MVP Product Development? How to Build a Minimum Viable Product?

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So you have your product idea, and you’ve done your due diligence (market research, competitive analysis, user research, and refined target persona.) What now? Building your Minimum Viable Product (MVP.) And that’s where MVP product management and MVP product development come into the picture. Think of the royal gardens of Versailles, precisely maintained by skilled caretakers and architects. In the 1800s, head gardeners likely directed the implementation of designs by testing concepts on a small plot of land, experimenting with different features, and estimating their functionality, irrigation, and aesthetics before scaling them up to the rest of the garden. But enough of that elevated superiority- let’s get down to the essentials. An MVP is the bare-bones, stripped-down version of your application, with only the most essential features that are critical to its functionality. However, even in its most basic form, it remains well-designed and useful – that’s the whole point. With an MVP, you’re essentially testing the waters and putting everything you’ve learned about your users to the test. MVP product development involves identifying and developing those crucial features that will ensure your product’s success while executing them with ideal precision. So, if you’re ready to launch your product idea and take it to the next level, building an MVP is an essential first step to see if it has what it takes to succeed in the market.

What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

The concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is essential to master.Eric Ries explains in his Lean Startup Methodology, this is the most basic version of your product that delivers maximum validated learning about your customers with the least effort. The MVP is the key to creating a product that provides early adopters with enough value to validate your idea quickly in the development cycle. By analyzing usage data from this, you can validate and improve upon the learnings you applied to its creation. This process of repetition helps you determine what works, what doesn’t, and which features are most relevant to your target audience. You can then invest your resources wisely, avoiding the traps that can alarm so many startups, including poor cash flow or discovering that there’s no market for your product. According to industry data, 29% of startups fail due to cash flow issues, and another 42% fall short because there’s no market for their product. By refining your product with MVP, you can achieve engagement, retention, and product-market fit early on, reducing your risk of failure. MVP product development is essential to testing, designing, and delivering your final product. By stripping down your offering to its core elements, you can identify the most effective way to deliver your solution, adding value to your customers in the simplest, most straightforward way possible. By validating your proof of concept and business and market validation with MVP product development, you can confidently move forward and succeed.

How to Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Market Research

Market research is a critical step in developing a successful product, and it’s worth highlighting its importance. It’s simply not enough to have a brilliant product idea; you must also know your market inside and out in order to create something that mirrors your target audience. To be successful, you need to know what your target users need and what they lack. You must identify the gap in the market and evaluate the competition—who else is trying to fill that gap, and how well are they doing it? Do your target users actually have the problem you’re trying to solve? So, break out your notebooks and start collecting vast qualitative and quantitative data on your target market. This involves primary research, such as user interviews and surveys, as well as secondary research, such as competitor analysis and market research. But, don’t stop there. It’s essential to invalidate all assumptions you have about your target users—both those you think you’re making and those you don’t. Make a list of your beliefs and then prove or disprove them using the data you gather. By performing thorough market research, you’ll be able to understand your target audience’s problems, desires, and behaviors, and develop a product that meets their needs. With this information, you’ll be better equipped to create a successful product that resonates with your audience and achieves market fit.

The Value Add

In order to build a successful product, it’s essential to understand what unique value it adds to your users’ lives. What problem does it solve, and what benefits does it offer that they can’t find elsewhere? Most importantly, why should they choose to invest their time and money into it? These are the questions that will help you define your product’s value proposition, the foundation on which your MVP product development will be based. As you gather data and feedback from your users, you may discover new insights that require you to repeat your value proposition and product build. But for now, it’s critical to work with the knowledge you have and focuses on delivering a solution that truly meets your users’ needs and expectations. By doing so, you’ll set yourself up for success and lay the groundwork for future growth and expansion.

User Flow Mapping

Imagine you’re a user entering a new application for the first time. What do you need to do to access the features you want? How do you navigate through the app to get the most out of it? In MVP product development, this step is crucial in determining which features are fundamental to the user’s experience. It’s important to understand the user flow and create an information architecture that guides the user through the application to achieve their objectives. For instance, if the user needs to land on a home screen to access the feature screen, which allows them to reach a secondary feature, you definitely need at least the home page in your MVP. This is just one example, but the point is that the user’s journey through the application is critical to its success. By keeping user flow mapping and information architecture in mind during the planning and organizing of your MVP features, you can create a product that is intuitive and easy to use.

MVP Feature Prioritization and Ice Boxing

House hunting teaches us to make a “wants and needs” list, and this practice applies very well in MVP product development too. The first step is to identify which features are necessary for the user to understand and appreciate the value that your product offers. In order to build a product that will serve as an early mechanism for acceptance and control, you need to consider which features are the most important for delivering value. The rest of the features can be “ice boxed” for future development when you have more resources and user feedback. Ice boxing ensures that you’re investing in the right things and walking into future product development with all the user feedback and data you can possibly have. Now, it’s time for some cold-hearted prioritization. Begin by listing out your features and ranking them from high to medium to low priority in terms of adding value. Next, balance your priorities with your budget and timeline. In this way, you’ll have a clear and concise MVP product development plan that will guide you toward creating a product that meets the needs and desires of your target market.

MVP Launch + Learning

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the final stretch of MVP product development! But don’t take your foot off the gas just yet. The success of your MVP depends on more than just its feature set. You must ensure that the product functions flawlessly and meets your users’ needs beyond their expectations. Quality is key, so don’t compromise. Conduct usability tests for your designs, QA test the MVP, and ensure that the end product is free of bugs and runs smoothly. After launching, gather as much data and feedback from your users as possible. Utilize in-app surveys and analyze user behavior and engagement to gain insights into usage flows, task success rates, and boiled rates. This valuable information will be the foundation for your next iteration, whether that means adding new features or pivoting in a different direction. Remember, the most important part of the process is to learn from your users and measure their reactions to your product. Only then can you achieve true product-market fit and continue to evolve and innovate.

About Us:

We’re DcodaX—a product and software development company with experience in designing, “rescuing,” and deploying hundreds of products. Looking to develop a new app or revamp an existing one? Need some product strategy or mobile app and software development help? Have any general questions about who we are and our authority on the subject? Reach us at or drop us a line. – DcodaX

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