In the era of constantly churned out applications, the only thing that can make you stand out from the crowd is a Minimum Viable Product.
An application is hardly ever a one-person job. It is a lot of people coming together and putting their heads together to create a product that will, in turn, be accepted by the market.
There is always this risk hanging on top of your head, one that implies what if your application isn’t as great as what you believe it to be. For dispelling all your doubts and reducing the risk of your investment, it is a good idea to create an MVP.
An MVP is a product that provides the basic core functionality to its users without any of the sophisticated trimmings on top.
Every big application in the market once started as an MVP. Amazon initially started as an online marketplace that only sold books. It later diversified into the e-commerce giant it is today.
At the same time during the E-revolution, there were hundreds of websites that began but then failed, never to be heard about again.
Your MVP is what creates your initial user base which can be further worked upon once you know your product is feasible enough to survive in the market.
An MVP is also important to secure funding for your project as an application requires manpower and resources, which are both next to impossible to get without adequate funding.
But there is no point in building an MVP if you’re planning to go in guns blazing. A successful MVP is a collection of right steps taken in the right direction in the absence of any kind of preconceived notions.
So here is a guide on how to build a minimum viable product.
Do Your Research
The leading problem with most MVP is the startling lack of research. A product can be built simply by sharing the wireframes with your developer and them creating a running application.
However, just the existence of an application is not the basis of a successful application.
Research needs to be carried out. Your target audience needs to be defined and their needs understood. Your product also needs to be useful to them and add value to their life.
You also need to carry out competitor research that clearly states how you are better than what exists in the market. Even in the absence of a direct competitor, just the fact that your product is the new kid on the block will not be of much help.
Your Idea Needs Definition
It cannot be stressed enough but your product needs to add value in your customer’s lives. Your product needs to have the intention behind every aspect of its working.
Understand the functions that are part of your application’s core functionality. Don’t add features just for the sake of bulking up the application.
Decide On The Design And User Flow
Once you have managed to figure out the ideal market, it is time that you begin to design your application.
Everything you do should be done with the user in mind. It does not matter what you think about it as long as the users are happy.
Begin with designing user flows (User Journey maps are good, too) to describe the stages of the process. That would help you chart the path that a typical user would take while completing a task on your application.
This in-depth detailing is essential as it lays out the necessary steps that are required to be taken by the user. It also allows you to improve their experience.
See Also: Integrating User Experience Design and Internet Marketing Successfully
Decide on the features
You have finally completed building your process. Now, you move on to in-depth detailing. You determine exactly what are the features that you want your application to eventually incorporate.
See the process list and then jot down the features that you believe will work with them the best. Prioritize these features next.
Once you have finished organizing the features, define their scope for the first iteration of your application. Then, you’re good to move on to the next step.
Build the MVP
Welcome to the final step of your journey, the actual iteration of your dream. Remember that your MVP is not a low-quality render of your final application. Yes, it is stripped back but by no means is it anything less than what you have decided to release in the market.
An MVP is not the end goal, a full, functioning application however is. Once you have an MVP, it is time to test it. You now need to test it with real audiences to ensure that there are no kinks in the product.
Your customer perception is the only thing that can make or break your product. It is essential that you take their views into account before figuring out whether or not your product is market-ready.
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