Building a minimum viable product (MVP) for web application or mobile app has become popular in the IT industry. This method helps a startup takes advantage of the feedback of customers to the product, with its primary benefit is you can gain an understanding of your customers’ interest in your product without fully developing the product.

Figuring out problem, developing a minimum viable product to solve it, measuring its effectiveness, learning from the feedback of users, that called build-measure-learn feedback loop or building an MVP. It’s a core component of Lean Startup methodology, with the primary benefit is gain an understanding of your customers’ interest in your product without fully developing the product. The sooner you can find out whether your product will appeal to customers, the less effort and expense you spend on a product that will not succeed in the market. Following the below steps will help you identify and prioritize features, as well as help you confidently outline what you need to get your MVP app to market.  

Step 1: Refine the startup idea with question what problem you’re solving, and for whom

You have to refine the startup idea in order to clarify the business model and understand how it will actually work. And to realize the startup idea to solution on your MVP app for the public, you should know answer to the below questions.

App Objective. What is the aim of your mobile app? Where does it fit in the overall mobility/ digital transformation roadmap for your business? What problem will your app solve for users?

Target Audience. Who is the target audience? Who are the prospective users?

App USP. What features are important? What features would help the app to stand out in the market? What is your app’s core appeal? How will you differentiate?

Target Platforms. What Mobile OS platforms will you build the app for? Will you choose Native or Cross-platform or Hybrid?

Competitor Analysis. Do the competitors have a similar app? If yes, what features do they offer?

App Investment. What is the overall app development allocation in terms of time, effort and money?

Development Timeframe. By when do you want to launch your app?

App Marketing. How are you going to promote your app?

App Maintenance. How are you going to keep your app up-to-date? Who will update the bugs once the app is launched?

Step 2: Develop the entire vision for the app

Keep Users In Mind. It’s important to design your MVP app with your users in mind. This will allow you to observe the app from the perspective of the user, begin with opening the app to reaching an end goal, such as making a purchase. Hence, you have insight into how to design the app in a way convenient for users. In addition, defining user flow and addressing the actions users need to be recorded to ensure you don’t miss anything while try to keep user satisfaction.

Forming The Vision. An MVP will represent and fulfill a few of the most important aspects of your vision of your startup idea. When you make a minimum viable product, you strip down your product and startup idea to their essential elements and know the MVP app would look like as the full version. Because the difference between two versions also plays an important role in the final result. When you are developing vision for the full version app, it’s important to write it all down in an outline-like format. It’s called a functional specification that explains what’s going where on the website. It also shows how each element acts and interacts with users and other elements of the app. Once you have your app vision, you can create your app development roadmap.

Step 3: Decide types of the MVP app

An MVP is not a cheaper product; it’s a smart learning. In fact, there are many ways to create a minimum viable product without programming. It may not be what you initially thought an MVP app, but is considered MVP because it helps users to see how the MVP works and solves the problem.

  • The Wizard of Oz MVP
  • The Concierge MVP
  • A Piecemeal MVP
  • A Barebones SaaS MVP
  • A Mockup MVP
  • Singled-Feature Product
  • Smoke Test

Besides, you have to choose a suitable framework for building the MVP app. The major consider React Native as the right choice for the MVP because it can help the product team receive user feedback as quickly as possible and also reduce the complexity, cost, and time of the project.

Step 4: Prepare for building

You build an MVP app based on what you know about the customer and get feedback from them. And whether you go failure or success, you still gain valuable insight into how to improve the final app. This is how to achieve business agility, create value, eliminate waste.

Building a lean app

You should build the MVP app with a “lean startup” approach because it allows you to have a less biased view towards developing and keeping elements, features of the app. Additionally, by building, measuring its effectiveness, learning from feedback gathered, you can re-build/change elements of the MVP app based on them.

Outsourcing development

The purpose of the MVP is to reduce wasted development costs and to get the product into the hands of visionary customers as soon as possible. Hence, outsourced development is one of the easiest ways to get an MVP built if you don’t have a developer on your team. A lot of people outsource from countries because they’re looking to get services at an affordable cost than from labor within their country. You can read the top 11 things you wish you had known before outsourcing to avoid 11 biggest and most repeatable mistakes that everyone neglects.

Building an MVP is an essential part of app development. Your road to success may not be smooth. You’ll probably have to get rid of certain app features or even leave the idea for good. However, a minimum viable product will save you time and money. And that’s what every business is about to do.

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