MVP is your product idea with the bare necessary features that you will test with real users. Feedback received from this stage will then be used for developing your actual product.
The response from your MVP sets the direction of your product and answers essential questions like:
- Is your idea marketable?
- Will the users pay for your idea in the future?
- Does your MVP solve the problem as you anticipated it?
- What additional features users expect in your product?
Your MVP gives a reality check of the viability of your product, hence it’s vital not to skip it.
Why is MVP necessary?
To further elaborate on the importance of MVP and to convince anyone who says otherwise, reason with them with the points below:
- An MVP lets you test a basic product before it goes for design and development stages, thereby saving you time and effort.
- Helps you in identifying a group of early adopters for future testing.
- Is cost-effective viability and feasibility check.
- Gives you insight into user expectations concerning your product.
When does MVP come into play?
The obvious answer here is right after the ideation of your product. However, there are times when you take the MVP route apart from this.
If you wish to venture into a new category in your existing product. For example, you are an online bakery shop with great reach and wish to leverage your brand to diversify offerings. You are thinking of including frozen food in your product offerings. You need to see if there is a separate website to be developed or you can integrate the new products into the existing one.
If you wish to revamp your older website with a new design and improved UI. There will be a new color scheme, different navigation, basically a complete makeover.
You can create an MVP for both scenarios to see your response. Your existing customer base can be reached out for their inputs on the new MVPs and give their feedback on whether your vision is being reflected in the new design. So the scope of MVP is not restricted to just a new product, it can be for:
- New features
- Different design
- Introducing your product to newer demographics
Which MVP model to go for?
The decision to build an MVP of your product is not complete yet. You need to select which MVP model is feasible for you to build with the available resources and timeline. Here are the most popular ones.
Landing page MVP
You create a landing page with the basics:
- A description of your product
- How is it different from your competitors, i.e. your USP
- A CTA button can be added for signing up for newsletters, more content about your product, contact information, etc.
Buffer went with the landing page MVP. Google Ads helped Joe Gascoigne got 120 sign-ups and was able to talk to many of them to get their thoughts on his product and what they liked the most about it.
Explainer videos MVP
In this, you create a video, preferably a short one that describes your product and a demo of your product in action. You will need access to your audience, via their email IDs, or targeted ads. Animated videos can also be created here. Videos are known for higher engagement rates when compared to text, so you have a chance of creating a buzz on social media as well.
Dropbox’s four-minute-long video went viral, and they got the attention of the potential users within a short period, thanks to the video.
Wizard of Oz MVP
This is the “Fake it till you make it” scenario! In this, the customer interacts with your product thinking that it’s the final one. But in the background, a person will be handling the responses to your customer.
The tasks performed by your team will eventually be done by certain algorithms or automated technology. But before you invest your time in that, you wish to see if users need it. Plus you get user responses this way that will act as the base for your future assumptions. Jeff Bezos similarly launched Amazon from his garage.
Concierge MVP is helping your users manually to achieve their end goals. Every customer that visits you, will be guided by a human resource. Via this method, you get a one on one conversation with your real users and understand their pain points.
It’s testing the waters yourself! You interact with your users and incorporate their feedback to your original idea. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to develop a complete prototype to test as you are present to guide your users.
Airbnb started similarly. Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky tested if people were willing to stay in houses and build a website around the same concept and three people signed up.
The starter pack for this method is an email list and a good response rate from the same list. Sending a product via email is way more convenient than building a website. However, a good click rate is a must, otherwise, your emails are of no use due to lack of feedback.
An existing user base can be helpful here as they are familiar with your product and brand. They will be more willing to spare a few minutes as opposed to shooting emails to strangers. A lack of response can lead to a dead-end here, so it must be avoided at all costs.
Ryan Hoover’s Product Hunt received a huge response from the emails he sent and could thus leverage that for creating a successful platform.
Everything said, skipping an MVP is never a good start. Numerous options can be taken to see the viability of your product. They vary as per resource availability, timeline, and tech friendliness.
If you think that developing an MVP involves a lot of work, call us, and we will make the MVP journey smooth for you.
We specialize in delivering end-to-end software design & development services. Our digital product experts are creative problem-solvers with a decade of experience in all facets of digital and interactive design and development. We create compelling and human-focused web and mobile experiences delivered through clean, and minimalistic UI.