Do you have an idea for a new product and want to build it? Great! So, you have motivation and enthusiasm but, unfortunately, that is not enough. There are a lot of examples of developing million-dollar products that no one wanted to use. Luckily, there is a way to avoid a failure — choose MVP development!
MVP is a crucial part of any startup development when it’s necessary to reduce as many risks as you can. The concept of designing MVP helps startups to shorten time-to-market and test project hypotheses. Developing MVP will help you to deliver a top-notch product that brings maximum value with minimum effort. Isn’t it perfect? In this article, we will describe the general features and benefits of MVP and also share some tips for a successful product launch process. Let’s get started!
What is MVP and why you need it
The Minimum viable product, a prototype, MVP, or a sample – it doesn’t really matter what you call it, because its main idea is quite simple. To get a clear understanding of it, just imagine human evolution. Have you imagined? Let’s think you had. So, our MVP is no less than Australopithecus in a startup development cycle. There are some reasons for it: it doesn’t have many functions, but it allows users to do simple actions and clearly demonstrates the future product potential.
Here are the main goals of MVP:
- Testing the product hypotheses with minimum cost;
- Saving resources for development;
- Solving at least one users’ problem due to fast developing;
- Rapidly receiving users’ feedback and analysing it;
- Seeing the potential product development.
As a creator, you may think that your idea is brilliant and everyone will buy the product. It can be this way, but do you have guarantees? Users want to see and touch your product – that’s how they understand why it’s beneficial for them. If you really want to rocket your product, do MVP, don’t even think about it.
Let’s talk about the benefits of MVP
1. Minimum budget and maximum speed.
The cost of developing MVP is much less than that of a full product and usually the whole product launch process takes from 3 to 12 months. If you invest a lot in the idea that your customers don’t care about, you waste your priceless resources: money and time.
2. Realization of your favourite idea.
It’s an advantage for startups. Instead of heavy investment in creating full-featured projects, you may choose some general functions and rapidly start the product launch process. Remember that one idea comes to mind to four people in the world at the same time. Don’t bide your time and just go for it! There is only one thing that can be worse than failure – your idea is realized by someone else.
3. MVP is an easy process.
Why do developers like MVP? Ease is the reason for it, this is why MVP works so well. All you need to begin the product launch process is to have a clear vision of the problem you’d like to solve and some time. Don’t forget that you shouldn’t try to implement something that hasn’t been approved, it’s not worth it.
4. Testing your ideas.
You can check all your ideas and hypotheses courtesy of MVP. There is no better method to test if your product brings expected results then by giving a sample to users and seeing their reaction.
Got it, and how to launch new product?
As it was mentioned before, MVP helps you to design a version of your product with minimum effort to discover your target audience and receive first feedback. Any startup has an ability to create MVP. Let’s consider some tips that may aid in the product launch stages:
1. Define your target audience.
At this step you have to decide which and whose problems you’re going to tackle. Think, what your customers may answer to questions as: ‘Why do I need to spend my time on this product? How does it solve my issue?’
2. Analyse your competitors.
It is an important step. Here you need to find out what kind of users’ problems are already solved by competitors’ products and also the blind zones which are not considered. Therefore your aim at this stage is to decide which features you can adopt for your product and expose what is needed to be modified and improved.
3. Estimate the users’ flow and clarify how people will use your product.
User flow is a way that customers use to get flawless results by using your product. In other words, you should clarify all possible routes and functions which users may need through the way from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. Apply only real statistics and numbers of potential customers. It will help you at the next step.
4. Make a list with all features of your product.
At this step you should prioritize the features. Remember, through the product launch process it’s necessary to implement only the most essential ones.
5. Test and explore user’s reactions.
Here you can implement tests and quizzes and also ask your users for feedback. MVP helps you to become aware of users’ opinions about your product. It is very important for further improvement. Still usually people do not like to write long reviews or to fill in special forms. Instead of this use short and simple questions, for example, ask users to rate the app service from 1 to 5.
On the one hand, collected information will help you understand your target audience and use this data to improve your product. On the other hand, even if collected feedback is more on the negative side, you will get an opportunity to get word on bugs that you can adjust hereafter.
Considering 7 secrets for a successful product launch process
There are some tips that might help you through a new product launch process:
1. Take it easy.
Remember, that the main goal of MVP is to present users with a general idea on how the new product will look like and which features it will have. Don’t try to create a masterpiece and rush for perfection, remember that you should use a limited feature set. If you’re in love with your product, probably you have been absorbed in the process too much and implemented all the bells and whistles you could imagine. Don’t do it, think simple.
2. MVP is not a final product.
The minimum viable product is just the first release of your product. MVP is a process that gives you useful information on how to improve your product. Every release will provide you with new data and customers’ feedback. So, you will check your bugs, correct them and develop new versions. This process repeats continuously. Therefore every next version of your product is better than the previous one.
3. It shouldn’t be too simple.
Sorry, it may seem incompatible with the first advice, but it’s crucial. You shouldn’t ignore the main aspects of MVP ideas: ‘minimum’ and ‘viable’. The aspect ‘minimum’ doesn’t imply ‘not good enough’ or even ‘not ready’. Create a simple, but enduring and user-friendly web-product instead of developing a ‘jerry-built’ one.
4. Use a cupcake model.
It’s one of the best strategies for the product launch process. A Cupcake model represents the process of how ‘a duckling transforms into a swan’. The first version of your product satisfies just some basic users’ needs, then, little by little, when you already have feedback and essential data, some new features are implemented. Furthermore, don’t forget that your potential customers should enjoy all versions of the product. Your final result is the mix of the previous successful MVP releases.
5. Pleasant and simple visual design is an important detail.
Launching any product, developers usually try to make this process as fast as possible and sometimes may forget to ensure that the product design is simple and functional. MVP design doesn’t have to be perfect or impress the users with spectacular visual effects. Though it is important that your product should be interesting and attractive regarding visual design principles such as unity, proportion, hierarchical pattern, balance, accent and contrast.
6. Use an onboarding screen to demonstrate your unique advantages.
An onboarding screen is the first thing which the users see when they open the product initially. The main goal is to introduce your idea to them, explain its main features and show how it may aid. It’s better to use simple texts and attractive pictures because most users tend to skip these screens. Try to provoke their emotions, put illustrations or lovely photos. At the same time, texts on screens should be clear and simple.
7. Make a proper research.
It might be surprising, but a lot of business owners just having heard some benefits about MVP decide to start the product launch process without a proper marketing research. First of all, concentrate on testing the new idea, be sure that it settles customers’ problems, and there is no analog in the market.
MVP will help you to save time and money. Never underestimate the power of a good MVP, there are many startups that have succeeded and received investments for a real product by means of using a prototype. Remember the cupcake approach – you can’t release a row or low-quality product. Maybe your MVP wouldn’t be a whole cake in the beginning but it’ll be the prettiest, the tastiest one, definitely better than any competitors’ cupcake!
Developing MVP is kind of a journey that requires to have a skilled development team. This process should be done perfectly and quickly. This is why a skilled company may lead you to better results. A development agency can help to make the most of the given tips through the product launch process, and your project will have all chances to conquer any market. Just go for it!