A minimum working solution (MVP) forces you to simplify, and think about what is actually the core of the product.
It is expensive to develop a finished digital product before you know whether it hits the mark with those who will use it. A ‘minimal viable product’ (MVP), or smallest working solution, forces you to simplify and think about what is actually the core of the product so that you can launch your answer quickly and cost-effectively. The MVP is an essential part of the Lean methodology. The purpose here is to optimize user-friendliness, without spending large resources on system development until you are completely sure of the product. Once you have created an MVP, the idea is to use this to actively test potential users, so that you can easily make changes based on feedback and wishes. Although this is a minimum solution in terms of functionality, it should not come at the expense of design and identity. It should look good and have a well-thought-out user interface, even if the functionalities are kept to a minimum. A common way to build an MVP is to create a clickable prototype, where the technology behind it is a makeshift, temporary solution, or in some cases non-existent. An MVP must therefore be good enough to provide the customer with value, but not necessarily a perfect solution. The alternative would have been to guess what the customer needs, spend a lot of time and resources developing this, and then risk the customer’s needs being completely different. For completely new and innovative products, a good MVP can also be used to reveal whether your solution actually has the right to life, based on the interest in the market. Think MVP when developing new solutions We often recommend our customers think MVP in projects that involve new solutions. For some of our projects, where we have built completely new digital products, we have benefited greatly from developing an MVP first. A good example is Crescat, where we were to create a platform to simplify the production of events. There we started with a simple solution to bring in the first customers, who became involved in the further development of the solution. If we had made the answer 100% complete in the first phase, we would most likely have developed a lot of functionality that the customers do not need. Read more about this here. The biggest challenge with an MVP is mapping which functionality is “need to have” and which is “nice to have”. It is important that you gain a good insight into the users’ needs before you start with the design and development of an MVP. This can be done through interviews and clarification of needs with potential customers. After this, you should start with sketches, preferably by thinking about concept development and lean UX.