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Blog / MVP Development: Everything You Need to Know

MVP Development: Everything You Need to Know

Most of our clients feel frustrated about MVP development. With so many questions, we see a need to break myths and fears, so we've interviewed Touchlane CEO Irina. In this article, Irina will illuminate the MVP concept and its value for the whole development flow.
7 min read

Most of our clients feel frustrated about MVP development. With so many questions, we see a need to break myths and fears, so we’ve interviewed Touchlane CEO Irina. In this article, Irina will illuminate the MVP concept and its value for the whole development flow.

We know for sure that great inventions always start with small things. Thus, at Touchlane, we always recommend starting the project implementation with the MVP app development before rushing into product scaling.

We see that many business owners face several concerns regarding MVP, so we’ve decided to discuss this essential topic with our business expert, Irina, to sort all MVP points out for your convenience.

 

  • How can you define MVP in short?

 

Irina: Basically, a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a “light” version of your software product with an essential feature set to be launched to the market and attract users.

 

“Though MVPs are claimed to contain only basic features, it is fair to mention that the functional set should include some unique features that would distinguish your product from competitors. Having a so-called “zest “is an obligatory condition for successful MVP application development.”

  • Why should MVP become a must-have stage of any project?

 

Irina: Even if you come up with a brilliant app idea, rushing into the implementation of a full-scale project sounds like bad advice. Having numerous successfully launched products on our account, I feel responsible for preventing clients from making such decisions. At this point, I would like to highlight several essential reasons why developing MVPs makes great sense:

  • MVP helps to test the app idea at the outset of the mobile app development cycle and get the product in front of users in the shortest time possible.
  • Once users “test-drive” the app, you get an opportunity to gather feedback and make plans for further updates and predictions about the potential sales.
  • Also, it is impossible to skip evident benefits in investments since MVPs provide the opportunity to deliver a ready-to-use product to the market at minimum cost as well as reduce wasted hours for development.

Long story short, you can think of a minimum viable product app development as a kind of experiment. It helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your solution at the very beginning so that you can fix certain details if needed instead of rebuilding a full-scale product from scratch or scrap the project at all without extra costs if your idea has found no response.

  • What are the key steps of the MVP creation?

 

Irina: I personally believe we should never underestimate the power of strategic planning and preparation so the first step is to conduct research of the target audience and market competition.

Based on the insights gained, you and your team can make decisions regarding the key components for MVP: expected feature set, tech stack, UX/UI design solutions, platforms (mobile, web, or desktop), localizations for different regions, etc., depending on your app type.

Once you’ve made up your mind about the key aspects, all the requirements should be described in the project specification. This step deserves special mention as the detailed specification can greatly speed up the work of the development team. 

Though it may sound like a simple task to handle, in most cases a competently written specification requires professional help. In our projects, we often help clients with this step so they avoid unnecessary spendings and get the result they’ve been looking for.

Although it is not always possible to immediately write down a clear specification, having a general idea of the project’s essence and using flexible Agile development methodologies is an effective solution. 

In such cases, the whole development flow is divided into sprints that help to implement the minimum viable product app gradually, by milestones. This is a less preferred but possible option that is often used on large and long-term projects.

Then, the MVP development and QA testing are followed by release to the market and feedback gathering. When measuring MVP success, it’s important to keep an eye on the following metrics: 

  • Download & launch rate;
  • User engagement;
  • Number of active users;
  • Average session length;
  • Lifetime value.

Plus, I highly recommend paying attention to user ratings and reviews in the app stores, or better, make some in-app surveys to ask users about what they like or dislike about your app.

In fact, my expertise in the field shows that having collected feedback and proven MVP allows businesses to more easily find investors and make your project skyrocket when compared to sharing just a bare idea of a hypothetical application.

Learn more about the metrics

  • Speaking about the feature set, how do we identify the functionality sufficient for MVP?

 

Irina: The feature set, obviously, depends on the software type and industry.

Let’s say that the client has only a vague vision. In that case we always strive to provide expert consulting upon the project and settle all issues right away.

As I’ve mentioned in the definition, the recipe for an ideal MVP should contain basic functionality and a couple of unique highlights, helping to stand out from the crowd. If you go with too many irrelevant features, you will likely be at risk to lose both time and money so prioritize wisely.

 

“Imagine that you plan to develop a messenger minimum viable product app. Though it may seem that coming up with the necessary feature set for MVP shouldn’t be difficult, the process can become more complicated than expected for a non-professional in this field. As such, we are always happy to help our clients choose the optimal MVP functionality without frills.”

 

Speaking of the example with a messenger app, the initial version should include such basics as registration & profile creation, contact integration, instant messaging, photo & video sharing, and push notifications. 

The next question will be how to become visible on the market. Here, we recommend that clients spice up the product with some extra, though non-heavy, solutions. For example, Viber was the first to introduce audio calls.

  • What is the difference between MVPs and prototypes?

 

Irina: Sometimes people confuse these two concepts, but the difference between MVP and a prototype lies in their purposes.

MVP is an initial version of your app that will be launched to the market while a prototype is a visual mock-up that precedes the MVP creation and shows the design of certain app screens, but doesn’t contain any working code. As such, a prototype is intended for internal use, can’t be released to the market, and doesn’t demand as much effort for creation as MVP does.

  • How much does the MVP development cost?

 

Irina: It’s a tricky question as, again, everything depends on various factors. As for banking apps, they usually utilize more complex secure solutions compared to coloring apps or photo editors, so the costs can vary.

Generally speaking, there are several common factors that help pre-estimate the MVP budget. Apart from the niche, the price can depend on the mobile platform (iOS or Android), selected functionality set, tech solutions, and development team size, just to mention a few.

By all accounts, one of the main advantages of MVP is its cost-effectiveness, as its development is way less costly than the development of a full-fledged app.

To Wrap it Up 

All in all, MVP in app development acts as a bridge that lets business owners verify their business concept and ensure the final app really meets your (and future customer’s) expectations without investing too much. In case you still have questions or wish to collaborate with us, we’ll happily share useful advice and assist in the MVP creation as well as provide optimal solutions for the foreseeable product scaling.

Get in touch!

Written by

Irina Veremeichuk

CEO
Having solid business relations with the leading IT companies in the US, EU and UK, our company efficiently implements secure mobile & backend solutions meeting the highest industry standards. To achieve the goal, me and my partners assembled a trusted team of highly-skilled development experts, capable to take up projects of any type and complexity.

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If you have an idea for a product along with put-together business requirements, and you want your time-to-market to be as short as possible without cutting any corners on quality, Touchlane can become your all-in-one technology partner, putting together a cross-functional team and carrying a project all the way to its successful launch into the digital reality.

If you have an idea for a product along with put-together business requirements, and you want your time-to-market to be as short as possible without cutting any corners on quality, Touchlane can become your all-in-one technology partner, putting together a cross-functional team and carrying a project all the way to its successful launch into the digital reality.

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