Don’t commit these mistakes when building a Minimum Viable Product

What is the core reason for developing a mobile app? Well, you would say that you want to reach out to more potential customers out there in the market. Yes, that’s true; but the essence behind creating any mobile application is to solve a problem that people, in general, are facing.

Every startup germinates with an idea; however, it is imperative to first test whether that idea is actually viable. And precisely, the best approach to test your idea is opting for the Minimum Viable Product or simply MVP.

What is an MVP?

The Minimum Viable Product or MVP is regarded as the basic or the initial version of the product, which is developed with the most important and necessary features just to test whether the idea is actually practical or not.

You get down with a minimum of features to know what the response of the users is and get their valuable feedback within a short span of time. Thus, you are minimizing the risks and threats involved during the development process. This also saves a lot of time and cost.

A research has indicated that nine out of ten startups fail to make any mark and they fall flat soon after their launch. In fact, according to CB Insights, one of the primary reasons why most startups fail is because they launch the product, which has no market demand at all.

Though MVP is a venerable solution to this problem, however, you should know what common mistakes to avoid while developing the Minimum Viable Product.

  1. Not Conducting a Conducive Market Research

You must be aware that market research is the first step that one literally takes when starting a business or developing a mobile app. In fact, one of the major reasons why most of the apps fail to impress users is because they lack extensive research.

Even when you are building an MVP, the research task has to come in the beginning. The research will provide you with a rough estimate of whether your app idea is new or it is pre-existing.

Now, if you are not emphasizing the market research, it can prove to be expensive. In that scenario, you would be just wasting your time and money in developing MVP as the audience will reject the idea.

  1. Choosing an Inexperienced Team to Do the Job

Your Minimum Viable Product is surely going to affect if you are choosing an inexperienced team to do the job. Usually, the team developing an MVP is more or less the same as a mobile app development team. The MVP development team would comprise an app developer, UI or UX designer, project manager and Quality Assurance testers.

Don’t be under the misconception that since you are building MVP, only two or three professionals will do the task. No; you need a well-experienced team to cater the task appropriately. An experienced team can deal with the problems more efficiently and has the skill to make better decisions. They can make a more accurate plan and can also make quick changes in the product if needed.

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By having an inexperienced team by your side, you also face other issues including the interpretation problem. This means the team fails to take an acute decision on how to interpret the important feedback from the customers.

It means all your data collection will go futile if you do not know how to interpret it. In the second case, the inexperienced team fails to execute the plan and if the situation arises is unable to take any action. They also keep on missing the deadlines and don’t deliver the product on time.

  1. Developing a Perfect Product

One of the other misconceptions that people have about the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is building a perfect product. However, you need to remember that you are building an initial base of the product and not the final app.

Your main purpose of developing an MVP is to test the viability of your idea and get a user feedback on the same; here you only include the core features just to make the user understand about your product.

But developing a full-fledged product can cost you dearly. Moreover, you cannot be very sure that the customer will accept your product; he may even reject it. So, you will be ending up will losing all your money and your effort and time would also go in vain.

Therefore, choosing the right set of features becomes very crucial. You can opt for the Feature Selection Process in which you try to analyze your potential customers and their goals. You can identify the most important features that would probably suit your MVP.

Secondly, you can outline the vital features and analyze what benefit it offers to the users. This will make your road clearer as a selection of the features would be rather easier.

  1. Choosing the Wrong Way of Building MVP

Your mobile application is most likely to suffer because you have chosen the wrong way of developing the MVP. In this procedure, you keep on releasing the product one after the other and face rejection every time. As such the users are not able to relate to your product.

Now, if we talk about the right approach then it is known as the cupcake model. In this process, you first have to create a simple skateboard and then go on with the first version of your MVP by adding few features.

This will let your users complete their goal on one hand, and on the other, you get some useful data as well. However, each time you are launching the product you should try to add something different from the previous versions.

  1. Not Choosing the Right Development Method

You must know that you can develop an MVP using a couple of methods that include Agile and Waterfall. However, considering today’s scenario the Agile methodology is considered far better as it offers some advantages such as the faster building of MVP product, helps in the removal of bugs to deliver a high-quality product and also offers better transparency.

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In addition, the Agile is a better choice when developing a software-based MVP. Agile is also less costly and gives your project more flexibility. In fact, a survey was conducted that showed Agile supersedes the traditional Waterfall method.

  1. Not Conducting the Prototype Step

Many of the Startups tend to skip the prototype phase as they are in a rush to launch the product as soon as possible. Well, prototyping is considered to be an important step as it reduces the risk factors and also helps in bringing ideas into life.

There are few areas where implementing the prototype becomes more than pivotal such as interface architecture, high and low-fidelity interactive prototype and production design.

These areas basically include the base structure, wireframing, information and interaction with the app, graphics, and images etc.

  1. Not Paying Attention to User Feedback

This is one area where you have to walk an extra mile and take care of your users. You simply cannot ignore the user feedback and analytics at any cost. It must be noted that you are developing the product for the target audience and trying to solve their problem.

If they are not satisfied with a particular feature or unhappy with app functionality, it must be addressed in real-time. Not paying any heed to their suggestions would simply throw you out of the competition. You have to keep a watch on some of the vital metrics such as daily active users, retention rate and the average time a user spends on your app.

  1. Not Focusing on the Scalability

Well, you never know you might get an expected tremendous response from the users as soon as you launch your product. You would say that this happens in the rarest of the rare cases. Anything can happen as nothing can be predicted for sure.

If your product tastes the sweetness of success in its first bite, you should have adequate scalability to handle the large number of audiences. So, when creating an MVP, look to craft a scalable product to deal with unexpected success.

  1. Not Fulfilling User Expectation

Many of the startups also fail to make their mark because they are unsuccessful in fulfilling the expectations of their users. They fail to include a significant feature that they were supposed to implement necessarily. As the result the user feels that the developer has not kept his word and walks away from your product never to return back.

Conclusion

The Minimum Viable Product or MVP is supposed to be the initial step or phase towards developing a successful mobile application. You are getting a good opportunity to test and know if your product idea is really feasible or not.

The MVP also offers you the scope of improving your product based on the feedback of the users. However, you need to take every step very carefully while building the MVP and avoid committing the common errors, which can lead to project failure.

About the author

— Mehul Rajput

Mehul is the CEO and co-founder of Mindinventory which specializes in Android and iOS app development. He also loves to blog and has written a myriad of articles related to mobile technologies, startups, entrepreneurship, and app development.

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