Developing an MVP or Minimum Viable Product is today’s key approach to smoothly introducing a new software product to the yet uncharted market environments. The approach has become a real saving grace for thousands of startups that needed to tread the competitive market grounds lightly in order to stand out among the crowd and avoid repeating common mistakes.
But as much as you may already know what an MVP basically is, most likely, you still need some insightful guidelines to understand how the whole MVP design should be made. So let’s start from the top.
What is a Minimum Viable Product?
An MVP is your startup or product of any kind and purpose in its most basic form, at its most basic level of operation and user experience. This means that an MVP form of an eCommerce app, for instance, would include the major user interface carcass, basic navigation with search, virtual “product shelves” (sections for posting items for sale), user cabinets, and some standard features of one’s choice.
This leaves out additional bits and pieces, like social media integrations, various APIs and connected third-party services, SEO tools, and such. Basically, an MVP should demonstrate the most practical things you can offer to the market that also would grab the attention of investors and stakeholders without bothering them with all the extra stuff that should add some UX convenience once the product is operating in the field.
But how to ultimately decide what exactly to add to the project at the MVP application design stage and what to push off into the future?
Forming Your Perfect MVP Design Pattern
Surely, a good basic MVP design can be elaborated by a well-structured design team. However, this article’s task is to give you first-hand knowledge of the question at hand. And all you need to do initially to pinpoint the required MVP features and functionality bits is answer some underlying questions:
- Who is your target audience of users?
- Which TA’s major pains are you looking to help handle?
- What does your TA usually do to handle these pains?
- What particular issues will this or that feature help handle?
- How much user convenience will it bring to the table?
- How relevant is this or that feature in the modern market?
- How in particular will this or that feature be used?
- Will it be accessible enough for your TA segment?
- How many alternative options are there in the market?
Clarifying these questions should help you form quite an efficient MVP design pattern, but this can be pretty effort-intensive and complex. First off, you should already see the importance of preliminary research and analysis. You need to start by composing the detailed portrait of your target audience of users, which requires a thorough analysis of your future product’s market niche – its common trends and tendencies, competitors operating in it, competitive solutions, niche user segment, etc.
Moreover, defining a full-on user journey and regarding things from the user-first perspective are paramount tasks that must point you in the most proper problem-solving direction. The trick is to combine user-first and business-first perspectives. The results of the market and TA studies should help answer the above questions most thoroughly and lay the groundwork for crucial MVP software design decisions.
Suppose you have conducted thorough studies across all crucial project aspects and settled all the above questions. As a result, you have pinpointed the major features to implement – a certain number of capabilities that should serve the basic requirements and fulfill relevant TA demands. When it comes to the MVP UX design, however, things shouldn’t stop on that by far.
Benefits of lean design for MVP
In order to really hit the spot, you need to finalize the list of features through testing, experimenting, measuring, and brainstorming with the input of multiple specialists responsible for different aspects of the product. This is why a lean UX design approach is best for working out an MVP.
Adopting a lean MVP design model allows to speed up the iterative process of generating ideas, trying them out, experimenting with them, analyzing the results, and reiterating where need be. It is based on the active collaboration of multiple project teams, continuous product iterations, and a lot of communication with target users.
Sufficient joint lean design efforts can help most properly prioritize features and start implementing and measuring them sooner than later.
Analyzing Metrics and Gathering Reactions to Finalize and Scale an MVP
Now the greatest thing about MVP is that you get convenient proof of concept opportunities once you are done with all the underlying MVP implementation tasks. Thus, the next step for your well-researched, designed, developed, and tested solution is the product launch among real market users. This stage grants the unique opportunity to gather user feedback, collect and analyze important metrics, and polish up your MVP further based on all the data you get.
There are a number of product success-defining metrics that you should gather and study, with the major aspects being:
- Traffic rate – a well-thought-out, useful, and efficient product with a good potential for high demand should demonstrate active traffic. And it should be growing – once the accumulated traffic hinders or reverses in its activity and growth, you should start thinking about optimizing the product, adding certain features and removing others.
- Engagement rate – similarly to user traffic, active user engagement rates define the overall usefulness and value of your product in the market, among the specific segment of target users. This metric ultimately shows how much users are enjoying the MVP design you implemented and how much they are willing to return to your solution.
- Churn rate – when analyzing user activity and engagement rates, it is equally important to dive into the metrics of the opposite nature. Thus, churn rate demonstrates how many users stopped using your solution by either uninstalling it or simply dropping the usual activity.
- Sign-up rates – this metric is important in that it shows how many potential conversions you are looking to achieve with your future product. Most users willing to go through the sign-up and authorization process should be prone to going for more radical actions (such as signing up to a newsletter and buying products) in the future.
- CAC – Client Acquisition Cost is defined by the expenses you dedicate to getting a certain number of customers through a certain channel. By analyzing the number of paying customers that come from this or that channel, you can define the cost to get such a customer in the first place.
- CLV – Client Lifetime Value is calculated based on the usage duration of your app by a certain user. This is a major factor influencing the overall client acquisition cost.
Based on the results of gathering these metrics, you can conduct user surveys or interviews to further specify what exactly may motivate them to use your solution or put them off, what would make them use it more frequently, and other user-centric aspects. By listening closely to user opinions, in-depth analyzing important metrics, and implementing timely optimizations, you can hone your product in this “golden standard” manner up until you achieve a market-defining solution that outruns the competition and really satisfies users.
Creating an MVP for a promising solution in any niche is all about pointing out the use you can bring to the table, finding ways to make people’s lives easier, and setting your business goals in line with user needs, demands, and opinions. A thorough analysis and subsequent MVP design approach should help you meet common expectations most efficiently. We hope this here feature points you in the right direction.
But if you need a high level of expertise in the matter immediately without bothering with all the specifics, you should certainly turn to a professional service provider that will lead your MVP stage by stage to the top-of-the-line product status. Contact us with your project idea to get an estimate or a consultation.