Do you have a brilliant idea for a product or service? Are you anxious about its outcomes? Read this guide to building an MVP and wave goodbye to your anxieties!
When you are developing software, you will need to know what your customer wants. You will also need to test the project and this is where the process of building an MVP comes in!
Now if you don’t know what an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is, it is a test version of your product or service. It is an important step in developing software and it helps you to test your products and make necessary changes before releasing them.
Guide to Building an MVP: Step 1
There are various steps in developing MVP and the first step is putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and seeing it from their point of view:
- Why do they need this product?
- In what way is it helping them?
When you answer these questions, you’ll understand the main goal of your product and it will help you find suitable solutions for your customer needs.
The primary goal of your product should be to allow your customers to save money and search discounts easily because who doesn’t like saving money?
Guide to building an MVP: Step 2
Now the second step in developing MVP is to inspect your competitors. If there are other indistinguishable products as yours, you have to conduct a competitor analysis and if you think you don’t have any direct competitors, you will still have to do competitor analysis. It’s essential no matter how much trust and confidence you have in your product.
If you’re concerned about how exactly you’re going to inspect your competitors, there is absolutely nothing to worry about! There are a large number of tools and websites that will help you find your competitors’ intuition, their ranking, their source of trade, and other useful information.
So you see, it’s quite simple and one of the most popular and free websites which will help you through this trouble is Similar Web. There are other popular free tools too, such as App Annie, Ahrefs, and Quantcast and if you are willing to pay, you can also check out SensorTower or MOZ.
Also read: App Annie Alternatives
You can also analyze customer feedbacks of your competitor’s products and find solutions and update yours from further shortcomings. Don’t hesitate to alter good ideas from your competitors and learn from their mistakes!
Guide to building an MVP: Step 3
The third step is to define the user flow and when you start defining the user flow for your future product, you should focus directly on its primary goal.
To define the main user flow, you should first define the process stages and don’t worry because it’s quite easy! All you have to do is explain the steps required to reach your product’s primary goal and as soon as all these process stages are defined, you can then define features for each stage.
Guide to Building an MVP: Step 4
The fourth step is to create a list of particular features for each stage. You can add features which will be amazing-to-have, but not exactly necessary, and those which will attract more customers. After you have the list of necessary features for each stage, you need to prioritize them, and to do that, just follow the following steps!
- Ask yourself what is the important action you want your customers to accomplish ? (Keep in mind that this will be the main feature of your product.)
- Ask yourself what other features you want to add in your product? (Make sure they are important and why you need it and if it’s not, cross it out and get thinking!)
- After these, you can categorise the features into ‘should-have’, ‘will be nice-to-have’, and ‘whatever!’.
- After you’ve added all the stages and features for each, you can arrange them into a table which says high priority and low priority.
- After you have prioritised all the features, you can define their scope for the first version and move to build an MVP.
Guide to Building an MVP: Step 5
After the first scope of work is defined, you move it to the development stage and when the product development is completed, it needs to be tested. And this exactly is the fifth step, to build, test, and learn.
The first testing stage will be conducted by your Quality assurance engineers who will improve the quality of the product before it’s released to the public. They will make sure that the product is ready for alpha or beta testing.
As soon as the product passes the alpha testing, it’s moved onto beta testing. Based on the information from beta testing, you can consider implementing various changes in the following versions of your product. Make sure to make crucial changes immediately.
After they are finally put out to the public, you can collect feedback from your customers and make necessary changes and improve your product. You can build, test, and learn again.
Hope this guide to building an MVP helped you understand how and why an MVP is built. For more such articles, subscribe!
What should an MVP include?
Eric Ries, the author of Lean Startup, explains MVP as a version of the original product that helps accumulate maximum validated results from customers with the merest effort.
How long should an MVP take to build?
As per the data from 100 responses, the average duration to build an MVP might require 18 weeks, which is 4 and a half months to build an MVP.
What is the difference between prototype and MVP?
You don’t have to put a lot of time and effort into a prototype, whereas in an MVP a lot of time and effort is essential. With prototypes, you can come up with a wide variety of ideas, change, adapt and discard. But with an MVP, once you’ve chosen it, you gotta roll with it as you might have already read in this guide to building an MVP.
That’s all about the guide to building an MVP, stick around for more!