The future of our economy is undoubtedly digital. As businesses and customers migrate to the online world, apps have become the new storefronts. A direct result of this is a huge spike in demand and popularity for mobile app development, which has further led to increased competition and higher standards across the industry.
And thus, to compete today, companies need to ensure they deliver high-quality digital products and services. But how can a business maintain such standards in a fast-paced, volatile marketplace?
The answer is incremental development, led by an MVP.
MVP is an initialism for Minimum Viable Product. Essentially an MVP is a bare-bone, limited but functional version of a product. Think of it like an early access version featuring the minimum functionality required for it to work yet being market-ready for consumers to try and test.
The reason why MVPs are so effective, especially within industries like software, is that their advantages align really well with modern product development methodologies. Let me explain.
Why your mobile application needs an MVP
While MVPs offer a ton of advantages, both to traditional as well as digital business, they are considered especially effective for mobile app development. Below are a few key benefits they offer:
When building an app, it’s not always obvious what a particular mobile app idea is capable of. It could be the next UBER or Facebook, but it could just as easily (if not more likely) be one among the millions that don’t make it anywhere. The real question though is: Are you willing to invest in an idea before being sure it’ll work for you?
Sure, you’ll have your market research and competitor analysis in place, but having an MVP gives you an extra layer of security that business shouldn’t ignore. Because an MVP only features the product’s core functionality, it is much easier, cheaper, and faster to build. MVPs are thus a more resource-efficient way of launching a product to the market. Once launched, judging by the response your MVP generates, you can get a good idea of how your product can perform while having spent only a fraction of the time, effort, and money required to build the final product. MVPs are thus a great way to get your mobile app idea validated.
Access to feedback
Another reason why MVPs are so great is that they provide access to valuable customer feedback early on in the development. Getting the necessary feedback to improve your product is great, but the true value here is in the timing. Because an MVP is an earlier iteration of a product, it allows companies to gain customer feedback while the product development is still on. This is instrumental to the product’s success because it redirects the development process into a customer-approved direction. Such an approach is much safer and efficient compared to building a feature-heavy, fully polished product that nobody knows would work.
Developing incrementally is simply better
Building a mobile app is a massive commitment that takes a considerable amount of time and effort, and thus, businesses need to maximize efficiency whenever possible. The iterative development process we discussed in the previous point is also great for saving time and resources since developers (when informed with user feedback) don’t end up wasting time trying to build features the users would eventually reject. Also, when an app develops in a well-planned, incremental approach, scaling and maintenance become significantly more manageable, giving developers more control over their product.
Beyond that, in an industry as fast-paced and volatile as mobile, beating the competition to the market is often the critical difference between being the next big hit or one of many mediocre imitators. One major benefit to an MVP is that it is generally quicker to the market, allowing you to quickly secure your place in a new niche if the opportunity arises.
For these and many other reasons, mobile app development companies in USA and worldwide have adopted MVPs as a crucial part of their development plan. But how do you go about building an MVP?
How to build an MVP for your app
The central mantra to building an MVP comes down to Minimising Design and maximizing functionality.
The idea is to focus on developing your core functionality and building outwards from there. But at the same time, it is critical to remember that an MVP isn’t an unfinished product. It must be market-ready and yet simple, devoid of any extra features or aesthetics yet delivering what it promises. It’s a balance that can be difficult to strike; here is a roadmap to help you out:
The first step to develop an app, or any product for that matter, is to come up with a product idea. What’s your product about and what is it going to do? When coming up with an idea, make sure it is unique (or at least a unique spin on an old one) and supplement your ideation with accurate and relevant market research. You’ll have to bridge the gap between the needs of the market and the needs of your business.
Pick your functionality
Once you’ve identified a problem you intend to solve with your mobile app, you’ll have to figure out how to do it. This is where one must be careful while building an MVP. It can be incredibly exciting to build something you are passionate about; companies often go overboard and try developing an app that is loaded with features. That’s not how you go about making an MVP though. For an MVP, you’ll have to correctly identify and isolate only the essential features required by your product. Beyond that, you’ll have to implement these in ways that are scalable and compatible with your business model and strategy. Focus only on the essentials, and save the extra features to be developed later.
Launch, market, and listen to the feedback
Launching and promoting your MVP is the last but arguably the most important step in your strategy. You want to make sure you reach as many users as possible for accurate idea validation and loads of feedback. When you believe you’ve tapped into your niche audience, listen closely to what they have to say. It’s good to have a plan, but the whole point of launching an MVP is to gain insight into what the audience wants, so be prepared to change directions if your consumers demand it.
Building an MVP for a mobile application has some serious advantages that mobile app developers shouldn’t ignore. For businesses wanting to enter the mobile market but lacking the technical expertise to do the same, Goodfirms has curated a list of top mobile app development companies that can develop your mobile projects for you.
Outsourcing your development is a relatively cheaper way to get a mobile app built, and combined with an MVP, it makes an excellent, fast-paced yet reliable development strategy.
Would you be going down the MVP route for your next development project?
Author Bio: Darren Mathew is passionate about Tech, Business, and the evolving relationship between the two. He is a blogger at GoodFirms – a leading review and rating platform that lets consumers compare and choose the right service provider for their needs