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Building your MVP: A step-by-step guide.

If you want to be in the world of software development then MVP (minimum viable product) is a term you should familiarize yourself with. Not only will an MVP assist in validating your idea for a tech product, but it will also provide direction towards which app features you should include to achieve success.

12 January 2022

08:00

What is an MVP?

An MVP is a minimal form of a tech product that is tested on the market. This development strategy allows you and your team to validate the product and learn how your target users react and experience your product’s core functionality.

So an MVP will provide you with insight, in order to properly allocate your budget to satisfy the overall business objectives. It’s also a development method where you develop only the core functionalities to solve a specific problem and satisfy early adopters. In a word, the MVP is the basic model of a product that will fulfill the primary goal you want to achieve.

A great MVP development process must follow a build-measure-learn process, that will allow you to release a product that can be continually improved as you learn what your users want, and add features to the software that better serve your clients.

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The main goal of an MVP is to develop a working product that provides immediate value, quickly, while minimising your costs. Starting with an MVP will allow you as an owner to learn more about your end-user and the market you wish to enter as you test your assumptions. An MVP will also set the stage for future iterations of development and clarify the next steps that need to be taken in the project – whether that’s changing directions entirely, or continuing down your set development path.

The step-by-step guide to creating a minimum viable product

This guide is part of the agile MVP development framework that we at Motomtech use for our software development projects. Following these steps will make you able to identify and prioritize features, as well as confidently outline what you need to do to get your MVP to market.

Step 1: Identify your business and market needs

The first step is to identify that there is a need for your product in the market. This might be an organizational need or perhaps a customer need that addresses a current gap. It’s also important for you to analyze what your competitors are doing and establish how you can make your product stand out. This will help determine what kind of software you need in order to have a competitive advantage and growth.

Step 2: Map out the user journey

It is of utmost importance to design your software with your user in mind. The best way to ensure that your users will have a good experience with the first version of the software is by mapping out the user journeys. Doing this will allow you to look at your product from the perspective of the user, beginning with opening the app to reaching an end goal. This provides insight into how you can design the software in such a way that is convenient for the users. In addition, defining user flow and addressing the actions users take in order to complete an end goal, ensures you don’t miss anything while keeping user satisfaction in mind.

Step 3: Deciding what features to build

At this stage, you should be able to decide what features to include in your MVP, as well as what features you want to include on your product roadmap. Here are some tools you can use that will help you decide which features are necessary to make your MVP successful.

Asking the question of what does my user want versus what does my user need, will help you and your team identify and prioritize the features that the MVP needs. Keep in mind that implementing too many user-requested features too soon might harm the user experience of your software and take away from the overall purpose of the product, so the only features you should include must be connected to your product’s main purpose.

At this point, you ought to have a strong foundation for planing the minimum viable product. You should have already identified and understood your users’ needs and have decided which features are going to be a priority to build. Now, you can focus on getting your MVP to market

Step 4: Q/A for your MVP

To gain your users’ attention, interest, and approval, you have to offer them a good product from the very beginning. This product should be easy to use and with minimum defects or no defects at all. While these things are clear, some people don’t fully understand what exactly to focus on when developing an MVP.

Even though in principle, you are creating a product for the sake of functionality, its features aren’t the only important aspect. It’s essential to make sure that the product is reliable and usable, but you cannot neglect the design either. So, instead of just investing in the functionality, take time to also present the core features in an appealing way to the users. They will appreciate this more than an MVP full of features that lacks intuitiveness or has many defects.

QA outsource will help you achieve this. Remember that quality assurance is more than just testing the product. You should involve a BA specialist to advise on what to include in the initial version of the product and help to create the strategy for further development.

After Your MVP

After you’ve launched your MVP you must collect feedback from your users. They are the ones who will tell you where the product is lacking and ensure market validation. This will help you generate new feature ideas based on user behavior research which will shape the subsequent versions of the software. It’s vital to continue to test, learn and measure, and then test again until the product is finalized.

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