How MVP Design Can Serve Your Business: an Ultimate Guide
Having a brilliant idea for a business is exciting. But when aspired founders start thinking of bringing their solutions to the market, they often get discouraged. No wonder the stakes are high indeed.
The known statistics of startup failure prove that 9 out of 10 will fail eventually. The same concerns product giants that launch hundreds of products yearly, yet even experienced product teams can’t foresee which idea is viable.
That’s why the MVP (a minimum viable product) idea has become so popular and proven to be effective for over twenty years. The most reasonable first step on this journey is MVP design.
As a design and development company, Limeup has created multiple MVP product designs for startups and established businesses worldwide.
In this article, we will explain what is MVP in design and how to design an MVP. And most importantly, you will find out how it can help your business.
But first, let’s refresh our memory and turn to the basics.
What is a minimum viable product?
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a version of the product with a minimum set of core features. It is one of the most widely used and effective methods to test a business idea and gather initial feedback from users.
The term MVP was introduced in 2001 by Frank Robinson, the CEO of SyncDev company. Ten years later, Eric Ries, the author of the iconic book “Lean Startup,” developed the MVP idea and highlighted its effectiveness for startup companies. Since then, the method has become very popular and has helped many companies launch products quickly, hear users’ opinions, and adjust to their needs. Such a flexible approach is undoubtedly the main characteristic of MVP.
So why is it a good idea for a product business to start with an MVP? Here are the most compelling reasons:
- MVP proves the product idea is viable. Users give feedback on whether they will use it. Founders can test assumptions and verify if the business idea has potential.
- MVP saves time. Founders can pivot early if the product idea is not viable, while the product team doesn’t waste time implementing irrelevant solutions. The creation of an MVP perfectly fits the agile concept.
- MVP saves money. MVP product design and development need less initial investment than launching a full product.
- MVP is an efficient way to develop on the go or even start monetizing early while developing your product.
MVP website design example that became a success
Unsurprisingly, global companies with a unicorn status, including Uber, Dropbox, Figma, Airbnb, and Slack, entered the business world with minimum viable versions of their products.
For example, Airbnb founders, struggling with paying their rent, decided to launch a simple landing page. Seeing the opportunity in the market, they offered to rent air mattress accommodation in San Francisco during the big design conference. That, in fact, was their MVP web design, from which they rapidly learned and grew.
The first version of the Airbnb website design.
Airbnb website had a basic functionality offering to list the air mattress for conference guests and contained lots of advertisements. The MVP web design was typical for a website of those days.
The product went through many changes, pivoting to adjust to the market, and it became one of the most-used touristic platforms.
Airbnb’s example proves that MVP user experience design can initially be quite simple, but it should develop according to the users’ needs.
And this is only one of the possible scenarios of how a minimal product can lead a startup to success. In the last twenty years, the concept of MVP has had many variations.
What types of MVPs are there?
Besides classical MVP, you can also hear about some alternatives:
- MLP (minimum lovable product) is a set of minimum features with an emphasis on design and marketing to attract and win customers.
- MMP (minimum marketable product) is the product’s core feature that serves users.
- MAP (minimum acceptable product) is a more advanced version with more features available. The purpose of this still immature product is to demonstrate product capacities and its quality.
This list is not exclusive. You can bump into other abbreviations related to the minimum viable product concept. In this article, however, we will use the term MVP and talk about it from the design perspective.
What is MVP design?
Seeing something once is more effective than hearing a wordy explanation. This statement expresses the idea of MVP UX UI design very well. Instead of telling people what the idea of your product is, you can just show it to them.
MVP design has several deliverables that correlate with your business milestones:
- A high-fidelity wireframe is a black-and-white simplified demonstration of how the screens of the future product will look and where the main UI elements will be placed. This simplest design deliverable can’t be an MVP design yet, but it’s a starting point. You can show wireframes to test user groups and get the earliest feedback, based on which your design team will create more detailed designs.
- A mockup is a screen design of the product, a very detailed representation of the user interface of the future application. Mockups are an important base for your very first pitch or marketing campaign.
- A prototype is one of the most effective MVP application design deliverables. The prototype is the design of all the screens of the future product. A prototype provides a look and feel of your future product. With that, you can move forward, and your product can get the first business results.
For MVP marketing, design plays an essential role because to make users love your product, you need to attract them with great designs. However, MVP app design is not just the screens you can show people. It is also a complex process of designing an information architecture and the user experience behind it.
In fact, MVP UX is no less important. When building a product from scratch, you need to involve designers as early as possible to help you create the product with user needs in mind.
Our design team is eager to share some behind-the-scenes of what MVP in design is and how to create one, so keep reading.
How to design an MVP?
We at Limeup have a well-established process for creating MVPs for startups. Although there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, we stick to time-tested methodologies and best practices when designing MVPs.
Our product design starts with brainstorming sessions of product teams and goes through all stages of the classical UX process:
- Defining a problem and solidifying the idea of a product is the first step for designers. At this stage of designing MVP, design thinking and other methodologies play a major role.
- UX research follows: gathering information about competitors and users.
- Analysis and plan: we draw conclusions from the research and work on the informational architecture for future MVP UX design.
- Prototyping: this is the stage where we design user flows and create the first versions of MVP UI design.
