A minimum viable product (MVP) is best thought of as a list of the essential features your app needs. It helps you get the base product developed quickly and seamlessly, moving the app into user testing more quickly and allowing you to beta test more efficiently. So, it is essential that you are able to give your app development company a comprehensive MVP for your app needs, as it will help the development process move faster and will ensure that you and the developers remain on the same page throughout the process.
But, how, then, do you create an effective MVP for your mobile app needs? Here are some questions you need to consider.
What Is Your Market?
Creating a great MVP for your new app starts with knowing your end user well. If you know who they are and what they are likely to want from your app, you are more than halfway there!
Obviously, the market research you have done in this area will help you get started, but there are a few key questions that you can ask yourself to help this process along:
- Who is the user? Are they technicians in the field, salespeople who will use the app on a sales floor or upper management who will use it as a working tool?
- How tech-savvy are the users?
- Is there a “celebrity” element to the app needs? Is the app driven by devotion to a specific brand or fan base or is this a “nuts and bolts” project to help team members within a company setting?
- Will the app be used across a wide customer base or in-house?
- Will the users work on their own devices or on ones supplied by their employer? Will there be a range of operating systems used?
Remember that user experience is key to the success of an app. If it does not give the end user the experience they need, it will be deleted. So, take a moment to find out what the users themselves want from the app and not merely what the company believes they need. This brings us nicely to our next point: the user experience.
What Constitutes a Good User Experience?
Clearly, the user experience is key. But, how does knowing that help us meaningfully take the MVP forward?
User experience is different across all platforms, for example Apple iOS provides a different feel compared to Android and tablets offer more space on the screen than smartphones. Also, the mobile app development industry moves fast and “trend” and “convention” change fast; so, you may well need to enlist the experience of your app development company when determining what will provide the best user experience.Remember, successful web apps rarely translate to mobile well too and the conceptualization needs to be different for each. Do not be afraid to accept advice here and do some researches on what other similar successful apps opt for.
Are You Staying Native or Will You Go for a Mobile Web App?
It is important to be very clear from the start about which route your app design is taking, as great ideas for one style rarely translate well for the other. Each provides a very varied user experience.
So, most good app developers recommend native apps for almost all circumstances, as such apps work the best on the smartphones on which the app will be accessed. Apps designed for a larger public to make money generally perform best when native too and users tend to engage with them more. They can also be more budget-friendly in the short term.
But, that is not to say that mobile web apps do not have a place in the market. That is because native apps can also amount to effectively double the development (although not always double the cost) if you need to target both iOS and Android, as very little of the development for one can be carried over seamlessly to the other.
Ultimately, the “right” answer to this question will depend on the user experience that is required; so, do not be afraid to do your research and ask questions of those in the know.
Which Operating System Will You Design for and How Backward Compatible Should It Be?
In a market with new operating system upgrades coming out regularly, this can be a baffling question to answer. However, it is also a critical one. Of course, if you need certain aspects of functionality, answering this question will help you narrow the field a lot.
For example, augmented reality requires a strong processor and high RAM and many older operating systems are simply not designed for phones with either these requirements. So, if you need to include augmented reality, you should only be looking at the most recent releases.
Alternatively, if you are working on an app which is to be used in factory conditions, you may well want to opt for an app that will be compatible with older operating systems as well to accommodate a range of devices being used by the workers.
Also, monetized apps often do better first being rolled out for either Android or iOS specifically (depending on where the bulk of the target market lies), with development for the other operating systems put off until the money is recouped from the initial rollout to help support the further development.
So, while it is a tricky question, it is one that is well worth spending some time answering.
Is a Speedy Release Better?
The app development market does not wait as there is a ton of new apps released daily. Do you really want your competitors edging you out of the market? Even apps developed for in-house use only will benefit from a smoother transition the quicker a functional app can be released.
So, opt for an app development partner who can begin showing you results fast and who is capable of getting the app to the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase speedily. The sooner you can get feedback, the better your app will be.
Does Feedback Really Matter?
Feedback not only matters, it is critical to the success of your app! The feedback should play a strong role in driving the future changes you make to the app. This is partly why it is often best to opt for a slim and trim app at first which allows the users to suggest the additional features they need, rather than slowing development by stuffing the app full of features that may well end up being unused.