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25 Nov 2020 12 min to read

MVP App Development – How to Design and Build Minimum Viable Product

If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably wondering whether MVP app development is right for you. Before we discuss the topic in detail, let me ask you a simple question. What do Amazon, Facebook, and Uber have in common?

If you haven’t already guessed, they started as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Before they were giants, they focused on solving a specific problem – Amazon sold books, Facebook connected Harvard students, and Uber helped users pay for taxis using credit cards.

These three companies saved time and money by testing the basic features before they went full scale. In the following article, we’re going to tell you how to approach MVP application development, discuss its benefits, and tell you how to find the right MVP development partner.

What is MVP App Development?

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a concept that originated in the startup world and is now used by companies of all shapes and sizes to test out new products. Eric Ries from LeanStartup was among the first few to popularize it to the mainstream. He notes that the goal of MVP app development is to create a product with its most basic features and to present it to the early adopters and evangelists in exchange for feedback.

To put it simply, MVP can be defined as a minimal version of a product that helps innovators get product validation from real customers and with the least effort.

How creating an MVP will help you with your web app

MVP is an essential part of bringing your idea into reality. Here’s how it can help you with your web app.

1. Secure Funding

Investors need to see where their money will be going. This comes as no surprise, especially given that the startup failure rate in 2019 was at around 90%. Furthermore, according to Investopedia, 21.5% of startups fail within the first year, 30% – within two years, and a whopping 50% by the fifth year. If you present investors with a quick-to-market plan for your app development, it will certainly help them make an informed decision and slightly minimize the risk.

2. Save Money

In essence, MVP is about launching products with core features and asking users for their opinions. Based on their feedback, you implement iterations to the initial concept. As a result, you minimize the risk of developing features that aren’t useful or that need to be deleted from the app altogether. This translates to software development costs’ optimization.

3. Checking Product-Market Fit

Long before the first iPhone was brought to the market, in 1992, IBM released the first touchscreen. However, the product wasn’t as successful as the iPhone and ended up selling just 50,000 devices before the company ceased production. Can you guess why?

 

IBM Simon_Personal_Communicator

IBM Simon Personal Communicator, source: Wikipedia

 

Because it lacked the product-market fit.

Your app idea might be great, but there are many factors that can keep it from becoming successful. Like wrong timing, for instance. Your product might turn out to be too revolutionary for its time. Or, an even worse scenario – you work so hard on perfecting the product that you fail to be the first to the market.

4. Real Feedback

The best way of testing out an idea is to share it with target users and check how they respond to it.

And, MVP app design is one of the best methods to get genuine user feedback.

Take Quibi, for example. They had a team of experts and amazing marketing. They offered an in-app experience that ticked all the right boxes. However, it failed just six months after the launch.

quibi

Lack of an MVP app design as one of the reasons for Quibi failure

As explained in a piece by The Verge, there were several factors behind their failure: “the launch of a mobile-only streaming service at the height of a global pandemic when users were stuck at home; the lack of any real breakout content that was compelling enough to tempt subscribers; or the fact that short-form video content has a nearly infinite amount of free competition in the form of YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms”.

If they had tested their idea through an MVP first and asked for user feedback, they wouldn’t waste investors’ money on an idea that target users didn’t like.

5. Flexibility

Another benefit of MVP app design is flexibility. It’s always easier to make changes to simple solutions, therefore altering MVPs isn’t complex either. You can quickly go back and iterate features based on user feedback.

If you need to change something, you won’t need to face the risk of undermining your app’s architecture and logic and building it out from scratch.

A step-by-step approach to MVP application development

Now that we can all agree on the importance of MVP app development, let’s talk about how you can build MVP app.

1. Identify and understand business needs

Before you even consider building an MVP app, ask yourself – will your product idea solve an existing problem?

If you can’t answer with a definite ‘yes’, then you should approach your idea with caution.
You must have a clear-cut plan, which answers the following questions:

  • How will my product solve user problems?
  • How big is the market I want to enter?
  • Will my product be another app in the market, or will it create an entirely new category?

After you’ve figured out the answers, list your long-term business goals. You need to know how your app is going to make revenue.

Next, list out the metrics you’ll be using to measure your goals. Think of things like conversion rate, app retention, or total sales.

Finally, how will you tell if your app is successful? Make a checklist of success criteria.

2. Spot the opportunities

Once you understand your market and find the market gap between existing companies and users, the next step is to find opportunities to fill in the gap.

Try to understand your potential users and create user personas. You’ll find a lot of information on your potential customers by spying on your competitors. Start by checking out your competitors; websites, what features they offer, and how they communicate with their clients. Next, cross-refer the companies’ claims with what users actually say about the app by visiting product review sites like G2, Capterra, or even social media profiles.

 

intercom reviews

Competitor reviews as basis for MVP application development

 

3. Agree on which features to build

Once you find the opportunities, list all the possible features you can add to your app.

Separate the must-have features from the nice-to-have ones. One method you can use to organize your ideas is creating a prioritization matrix. Remember to prioritize the features that can easily make you stand out from your underperforming competitors. Also, as this is a crucial step in your MVP application development, all of your teams need to be on board. Take into account the insights from both your tech and business specialists alike.

4. Validate and test your MVP

Before you make your MVP app public, validate it. Oftentimes, the easiest way is to ask friends and families. Alternatively, you can hire user testing companies. After your MVP has gone live, continue to collect feedback from early adopters.

What are the best web agencies to build startup MVP web applications?

Now’s the time to answer the question – do you want to build your MVP internally, or reach out to an experienced software partner. If you decide on the latter solution, here are a few things you should pay attention to:

Check the company’s portfolio

Take a close look at their portfolio. Do they have extensive experience with clients in your industry and beyond? How many MVP apps did they help develop? Invest the time to read your potential partner’s case studies. The best companies will have years of practical know-how and have likely experienced both success and failure that they’ve learned from. They will save you from making the same mistakes, which is an invaluable lesson.

Check how many years they’ve been on the market

If you see that a company has been on the market for several years, it means that they:

  • Are financially stable
  • Have a continuous flow of incoming customers
  • They’re not a scam and won’t suddenly disappear on you in a couple of months and leave you with an unfinished project.

That said, don’t disqualify new businesses, as they might have been founded by tech experts who worked for other brands for many years.

Check review sites

Lastly, read about the software house online – especially if they’re new. Clients often publish reviews on platforms like Clutch after a successfully finalized project.

 

clutch_review

Clutch is a quick way to check the reliability of your business partner.

Summary

It’s easy to get excited when you come up with an idea for an app that you think is revolutionary. However, before you start full-scale development, it’s worth building an MVP. By creating a simple version of your product, you will be saving a lot of time and effort, will have the opportunity to collect user feedback, and check product-market fit. As a result, you will be able to verify your app idea and, hopefully, secure funding from investors.

If you’re looking for an experienced MVP partner, reach out to Asper Brothers. We have 10+ years of experience in app development and have helped build many successful apps. Among others, we can help you:

  • Select the services and elements that need to be included in your MVP
  • Decide on the tech solutions for the development
  • Create and test your MVP app design interface concepts
  • Develop the app and conduct quality tests

 

Call to action
At ASPER BROTHERS we support entrepreneurs in creating MVPs from the very beginning until the conclusions of the first release of the product. We have designed a proven MVP development model, which we have implemented for companies from many industries. Make an appointment for free consultations and find out more.

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