When a smart entrepreneur considers creating an app to increase brand awareness and gain large number of potential clients, they know what their first step should be. Do you? Before you begin constructing an app, you should have an MVP. A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the basis on which the success of your app will be balanced!
By now, one thing is clear to you: an MVP is crucial for your app success. Your next step is most likely to create one. What are the factors that you should focus on when designing the MVP for your app? Mentioned ahead are some of the most important ones:
Don’t Drain Your Resources
When I mentioned that an MVP is the crux of success, it wasn’t an exaggeration! Your MVP will be focused on the primary function of the app you’ll create later. It requires a minimal budget and can be created in a reasonable time. That’s because it will consist of a few main features. It will help your customers decide if your app has value for them.
If it turns out to fulfill user need, then you can go ahead and direct your resources into building the app. Therefore, don’t go draining your budget when designing the MVP!
Keep it Simple
Do you think the big names of the app industry started without an MVP? You won’t be the first developer to walk this path by any means! Think back on the first time you used the Facebook app, for instance.
Does the current version resemble that one? Countless improvements have made Facebook much more user-friendly. It owes its success to an MVP! Here are some other familiar names which started with an MVP – as you should:
The DropBox fulfills our online storage needs. When its owners decided to build its app, they started by creating this video. When presented to the target audience, the results showed they were on the right track.
Amazon was simply a database for books when it began and today it is one of the largest Internet retailers in the world. However, its owners were unsure if it would work or not. They took small steps until they realized that people appreciated the services their app provided.
How did Uber choose to step into the arena? By running an app that only functioned in San Francisco. Using the app, mobile users could communicate with the Uber drivers. Only after they received positive feedback did they improve the app, added other features, and expanded their reach.
Simple doesn’t Mean Unfinished
It is true that you should keep things simple when it comes to the MVP design. However, simple isn’t synonymous with incomplete. When you release the MVP in the market, your potential users should get a finished product in hand.
If they are to see what your app can do, they would need your MVP to be entirely designed and branded. An MVP with bugs won’t make it as far as the first cut! Every button and link visible to your users should be functional.
Keep in mind that you must make a good first impression because as far as MVPs go, building user trust is immeasurably essential! Some experts think that app developers should focus on building an MDP or Minimum Delightful Product, instead of an MVP.
Remember, even though it is crucial that you take iteration and user feedback into account, that isn’t where you should start. Creating a great product means that you start at the right place, focus on the right insights, and practice great craftsmanship.
Focus on User - Experience
In the context of MVPs, your focus should be on the most important aspect of app development, i.e., user experience. Even if you created the most beautiful interface, users aren’t likely to engage with your product if it has zero usability!
Don’t place tasks like “how your app will handle error messages” low on your list of priorities. The MVP should make for a positive user experience.
Prioritize the Right Features
When you use an app, you do so in a certain number of steps. Your app will function in much the same way and so should your MVP. Therefore, note down the steps and then list down the features required for successful completion of each stage. Divide the features in your list into three broad categories, i.e., the ones that are:
- Least important
- Nice but not necessary
Relegate the features from the first category to the scrap pile. Next, look at the must-haves and determine which one of them is the single most important. This will be your app’s main feature, so think which action your users need to perform to get it to function.
Once that is done, prioritize the rest of the list. Keep the whole process in your focus as you go. After that, you will need to define the scope of each feature for your MVP. Creating a prototype will allow you a look at what the app will look like once completed.
To get a clear idea of how well your app will do in the users’ hands, you will have to see how the MVP has fared. Try a few of the following approaches for that:
- Measure its success with the most useful metric of all: the word of mouth traffic. Are your users recommending your MVP to their friends and family?
- Interviewing potential customers can also be useful to gauge the success of your MVP. A good idea would be for you to have a list of problems your users may have faced while using the MVP. Then ask them if they encountered those problems and how it affected their experience.
- Check out the download rates and the installation rates. The lighter the app, the higher the download rate. We all have abandoned apps that take too much time to load.
- Next, delve into the calculations for the percentage of users actively using your MVP. It will help you determine your users’ behavior which will then be useful in the future stages of development.
- Keep an eye on the level of user-interest your MVP is generating. This can be done by monitoring the number of sign-ups for the MVP. After all, user interest will later transform into revenue for you.
Based on the user feedback received, you must make improvements to ensure the app provides the best user experience to users.
Take an Action
Now that you know the kind of buzz your MVP generated and have accumulated the user feedback, you can decide how you want to proceed. You may:
Start With App Development
If user feedback has been mostly positive, it would mean your business hypothesis worked. Now you can get started on developing the app. All you will need to do is tweak it a bit based on the feedback.
User feedback wasn’t as positive, which means that your MVP isn’t working the way you intended it to work. What do you do next? Think optimistically because you found what your product lacks without spending on developing a dud of an app. You saved yourself money, and now you can improve it before attempting a full market release.
Stop the Project
User feedback proved that your hypothesis was wrong. This means you can’t depend on improving some parts and re-releasing the MVP. Could it be that there isn’t a market for your app? It is good that you discovered this at an initial stage. It may be time to shelve this idea and move on to another with better potential.
Look at it this way: a mobile app is simply an MVP that has been released into the wild. With apps coming in so many flavors, MVP development requires great skills, a lot of research, and a detail-oriented approach. Your MVP may have minimum functionality, but it still needs to be perfect, if you expect it to be accepted by your users! Hire a firm from the list of top mobile app development companies to ensure all the above mentioned points are taken care of while getting your MVP designed.