Validate your app idea with an MVP
In the present era, the mobile app industry is growing at a voracious speed. With over 1,300 apps added to the Play Store every day, it is comfortable to say that the app market is currently among the fastest growing markets. The past few years have also seen a surge in mobile app usage. Research shows that the average smartphone user uses 30 mobile apps each month and that at least 57 percent of digital media usage now comes from mobile applications.
Despite these encouraging statistics, only a few developers succeed in creating an app that converts into a winning business. Many app creators jump on the mobile app bandwagon without proper market research and gauging the profitability of an app idea. Many tend to fall short radically even after investing ample resources on the final product.
It’s, therefore, necessary to test your app idea and find out if an app is worth investing in. The best way to do this is by validating your app idea with an MVP or the minimum viable product.
Below we discuss MVP, its importance for app startup, and how to use it to ensure that you’re on the right track in app development.
What is an MVP?
The Minimum Viable Product or shortly MVP is a minimal form of your product that allows you to learn about the user’s reaction to your product. It’s similar to a prototype, except that a prototype identifies problems and rectifies them at the initial stages of app development, an MVP process identifies users pain points after they test the app.
An MVP strategy allows you to build the basic version of your app and test it before developing the complete app. The idea is to develop an app with minimal functionalities, test it with a group of users, and then analyze the interactions between the product and the clients. It helps you leverage user intelligence and implement the necessary ideas to make the product as competitive as possible.
Importance of MVP for apps:
With the current cut-throat competition, the importance of MVP is more than ever. It offers the shortest route to reach the market and evaluate your product through real user experience. If the users are not happy with the app features, you realize that there is something wrong with the product that needs to be refurbished. You can test new app design ideas and new strategies to see users’ reaction to the product.
MVP takes most of the guesswork out of the equation. The app startup world has given us many apps which realize the importance of MVP. Airbnb, Dropbox, Amazon, and many other multi-billion dollar companies used MVP as a stepping stone to build the mega-giants that they are today. These companies first validated their concepts before they went big on their ideas. Take a look at the following perks, if you are still not convinced about using MVP for your app.
- MVP minimizes the failure risk
- It requires less investment
- It saves your time, efforts, and resources
- It helps to evaluate the app performance
- You get genuine users’ feedback about the app features
From diminishing the app failure risk to getting invaluable user feedback, these are some of the reasons that demonstrate the importance of MVP for apps. The following section walks you through building an MVP and using it to validate an app idea.
Validating your app idea with an MVP:
An MVP lets you test your app in its basic form with minimal functionalities. A developer may think that his/her app can satisfy the needs of the users, but you cannot be sure until and unless you run the MVP test. Let’s see how to do it.
The prototype MVP involves building a rough prototype of your app with basic features and minimal UI. The customers use the prototype, interact with it, and provide feedback. The feedback is analyzed, and decisions regarding the final product are taken according. The problem with the prototype MVP is that it may take longer to build one.
If you want customers to sign up without having an app, create a landing page that highlights the core features of your app. It should be a promotional landing page that asks for prospects’ email addresses to give them an offer or simply update them about the app development. Once you set up the landing page, you can use marketing campaigns to drive traffic to the page. The traffic on the landing page is an indication of the number of people interested in the app.
Single feature MVP:
Single feature MVP is considered as one of the best MVP testing strategies as it involves testing the one strongest feature of your product. It can prove effective and at times result in the best conversion. When you focus on a single main feature of the product, you get highly targeted feedback that allows you to develop the app better. It also helps you narrow down your customer base and focus on the main features of your app.
Similar to A/B testing on web pages, mobile apps A/B testing allows you to test various app experiences. It offers you statistical data that helps you to determine which app version leads to higher conversions. You can then use the actual data to make changes to the app and assess the impact of those changes with statistical confidence.
A developer, for instance, might use A/B testing to see how users interact with different banners in an app that includes in-app purchases for extra levels. The developer can then use the data and implement the findings to improve the overall conversion rate of the app.
Today, many app developers are launching their apps without realizing what the users think about the product. Hence, most of them fail to leave an impact on the market. Validating your app idea with an MVP helps you to gauge the profitability of the product before you spend your time and resources on it.
Audrey Throne is a mother of a 3-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about lifestyle, business, automotive, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.