Advantages of MVP
An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is the initial version of the product reduced only to the vital features. ‘Should I build MVP app for my startup?’, you may ask. Definitely yes! Regardless of your industry, app development aims to make the end-user happy, so it is essential to collect user feedback in the early stages, which will give you a competitive advantage.
However, MVP software development has more advantages:
Allows you to feel at ease in the ever-changing environment
The main advantage of MVP software development is that it can be changed and transformed as many times as you want to meet the requirements that you have at the moment. Based on market research or customer feedback, you can introduce new features, add integrations, or improve the design. The MVP is not a black box; it is a model that you can scale and improve.
Saves time and money on product development
MVP is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t demand huge investments at the start. Have an idea of a complex and feature-rich project, but it takes a lot of time and money to implement? No problem! Create an MVP that contains only t crucial features, quickly test and launch it. Then, continue working on it at a comfortable pace.
Enables you to get the investor approval earlier by providing a tangible product
One of the decisive factors for a ‘business angel’ when choosing an investment project is how fast they will get their money back (if at all). When you come to investors with an idea, convincing them that your project has potential is hard.
With an MVP, the investor can click the buttons and see what the app feels and looks like. When you come to the interview you will have a database of customers who have tried the app and left feedback. Bringing it all to an investor’s attention will be a big plus for you because your project will look much more failure-proof and put together than a simple paper sketch.
Gives an opportunity to test your idea faster
Even entrepreneurs with impeccable instincts make mistakes about what features customers are going to like. Then, they have to spend more time and effort covering up for their poor decisions. MVP software development enables you to see your product’s future more clearly and implement only the features you need
Challenges of MVP software development
At the start, an MVP software development is generally better than a fully-fledged solution because it gives you more flexibility. However, because software development happens in iterations, you might face certain challenges.
When you drive a car, the headlight allows you to see only the next 50 meters of the road but not the final destination. If you plan your journey wrong, you will waste a lot of fuel without getting anywhere. In software development, it is similar: do market research, prepare the financial plan, and set milestones right before the start of the MVP software development.
When you want constructive feedback, it is useless to ask people what they think about it. The question is too open and doesn’t provide any guidelines to give an honest opinion. It will be much more efficient if you enable the tracking features inside the MVP to monitor which features are being used, how often, at what times of the day, etc.
Be aware of these challenges so that you could prevent complications and make the most out of your MVP software development experience.
Getting started with MVP software development: step by step
MVP software development consists of several necessary steps:
1. Ideate a product and do market research
You need to understand what pains or problems your MVP resolves and, based on that, together with your team you can think about the features and the app should have. Conduct surveys to test your hypothesis and keep an eye on what your competitors offer. Market research is necessary to see whether your MVP will be in demand and finally pay off.
2. Brainstorm MVP features
Usually, during brainstorming it turns out that some features you come up with are either absolutely necessary or not as crucial as they seem. Your MVP should contain only vital features. Think of Uber that made taxi services convenient, safe, and accessible as never before or Facebook, creating an omnipresent online space for people to stay in touch. They also started as MVPs and gradually developed and expanded their products.
3. Define user flow
All the functionality of your MVP should come together in a convenient and logical user flow. When a user comes to your app, they want to achieve a specific goal, for example, order food delivery. The interaction on the way to accomplish this goal is defined by user flow. For instance, they need to create an account, add a bank card, and select the food. In the case of an exemplary user flow, the registration will take a couple of seconds, and the user will intuitively understand what to do next.
4. Develop your minimum viable product
This process usually takes 2-4 months. The software outsourcing team will be responsible for all the management and software development processes. However, it is always good if you leave feedback and provide more information about your business.
Once your MVP software development is finished, you need to launch it. Publishing the app in the store will enable you and your team to assess the performance and strategize what can be done to improve the results of your software.
5. Evaluate and iterate
Use your MVP to collect feedback that will allow you to improve the final product. Review this data and make new hypotheses about what can be added to the software to make it more desirable for potential customers. This iterative process is potentially endless.
Native or cross-platform: what to choose?
When you need an app, you usually have to choose between two options:
- A native app is an application that can be used only by the users of one OS. The software development team follows the guidelines of iOS or Android and uses languages and tools designed specifically for this system.
- A cross-platform, or hybrid, app is a web application that runs in the browser and can be used on any device. It is possible to use tools supported by both OS, such as React Native.
Pros and cons of native software development
Native apps are tailored to a specific platform, so during software development, it is eventual to use all the possibilities of this OS. They do not have to think how this or that functionality will look on devices that have different OS. Native software development ensures that the app will work flawlessly on all devices that support this OS.
However, making a native app is rather expensive if you need to make Android and iOS. Usually, developers specialize either in Android or iOS software development, so you will have to search for two different teams. Implementing, testing, and launching two apps also takes a lot of time. Prioritizing one platform development over another is also not a good solution because you’re missing out on a large part of your target audience. Many companies, especially in the past, would first bring into action software development for iOS and only then for Android because they saw Apple device owners as more solvent. Android users just searched for already available options rather than wait for them to release their products.
Pros and cons of hybrid software development
Cross-platform apps are developed by professionals with the help of top-notch tools and, by no aspects, concede to the possibilities of native apps. However, hybrid app development is more difficult from the UI/UX perspective. For example, users of iOS are used to different navigation patterns than Android users, and it is vital to maneuver such complications.
All in all, cross-platform development is more economical and, also, fast: it’s, basically, development only of one app instead of two. While some changes are needed for each platform, you will have a single code base that can be modified and reused for a different OS. Only if the app is successful on one app store, you will invest time and money into modifying it for a different OS.
Examples of successful MVPs
Some of the huge projects were just MVPs one day. No doubt that promising startups of the present day can recreate their success. We are pretty sure that you’re familiar with these companies:
Back to the 90s. Amazon was a humble online book selling service with just a couple of thousands of users. They had a clean interface and very simple functionality. However, since the internet was becoming more and more widespread, they noticed the potential of online sales and expanded the assortment. Today Amazon is much more than an online shop: it has a video streaming platform Amazon Prime, creates its own programs and TV series, holds an AI department that develops innovative machine learning projects, and many more.
Few people know that before Dropbox created their service they made a video and posted it online pretending that they already have it! The creators of the project didn’t want to risk all and develop expensive hardware that nobody is going to use. Only when they saw people’s interest and received their first orders, they started working on a file hosting that many of us use today .
MVP software development for a startup brings many benefits: it allows you to validate your idea in the early stages, save time and money, and deliver a better quality product to the market due to an iterative approach and in-time user feedback. Our team consists of talented professionals. They all help to develop MVPs from scratch and it can take about 3 months. After this time you will get a functioning product that is ready for launch. If you are still asking yourself: ‘Where do I find a reliable React Native development team to build MVP app for my startup?’, search no more. We are there to help you.