We are a bundle of ideas. We live by our ideas day in and day out. The idea machine never stops, it moves on relentlessly.
The million-dollar question is – do we need to bring all the ideas to life at one go or give them form in different phases? Let’s see how the two different approaches work in the tech world.
All the ideas related to technology and app development should focus on giving the users a better experience and touch on the utilitarian aspect. What looks good now may turn out to be redundant after a few months. That may be the causative factor for many sleepless nights for the developers who go the traditional mode.
The elixir for all the app development woes is MVP – Minimum Viable Product.
Let’s delve into the Facebook journey. The features that are available today were not present when the app was launched. The website was clunkier and served as a single-school online directory. Then status box, mini and news feed got added. The multiple photos feature was a killer blow. Then the share button sprung a surprise along with the appealing wall. Facebook slowly transformed into a mammoth messaging and news service. More than anything, it has become a way of life. Now Facebook echoes with our lives. The Facebook pages and live sessions made people instant celebrities and still there is a lot more to come.
This approach of Facebook in catering to the user needs and enhancing the app feature by feature is an epitome of building a minimum viable product that is hugely successful.
Here are the 5 reasons why you need an MVP for your mobile app
1) Stays low on budget and time
An MVP app focuses on one core area and a functionality that can be delivered and delivered in less time. As the developers hit the delivery timeline with the primary functions of the app, the secondary ones are put in the pipeline to be taken care of in the next iteration. By keeping the budgets and risks minimal, the company can stay afloat for a longer time with its offering.
MVP is not about cost mitigation but working in an agile environment to deliver what flies quicker and higher in the market. This strategy paves way for success and faster switchover to other areas if the first cut of the app won’t make an impact.
2) Feedback saves your back
Let’s imagine you got a whacky idea to make and sell sugar-coated french fries. We will figure out two scenarios.
Scenario 1 – You buy a large potato farm to save on the high price you pay for buying potatoes from the local market. You recruit a huge team or heavy machinery to chop the potatoes, fry them and coat them with sugar. Oh, the sugar again has to be purchased in bulk. After this humongous task, you set up a shop and sell sugar-coated french fries and wait for the customers to indulge in the awesomeness.
Scenario 2 – You double up as a potato cutter, chef and salesman. Make a few packs of sugar-coated french fries and sell it to people. If they buy and like them, you proceed further with your business or else chuck it.
In scenario 2, you have kept your eyes and ears open to feedback. That saved you a lot of trauma of staying upright in the business of selling sugar-coated french fries.
MVP echoes a similar course of action. It reiterates that it’s pointless to spend a lot of time giving users those features that may be archaic after a few months. So, the trick here is to gather feedback from your prospective customers to work on the app.
3) Minimum Functionality, Maximum Credibility
The common problems that mobile apps face are compatibility across devices, page loading time, buggy interface and features. Whenever users encounter such problems they simply delete or uninstall the app. Companies can address these issues by providing minimum functionality that gives maximum credibility.
Rather than stuffing the app with all the features, the developers can determine critical functions and take an incremental route by adding them slowly in different phases. This also solves the device compatibility issues as these are minimal in a lean environment. That happens only with MVP.
4) Keeps you ahead of competition
An app is a key offering by the company that puts the company ahead of the competition. Many customers fall in love with the company and become brand loyals through its app. This puts pressure on the app developers to make it without glitches. So recruiting the right development team is the need of the hour.
MVP ensures that optimal functionality is achieved and that in turn increases the number of downloads on the app store.
5) Gets you paying customers
Many famous apps started in a primitive mode with minimal functionality. What made them click was their utilitarian aspect and how quickly scaled up to offer enhancements.
Uber started as a driver aggregator service and then added many layers to its offerings including multiple payments, events, pool services, and others.
Instagram started as a photo sharing service and now it ventured into new realms of social networking.
The self-destructing message service Snapchat is another global phenomenon and a classic example of MVP.
MVP plays a critical role as it reduces the development time and gives the companies an edge in customer acquisition. More paying customers means more happy companies.
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