So your idea for a new application is almost ready and you can’t wait till you see its icon on your smartphone and start making money on it. In the end, it’s been some time since it’s come to your mind… But hold on – time and budget needed to create your app has extended themselves with every new functionality that appeared down the road.
Then, your developer suggests you creating MVP, so you can not only see your sketches reified but also your clients can test your application while it’s still in the process of creation. But what does MVP really stand for? An how it can be helpful in your app development process?
MVP isn’t a code word for unfinished or less worthy project. It’s maximally refined and operational version of your application with limited functionality and more versatility in the field of future development. Cost of its creation is proportionally lower than the cost of fully functional application, yet it can be put on the market earlier. MVP not only gives you opportunity to see whether your developer really grasped your idea explained in specification and talks about development process but it also gives you many other benefits.
No. But usually there’s a really good reason behind creating a mobile app prototype, especially when your idea is very innovative or when it’s very complex and it can turn out that you don’t even need some of its functionalites. Sometimes simple solutions are the best ones.
There are a lot of benefits from such a solution. First of all, it minimizes chances that someone comes ahead of you with the same idea. Your project might be original, but you can’t be sure that some other person doesn’t work on something similar but hasn’t published it yet. It’s your chance: with MVP on the market you can be first and then invest money in your application and develop it further without a stress that you’ll waste your funds just because while you’ve been polishing your project up, someone presented almost the same one.
Speaking of development of your application, with MVP you can check whether your application will get any attention at all. If yes, you’ll get unique opportunity to probe expectations of clients toward your application and plan your next steps basing on that knowledge. Maybe it will turn out, that Facebook integration is in fact less important for users than logging with mail feature, that you haven’t planned at all?
Further development of your application usually comes along with even greater cost, which can be partially covered by revenue from putting your MVP on market (as long, as it’s a paid one). This way the large budget planned for project at the beginning isn’t as scary as it was at the beginning. A real profituum mobile 😉
Another vital benefit from creating MVP is a great saving of time and money.
Cost of creating MVP is approximately 30% of funds needed to develop a complete version of application with all functionalities. Of course, this number varies in every project, although the magnitude is usually the same. With that in mind, it might seem to be a little counterproductive to create Minimum Viable Product, although it can save a lot of trouble, if it comes out that our project isn’t as good as you thought and putting more money in the project equals wasting it. But always look on the bright side of life! If your application becomes a success, thanks to MVP you can plan your funds more accurately and know what to invest in not to lose money.
Time needed to create Minimum Viable Product is usually 40% of time needed to develop a fully functional application. As with funds, all depends on the project, but our experiences show that such approximation is in most cases right. The main rule stays the same: either you don’t waste time for a faulty project, or you can turn it in something better.
But sometimes it’s not as painful at it might seem at the first glance. For example, integration with Facebook and other social media. In fact, it’s even better to add such functionality when our application gains more users.
Sure, it’s good to have 4 payment options, but maybe for start 2 would be just enough? Think which of them are used most often and add others in the next stages. Maybe it won’t be even necessary?
Design is vital, especially when it comes to comfort and fun from usage of our application. Charming animations, unusual graphic effects – they all look good, draws attention, falls in memory, but they also take a lot of time and money. You can easily ignore it in your MVP, leaving raw design and get a chance to surprise users in the next stage of project.
Geolocation – it might be hard to leave it behind in some projects, because sometimes it’s the core functionality and creating application without it would be pointless. However, sometimes it’s just another very helpful feature, but not an essential one. In such case, the answer to the question „Should I ignore it in my MVP?” is simple: yes.
Android, iOS, Windows Phone… Usually there is no need to create application for all platforms at the same time. Porting application from one platform to another isn’t anything strange and we shouldn’t be afraid of it.
It might be tempting to leave some of the security solutions out of the MVP. However, it’s a very delicate matter, especially in application that has access to sensitive user data. Skipping security functionalities is not advisable and you should think it thoroughly before making such a decision.
Time – it will take definately more time to finish whole app than putting MVP on the market.
Idea – someone might create MVP of similar application before you’ll finish yours.
Money – for functionalities, that might turn out to be not necessary. The best verification of their usefullness is the opinion of users.
Whether MVP will fulfill all expectations, will be a good indicator of market needs etc. is all determined by its quality. Smoothness of your application or its aesthethics aren’t something that can be omitted and usually they need to be adressed with same level of attention as a complete application. Without quality, MVP becomes monstrosity.
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