The benefits of MVP in App development
When developing any new digital product, it’s always advisable to start with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), particularly when building an app. Simply put, an MVP is the most basic version of your final application that will still function as intended. It is not the finished product but neither is it a poor or underdeveloped version of the app. Somewhere between a prototype and finished app, an MVP is a standalone product that will form the foundation for the final release. But why would you bother developing an MVP? Why not just head straight for the finished product? Well here are some of the key benefits to working with an MVP.
Gain feedback on a working product
By bringing the working version of your app to its intended audience, you are able to get useful feedback from user testing, based on the app’s intended functionality. This will help you to make enhancements to the UI and UX of the final package, before the development has gone too far.
An MVP allows you to demonstrate to stakeholders and investors the functionality of the app without spending weeks or even months on the final product. You can use it to highlight key functions and UI and UX features and, as mentioned earlier, gain feedback from stakeholders on the effectiveness of the app allowing you to find new features and additions which may be of benefit to the end user.
Save on the cost of development
The cost of refurbishing a completed application can be crippling. Making changes to a finished app is far more complicated than simply tweaking or adding new features to an MVP. It may mean going back weeks in the production cycle and possibly having to rebuild certain elements from scratch. It also means that your development and design teams are occupied beyond the deadline for the finished product, meaning they are not available for the next project, leading to further costly delays on your next job.
Tips for developing an MVP
When developing an MVP for your app, there are a number of things you need to bear in mind:
This is not a bare-bones prototype
Although this is not your finished product, your MVP should be able to function as intended. It needs to offer a positive user experience and cannot be simply a cheap and nasty version of the final product. A poor user experience at this stage could well kill the success of the app so you need to make sure it works and offers a valuable experience.
Define the key feature
What’s the one thing this app needs to do and do well? Adding too many features will create too many issues and too many things to fix in later releases so forget about the whistles and bells and focus on making sure it does what it needs to. If you’re building an app for a restaurant, people need to be able to see the menu and maybe order food. Get that right and you can then add in new features, like saving favourites, adding dietary requirements or calling a cab, at a later date.
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