- Testing: prototype design goes through various usability tests and gets design feedback from the product team, stakeholders, and end-users.
- Iterations: with every iteration, we design more features or change and polish the design until it reaches the desired goals.
This is basically how the MVP design is born. Modern rapid prototyping tools in the hands of skilled designers make the process of MVP design as fast as never before. The result is ready to serve your business needs.
How your business can benefit from MVP design
Startups need to raise venture investment with a raw idea. Established product companies strive to launch their products fast and prove they are viable. For both, MVP design is a quick and effective way to start early, gather valuable feedback, and build a product people will actually use.
With MVP design, your company can:
- start marketing campaigns;
- pitch your product idea to venture capital;
- collaborate more effectively with the development team;
- start getting feedback from users.
You can achieve it without writing a single line of code. Sounds exciting? Well, there are dozens of examples of when MVP software design saved the day for companies. And we have one such case in our portfolio too.
How MVP design can accelerate business growth
The story of Raccoon Recovery, a startup from the USA, is an excellent example of how MVP software design can boost your product success.
Racoon Technologies contacted us to help them design their platform that assists patients who recover after injuries and surgeries. The client required a minimum viable product design and software development for their new healthcare product.
We started the process with the informational architecture of the product:
We created the informational architecture for the Racoon Recovery platform.
The Racoon Recovery solution was expected to enable patients to receive innovative digitalized recovery from the comfort of their homes. We started to design an MVP with this primary goal in mind.
We helped the client’s team to design the set of core features:
- Intuitive user onboarding, which does not overwhelm users but familiarizes them with the product.
- The main product page, from where users can easily navigate the platform.
- A patient’s profile, which serves as a patient’s medical card.
- A feature that checks if the perform users perform the recovery exercises correctly and tracks their progress.
- A wallet for money transactions.
- Customization features that let people personalize their experience with the platform and apply different colors and themes to get more personalized recovery space.
- The support page, as well as the community chat, are available in MVP design too.
The patient’s profile page on the Racoon Recovery platform.
We achieved the goal of creating a user-friendly and intuitive user experience for the platform. The seamless user experience design of MVP allows patients to concentrate on their recovery without wasting time on learning the platform.
Soon after we designed an MVP for the RacoonTech product, the company received a € 700,000 grant for their business growth.
Our professionals work with UK-based clients and small and established companies worldwide. If you need help with MVP design and development, contact us. We are ready to help you with your project.
5 tips for excellent MVP design
Dos and don’ts of designing a minimum viable product.
1. Design a ready-to-use MVP
You are ready to launch an MVP when your product has a core set of features ready. For some products, the core will be just a landing page. Others need a fully designed and developed solution. Very simple or more advanced, but it should be the essence of your solution. So focus on the core value of your product.
2. Design, build and launch fast
One of the most common mistakes is spending too much time on MVP design and development. A delayed launch is against the idea of a minimal version of the product. The primary purpose of MVP UX design is not a finished and polished solution but honest feedback from users about the product idea.
3. Gather and use early feedback
The good news is that you don’t need to wait until launch to test your business assumptions and hear users’ opinions. You can and need to get early feedback about your product idea with MVP design. Test high-fidelity prototypes with the target audience. Use the information you received to improve your product precisely in the way your users need it.
4. Work iteration by iteration
An iterative product design process allows your design team to work faster, test results, and improve their design ideas on the go.
5. Continue improving your product after the launch
Minimum product design is a start but definitely not a finish. Developing your product starts with MVP design. So, keep improving your product by adding new features, optimizing user flows, and implementing users’ feedback.
Now that you know what MVP in UX design is, you might wonder how much money you need to invest in it and, most importantly, whether it will save your resources.
How much does MVP development cost?
The data you might find on the Internet about the financial side of building a minimum viable product varies. The reason is that minimum viable products can be very different. For some products, an MVP can even be an explanatory video or a landing page.
Let’s take companies that create a ready-to-use solution MVP for a mobile app or a web platform with a minimum set of the most critical features. In this case, we should calculate the costs of product design.
The cost of MVP application development varies between $20,000 and $40,000.
Of course, factors like the country, the level of the design team you choose to work with, and the nature and complexity of your solution will also influence the price.
You can get in touch with our team to learn more about the MVP development price quote considering your individual project’s specifics.
It’s also important to mention that MVP software design is a safe bet and gives you the room to pivot or adjust your solution based on initial feedback before you move on to the development stage. Therefore, you can save time and cost since you won’t invest in developing features you don’t need.
Need help with MVP design and development?
To mitigate risks and test assumptions about your product idea, start with a trusted method of MVP. A minimum version of the product with only the most important features will help you gather feedback from the market early on.
It’s crucial for your business not to waste time and resources and be as lean as possible, building your product in accordance with users’ needs. The good news is that you can get valuable opinions or pitch your product to investors before diving into MVP app development.
You can start with design and move step-by-step, collecting feedback and learning from your users. Such a lean approach ensures your product will be aligned with the market needs and will avoid pitfalls that await new digital products.
To design a great MVP, rely on the best UX and UI practices, follow the product design process, and trust only experienced and skilled designers.
If you are looking for UX/UI professionals to help you with MVP design, contact us. We are ready to discuss your current challenges and define the next steps.