Complete Guide to Building a Minimum Viable Product
It’s all about building something quick. It’s about building it fast; building something that doesn’t take much time and money, building something just enough to be able to get enough results. Building of a minimum viable product (MVP) is about cutting features and developing the bare minimum to deliver something fast, get answers, and adjust accordingly.
In building an MVP, building a product without thinking it all out is not a good idea. You have to keep the end goal in mind so you can get to that point.
So what exactly is an MVP?
A minimum viable product (MVP) is the initial basic product with all the needed features that help it serve its purpose, without being too complex. The MVP helps solve a certain goal and is just enough to be able to get feedback and adjust from there.
In other words, an MVP is an application or a product with only the main features, not any extra bells and whistles. Building too much either in one project or across a lifetime can be costly, time-consuming and a burden to changes.
Examples of MVPs
- A social media application: The MVP in this case would be the bare minimum to get that app launched and in the hands of customers, and get a decent amount of users to start playing around with the app and interacting with others.
- Basic website: A website with a few links, pictures and some information is building something minimal. The idea behind building it this way is so that you don’t have to spend too much time working with the complex features involved in a good website. You can launch the site to your customers and adjust from there on their likes, dislikes and what they want to see for easy navigation and more.
- A file-sharing or file creation application: A simple application, whether its web or mobile, where you can upload documents, create docs and files, enter information, share data files, and a place where you can manage that content is building an MVP.
How to Create an MVP Step-by-Step
Step #1 : Know the Problem
You need to solve a problem for the market you’re building the MVP for, and identify your target audience as well. Let’s take the example of the file-sharing application. If you are building an application to upload files or create documents, then you want something that will help your customer store files and work on them from wherever they are. It doesn’t have to be a website or an app and it could very well be building something portable for customers to use that can store data and create files on the go.
Step #2 : Understand Your Customer’s Needs and Wants
Once you have identified your problem and the target audience, you have to recognize your customer’s needs and wants. You need to know exactly what you are building for them. Once you have identified what your customer needs, building an MVP that is needed to solve their problem and its functionality will be easier to plan out and execute.
Step #3 : Identify Your Key Features
Now you have to identify your key features. What makes you different from your competitors? What is the basic building block or components of building a great product that users would want to use and recommend to others? You need to ask yourself these questions in this step. Be sure to not overstuff the features; keep it basic and to the point.
Step #4 : Define Your MVP
Once you have the key features identified, define what your MVP will look like. For example, if building a mobile app, then create a mockup and make sure it has all of the features that you listed for building an MVP in step #3.
Step #5 : Build Your Minimum Viable Product
Now you have to build your MVP. If building a website, then building the MVP would include building out the main components of what is needed for building a simple website.
You need to be sure that everything works and is up and running by following all basic standards, making sure it has all the key features are included, and that it can scale without a problem.
Step #6 : Test the MVP Out
After building your MVP, you need to test it out. You want feedback from customers and end users on what they think of it, how well its working for them, what new features they might want to see in the future.
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