App development is never an easy undertaking. This is primarily because there are so many things you could do, so many features you could build, and so many options you could provide to your customer. Most of the time, the biggest challenge is figuring out where to even get started with mobile app development. This intriguing question can be answered by understanding the MVP or Minimum Viable Product framework. In this article, we’ll explain how to build your next MVP mobile app.
What Is MVP Anyway?
By definition, MVP is the minimal version of a full-fledged product that you can build and test on the market. You do not develop an entire product, but only a certain number of features that your customers can use.
This development strategy helps teams to test their hypothesis before investing time and resources into it. The concept was popularized by Eric Ries, who is a software developer and entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist.
When the MVP approach is applied to mobile application development, you don’t build an app full of all the features you might want. Instead, you make certain components of it and ship the app to your customers. Then you receive feedback from the initial launch, learn about the shortcomings, and then invest in further development.
You can think of them as batches. You ship the first batch, then the next, then the next batch until you build a full-fledged app that you’ve always wanted to.
This way, your app is solving real-world problems in the least amount of time and investment.
Steps To Build An MVP App From Scratch
Now that you’ve understood the importance of MVP app development, it’s time to get started with it. There are a few steps you need to follow to get started correctly. MVP adopts the build-measure-learn framework. You need to go through this cycle in the least amount of time possible. Here are the steps involved to build your first batch:
Identify Your Business And Market Needs
The first thing you need to do is have clarity on the market. Your market includes the customers you wish to serve and competition. Build a customer persona and create a list of all of your competitors, both existing companies and start-ups. This will help you set a benchmark.
List All The Features You Want To Build
After understanding the relevant customer personas and competitors, you’ll have a good idea of the features you want your app to have. This is like a vision of where you want to go. You can separate the features based on customer-facing components, backend components, middleware, and so on.
Target The Key Features
Next, select the key features you want your app to have. These features should serve two purposes: test the hypothesis about your product and satisfy customer needs. There’s no precise answer on how many features you can or should include. Exclude the other features for later development.
Start building the key features
Now that you have a list of key features – start the development process. When developing your first batch, don’t be afraid to use shortcuts. Instead of using a native language like Java or Swift, you can develop in a hybrid app environment like Flutter or Meteor.
These are the cross-platform framework and reduce development time significantly. Remember, the goal is to build the prototype in the least amount of effort possible.
Release To Your Core Customers
It might be intimidating to ship a half-complete project to your customers. But the concept of MVP is to test everything before you build. Also, you shouldn’t release the product to the masses. Release it to the core group of customers who’re suffering the most from the problems you’re trying to solve.
The core group of customers is more than willing to tell you honestly what was useful and what wasn’t in your product. They’ll even suggest ways by which you can improve on your current version of your product. This feedback will guide you to your next batch.
Learn And Build The Next Version
By combining your vision, market needs, and feedback, you’ll have the next set of features you can build. Start building the next version or batch and release it to your customers.
Repeat the set steps from 1-6 to build your third, fourth, fifth, and then the final product. This approach to app development allows you to be lean and agile. Follow this guide and you will never go wrong with your very first app launch. Good luck!