Every day, entrepreneurs come up with new, unique ideas and figure out how to make them a reality. The trick to achieving your goals is to plan product development to save time and resources without compromising the product USP.
Developing a minimum viable product (MVP) allows entrepreneurs to create working software and get a clear view of the market. Testing and validating your MVP is a way to ensure that you are not wasting valuable resources on a product that does not target a viable market or is not technically feasible.
To get customer buy-in and validate the usability of your product, you need to start with one level of testing and move on to the next. Testing is used to validate basic functional elements such as user integration and functionality, and can help create a solid minimum viable product while keeping cost constraints in mind.
Therefore, it is not enough to create an MVP; it is also important to have a test plan for the MVP validation model. A company may believe that the product will meet the needs of its customers, but it cannot say for sure until the MVP is tested successfully.
Highlights of Contents
Who is the target audience for your MVP validation?
Here are three potential audiences for your MVP validation process
Early Adopters – They are the first customers to feel the need for the product. Early adopters are always willing to provide feedback and tend to avoid mistakes.
Evangelists – The subject matter experts or domain experts of the MVP scrutinize each element and its functionality and prepare a detailed report about it. Evangelists are interested in tracking the development of the product from early stages to the final product.
Potential investors are experts in testing your product so they can invest in your product idea. Now that you understand what an MVP is and the target audience for MVP validation, it’s time to discuss the best MVP testing methods to develop a successful and viable product.
Benefits of MVP
1. Winning the support of stakeholders/investors
In many cases, enterprises rely on the support of stakeholders or investors to secure funding and launch a mobile project. The key to gaining this support is to build confidence in the product you are bringing to market and its ability to deliver the desired results (e.g. increase revenue, decrease time to market, etc.). Developing an MVP is an effective way to ensure this acceptance as it allows you to test your idea before approaching investors. This ensures that when you do, you will have a solid case to prove the product’s market validity.
The key advantage of an MVP is that it not only proves the merits of the product, but also provides a physical product that stakeholders can see and use. In addition, if investors get on board, the product can be brought to market and stakeholders do not have to wait months to get a return on their investment.
2. Testing the business concept
The best thing about developing an MVP is that it allows you to test your business concept. By offering a basic set of features rather than a full, feature-rich product, you can see if your product concept resonates with your target audience. This allows you to change the direction of the product based on your findings.
When the product is launched, you can determine the most active users and how they interact with the app. This information can be used to customize the app’s features to better meet the needs of these users. For a product with many features, it’s much harder to change anything – you may even have to redesign the entire app.
Instagram is an example of a brand using its MVP for this purpose. Originally, Instagram’s core idea included a GPS feature. But after launching the service, the leader decided to change the concept based on the information gathered from user feedback.
3. Strengthening market demand
MVP is all about testing; see what works and what doesn’t. In some ways, MVP is more an attempt to gain an understanding of market demand than an attempt to sell or acquire customers.
Often companies believe their product meets a specific customer need. However, this may not be true; either because the need does not exist or because there is already a solution in the market. The key to an app’s success is to conduct user research to ensure that your product provides a solution that your customers have already expressed a need for.
MVP allows you to do this. You can determine if potential users need your product and will use it without having to make a significant investment. Then, based on your findings, you can modify your product design to create greater market differentiation, or propose a new concept.
4. Develop a monetisation strategy
Products must be profitable. When it comes to mobile apps, building a sustainable revenue stream involves defining a mobile app monetization strategy. However, since many app monetization strategies have proven to be effective, it is sometimes difficult to decide which one is the best.
With so many considerations, it’s possible to believe one strategy will work but be wrong. Again, the best way to test your hypothesis is by using MVP. For example, if your app monetization strategy is based on in-app purchases, you can use MVPs to test whether your users are willing to pay for upgrades and add-ons. If the results show that users aren’t buying as much as you assumed, that’s an indication that you need a different monetization strategy.
5. User experience and usability testing
Creating a mobile product that engages users deeply can be difficult. According to AppFlyer, 50% of apps are uninstalled within a month of being downloaded. On the other hand, 90% of users who work with an app – even if only once a week – keep the app.
Retaining users by delivering consistent value is a major goal of UX design. With MVP, the potential of the product is tested through the engagement, longevity, and lifetime value of the app. With Minimum Viable Product, you can collect data and insights on how users interact with your product to gauge how quickly they understand the purpose and flow of the product.
21 Proven Ways to Test Your MVP
There are many strategies for testing minimum viable products, but in this article we’ll discuss the best proven strategies to ensure your MVP meets user needs and quality standards.
Crowdfunding is one way you can test whether your app will do well in the market. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are full of MVPs that get funding from people who think the product is interesting enough. This exposes your product to a group of interested and active users. These interested users are the evangelists and investors who effectively test your MVP. The money raised from these platforms will help build the final product to be brought to market.
Having a blog is like having a platform for two-way communication with potential users of your product. This is the most critical and essential aspect that allows open communication between the product team and marketing experts. A blog is a way to discuss and gather feedback about your product. It allows you to see how enthusiastic users are about the product and thus have a realistic view of the product.
- Customer interviews
Face-to-face conversations with customers can provide the most honest feedback. People can lie or gloss over things online, but when it comes to face-to-face feedback, it becomes very honest. Customer interviews are usually conducted in a casual but fairly descriptive manner. The interviewer states hypothetical questions to get the same feedback.
Obviously, if a picture can say a thousand words, a video can say millions. Developers can use explainer videos to show what the product does and answer questions like what, how and why. At the end of the video, the viewer gets a clear picture of what the product is, how it works, and why we need it. dropbox is one such example, they use video to collect subscriptions for a product that doesn’t even exist.
