know in the comment section below; I would love to hear it from you. After all, we can all appreciate stories of inspiring brands.