Why You Need an MVP for Your Mobile App
A good idea is a foundation of every business. Not all of the seemingly great concepts turn out to be lucrative in the long run, though. There’s a whole complicated process of verifying everything before the development stage. You can survey strangers, create concept landing pages to attract a potentially loyal audience, or list your idea on services like ProductHunt.
Despite all that, there’s still a chance your digital product won’t resonate with users as much as you expect it to. Is there a way to distribute your resources and lower the risks?
Yes, there is. It’s called a minimum viable product approach. Right now it’s a “Startup 101” component and the method we recommend the majority of our clients to use.
What is a minimum viable product?
According to Eric Ries, the author of the Lean Startup methodology, MVP is defined as “that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort”.
It differs quite a bit from what many startuppers think of MVP as a concept. They misinterpret it as “a minimum loveable product” – a project that has all the obligatory features within a certain budget.
However, MVP is not directly about saving money or impressing users. It’s more about research and reconnaissance.
What is an MVP
The first thing you need to understand about MVP is a purpose. A minimum viable product is developed to verify the innovation. A traditional landing page or e-store can’t have an MVP by definition. What requires a minimum viable product is an idea never seen on the target market before. MVP is meant to solve a real-life problem to create a new need for product or service.
Only in this way it can afford to be minimal because users will add all the extra features they need with third-party services. MVP is built primarily to get feedback from customers. Since the idea is new, the startup owners should assume that possible user reaction is unknown.
It is worth reminding that a minimum viable needs to stay minimal. More minimal than you think. We recommend going for release as soon as possible to get first feedback. As soon as it’s confirmed the idea is viable, we can start making the product more advanced and visually appealing.
What is not an MVP
MVP is definitely not a profit-maker – with only a minimum viable product you’re still far away from being lucrative. It all comes down to whether your target audience likes it.
MVP does not have finished design with all the bells and whistles. It doesn’t have a wide variety of features, either. Problem-solving is the key to impress users here. MVP is not something carved in stone. It’s supposed to change. Some of the components will go after a series of reviews, some other elements will be added. Eventually, your product will shape up to be what users want.
How to develop an MVP
First of all, you have to decide whether to go the MVP way at all. If you know your new project is just a way to grow your business or increase its online presence, you can simply follow the Agile approach of “release early, release often”. Try to strategize by answering the following questions:
- What makes your product stand out in the market?
- What makes it unique?
- What real problem is it supposed to solve?
- How important is this problem?
- Who might need help solving this problem?
Developing a true Agile MVP requires experience and professionalism. You need to find the right development team who can help you track user activities and gather feedback.
When the contract is signed, you need to be proactive. Our personal project manager will help you clarify project requirements and find out the minimal work scope, but your job is to make it viable. Get your early fans and motivate them to use your product as much as possible. Make them feel technological ahead of everyone.
Following the MVP approach requires not only a hope that the idea will succeed, but also learning from the feedback, sacrificing some of your plans for the sake of long-term profit, and focusing on the core of the problem your minimum viable product is supposed to deal with.
Why is it necessary to build an MVP application?
Many tech entrepreneurs use MVP mobile apps as a starting point for a full-scale successful launch. It’s the shortest way from an idea to a business. It provides quick market entry and gives an opportunity to estimate a project’s potential.
MVP is the cornerstone of an app
An MVP app concentrates on a single idea and doesn’t include secondary functions. MVP approach is based on the ideology of Lean Startup – a startup built with a minimal budget within a tight timeframe.
This is an app that already provides enough value to try it out. It’s just able to start getting your customers quickly. This approach involves the least risks and doesn’t cost a fortune.
MVP isn’t made because you lack money for a full-scale release, but because you prefer to spend your resources wisely and roll out the product your market really needs.
Mobile apps are perfect for MVPs
Custom mobile app development requires strict standardization and certain regulations as there are so many various devices on the market today. All the mobile development vendors are well aware of the fact that mobile users are different.
So is their behavior. And competitive markets made customers used to quick efficient apps without bugs. Thus, it’s better to go simple, but perfect, than launch an app with buggy complicated features no one needs anyway.
Real examples of MVPs turned into worldwide successful startups
Try to remember the times you launched your new favorite apps for the first time. They looked so different! That’s the biggest evidence they came out of professionally made MVPs. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous cases:
- Uber. All that Uber had in the initial app version is connecting drivers and customers plus payment system integrations. As minimal as it can get. This simplicity is exactly what allowed Uber to conquer the markets, receive great detailed feedback, attract investments, and gradually create a multi-billion dollar business. Today Uber has a way more complex application and the support system distributed among several continents.
- Snapchat. The first basic concept of Snapchat was an instant messenger with deleting messages 10 seconds after reading. The first iOS-only version of the app was launched in 2011 and included only sending photos. As of 2017, Snapchat had more than 150 million daily active users.
- Foursquare. MVP application by Foursquare initially contained the ability to check-in and awards for actions in the form of badges. After gathering the user reactions, the app developers began to expand its capabilities. They added recommendations and city guides. Today, the service brings together 50 million people who have checked in 8 billion times.
The guide to using MVP approach in enterprise mobile app development
As we mentioned above, what MVP aims for is a clear vision of how your application is used by your customers and whether they’re satisfied by it. Then, based on user feedback, you can start expanding your product without taking a risk to spend too much time and money on the application he risks to waste time and money on the app nobody cares about. You can follow the principles below to ensure the correct launch of your MVP:
First, you need to determine the set of functions your audience will need the most. It’s easier to understand the priority of implementing features when you evaluate them on a scale of 1 to 10, taking into consideration the importance of each function, the complexity of its implementation, and the value to the final user.
The competition on the App Store and Google Play is tough. A blind release is merely not an option anymore. It can kill a startup. That’s why you need a professional mobile development team to create a strategy for legit market launch.
Test thoroughly before release
Make sure your MVP application works exactly as intended. Don’t rush with the release. Leave some time for testing and fixing. Try to “launch” your product with family and friends, maybe even strangers from the street. They might have something valuable to say about the concept. If all the testing goes as planned, your MVP app is ready to be launched.
Your MVP is ready! Where to go next?
You have finished developing the initial version of your app. The time has come. But both for us and for you it’s just the beginning of hard work. It’s now crucial to analyze all the analytical data to make informed decisions about where to head next.
Our experience shows that people are generally more inclined to find faults in apps rather than positive sides. Therefore, if you receive a ton of complaints, this does not mean that your product is unacceptable.
In fact, the future of your app is determined more by stats than by user reviews. The most difficult part here is to figure out how to take advantage of the information you have.
Minimum Viable Product strategy helps you find out a lot about the target audience without overspending time and money even for quality development.
All you need is to make qualified assumptions, define the key app functions, and choose the top enterprise software development company for your project. Take your risks, good luck!