Pre-orders are quite popular for books, gadgets and other interesting products. When it comes to pre-orders, the goal is to convince users with your product so that they will pay in advance. However, chances are that consumers don’t want to risk their money before the product is born. For this reason, the presentation of the product should be as appealing as possible.
Oculus Rift is a prime example of this approach, as they launched a pre-order page for their development kits before they even started production. This helped them outline and validate their ideas by analyzing the product requirements.
- Social media research
Social media and surveys are quick and easy and in most cases provide honest feedback. Of course, they are effective when focused on a few right questions that are short and quick and elicit a high response rate. Facebook surveys, for example, have a feature that allows users to add their own options as answers, which can provide interesting insights. Another good reason for using social media surveys is that users don’t have to go out and complete the survey.
- Paper prototypes
Unlike digital prototypes, these are tangible and inherently inexpensive. Paper prototypes are created to understand the user experience of the product. Any team member who can use these prototypes will be able to understand how the product works. This is very useful for physical products like phones, tables, chairs, etc.
- Send an email
Sending emails to see how many users click on the link or follow the email is another way to test the MVP. However, it works best when you already have a list of potential leads. For each email campaign, make sure you track and analyze key metrics such as click-through rates, open rates, bounce rates, and click-through rates to your retargeted links. You can use email marketing tools or built-in plugins to effectively track metrics in real time.
- Landing Pages
A landing page is the first page where potential customers learn about your business. A landing page can show customer interest by the way they act and interact on the page. After creating a landing page, it should always be tracked and analyzed using tools such as Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, etc.
- Competitive products in the market
There is a good chance that the product you plan to launch is already in the marketplace. Don’t feel bad because this is an opportunity to test your MVP at a lower cost since you already have a product to compare. Try to analyze your competitor’s product and see what it has that your product does not. In addition, knowing the unique features of your product can help you be the strongest player in the competition.
- A/B Testing
A/B testing is a way to check if one version of a page is more effective than another. This test can be performed on a web page where two different versions of the same page are randomly presented to visitors. Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, Unbounce, etc., can then be used to collect and analyze interaction information.
- Partial MVP
A piecemeal MVP means building a demo version of the product using existing tools. Instead of investing resources and time to develop something yourself, you can use existing platforms, tools and services to build an MVP.
For example, Groupon is the best example of a minimal viable fractional MVP product. what Groupon does is build a WordPress site using Apple Mail and AppleScript to generate PDFs for orders. This makes building an MVP far less effort and costly than expected.
- PPC campaigns
It may be illogical to run a PPC campaign, but you need to use at least one PPC campaign to effectively validate your actual MVP offering.
You can reach your desired target audience with the right demographics, and it helps to test the most engaging features of your MVP. As a start, you can offer $100 and see the results. If your MVP doesn’t bring in any leads, then either your ad is wrong or your idea is not good enough.
The downside of general surveys is that they take too long and sometimes become quite tedious for online users. Users either skip the survey or fill it out in a hurry, so they don’t give accurate results. With micro-surveys, you can ask several questions from the MVP survey and get honest answers. Micro-surveys contain two to three questions that are easy for online users to answer and are very quick in nature.
- Advertising campaigns
Platforms such as Google and Facebook are preferred for advertising campaigns. Before launching a product, you can place an ad to see how many users engage with it. Using the dashboard, you can track and analyze click-through rates, engagement, and other important behaviors.
- Services and platforms
Using SaaS and PaaS to build your MVP can help you test your MVP well. with a variety of choices, building becomes easier and faster. These software and platforms also help increase the impact of your product. Often, the issues that MVP developers face, such as app compatibility, mobile-friendly design, and other code-related issues, can be eliminated since these tools already take care of them.
- Hand-first MVP
Manual-first MVP (Wizard of Oz) is a way to interact with real customers rather than conducting online surveys. This MVP testing technique shows a complete picture of the product you deliver manually when the consumer orders it. In this validation of the MVP idea, the user gets what they see. Although it requires a lot of effort, it is worth it to do the proper validation.
- Butler MVP
Concierge MVP testing is similar to manual MVP testing, but instead of the product being faked, it is real. This MVP tests and answers the question of whether consumers are willing to use and pay for your product. Rent the Runway, an online dress rental company, tested its business model with this MVP. They were able to find the right answers that helped them develop a successful product to market.
- Digital Prototypes
Digital prototypes can be used to digitally demonstrate the actual product. Wireframes can represent products such as apps, games, etc. These prototypes can be anything from screenshots to digital sketches and app mockups that will validate the user experience on different levels. A startup app development company can easily help you create digital prototypes with professional tools and validate your MVP with a reliable strategy.
- MVP for a feature
Sometimes testing your product’s single most powerful feature will lead to the best conversions. Getting feedback on that one specific feature can help validate the product instead of focusing on multiple features at once. This also helps to narrow down your customer base and allows for better focus. This type of testing is considered one of the most recommended MVP testing strategies by MVP development companies.
- Software Testing
If nothing works, there are various software available for the MVP testing process. MVP software can help you get the correct structure or placement of elements, but your primary audience is right there and their feedback is the best validation of your product. Software such as QuickMVP, OpenHallway, Five-second test, Justinmind, InVision, etc. are some of the best software for testing MVPs.
I hope you already have an idea of how to measure the success of your MVP. However, creating and testing an MVP will inevitably take time and resources, but it should never be considered a waste. It is a coherent build-measure-learn process until you have developed the best version of your MVP or validated your core application idea. After all, what if you end up bringing a product or service to market that no one wants? Use the MVP testing techniques described above to get the most out of your product. If you have further questions about how to test MVPs or want to get MVP development services in the US, you can hire software developers in India from a leading company.