In this article, we will walk you through the steps or the startup guide to develop MVP apps.
What is the MVP?
MVP is short for Minimum Viable Product. MVP is the sufficient feature or features to satisfy early adopters. We can say it is a simple application to demonstrate to the market. (Read more about what does MVP mean)
In an application development phase, MVP will cover the core functionalities and will test the feedback from the target audience. The feedback we get can help in completing the actual product by altering or developing according to the early adopters it receives.
It is not easy to develop an MVP application, and you will come across many pitfalls or come to problems with understanding the core functionalities of the application. Therefore here are the startup guide to build an MVP application.
What most startups fail is they do not spend time on research. Like any other development phase, we have to do the market research. The idea will be innovative, creative, but if there is no current or future market value, the application will not succeed. Therefore, you need to figure out how to make the product idea stand out. You will have to conduct some surveys, get some opinion, and most importantly you will have to keep an eye out to the competition. (Read more about Steps to do research)
Express your idea
After researching the idea, the next step is to express the concept to the consumers of the application. This step you have a few critical questions to answers, those are;
- What value does the product offer,
- What are the benefits from the app,
- Why would anyone purchase the application,
With these questions in mind, the idea should plan out the outline of the app. This outline will include in understanding many-core interactions, functionalities and some essential features to start the design process.
Design the app
This step will focus on designing the application. You will need to figure out the user journeys for the application. This might be simple as user > open application > enter details > login.
The user flow is necessary to identify how the user behaves in the application. The learnings you get can make sure the app is intuitive. The user flow journey maps should cover from the opening to the closing of the app.
With capturing the user journey, you should then start to designing the UI (User Interface). As this is an MVP approach, you should first map out or design the basic functionalities of the applications. Then refine it with various iterations. It would be ideal if you draw out the wireframes and then gradually create high fidelity.
There are many UI design tools, but I would suggest Adobe XD. (Read more about Adobe XD)
App feature list
Before building the application, you should plan or list out the features you intend to be on the application. This step would be easy as you mapped out many user flows and functionalities in the above step.
So after you list out the features, you need to prioritise the features accordingly. When prioritising the features, you need to think about what do the users want from your application. If the list is too complicated, split it. The feature list can help you with understanding the versioning of your application. If needed, you can develop some prototypes to capture all errors and refine it further.
Develop the app
This step is where the idea becomes a reality. This step, you develop the application. After four stages of planning and designing, you can start building the app.
This step, you will find out that some features are overlapping, some are not needed. You can always change the functionality and focus on the customer needs and the fundamental idea of the application.
Build, deploy, test and learn
This step is where you test the application. You can start an alpha or beta test according to the requirement. A quick quality check would be preferred.
Finally, you can deploy the application, review and get feedback. This feedback will help you in the next iterations of the app.
An MVP application aims in helping you identify the core functionalities, solution and most importantly, a viable product. If you follow the above steps, you can make the idea you had into a trending application. Always remember to listen to your users and make the app viable for the users' needs.
In the next blog, I will write about how to validate your startup application.