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The Art of Defining an MVP through Design Thinking
The idea of a minimum viable product (MVP) and design thinking has been a buzzword for a while. A minimum viable product (MVP) is a version of a product that has only enough features for early consumers to use and provide feedback for future development processes. On the other hand, Design thinking is a method of resolving an issue that begins with determining the problem and what people require, then developing an idea, followed by evaluating whether or not it works.
Let’s take a closer look at defining the MVP by detailing the end-to-end process and how MVP maximizes ROI.
MVP and ROI
MVP allows businesses to start small and scale up to produce more refined products over time. Every upgrade raises the product’s return on investment and brings it one step closer to fully developed applications. Time and resources are always limited in business; thus, optimizing the return on invested resources is always a priority.
In terms of business, an MVP can increase Return on Investment (ROI) by providing:
- Better prioritizing of what needs to be constructed initially.
- Information about what does not need to be constructed
- Relevant feedback on initial release core features
- Feedback on the features which are planned to implement in the next 3-6 months that is relevant.
The MVP is the sweet spot between ROI and risk, which is directly proportional to effort and time to market.
Approach to defining MVP development process:
The process starts with a kick-off, followed by a sequence of activities concluding with a workshop showcase as outlined below:
In between the idea and launch of MVP, product vision helps to walk the initial path. It defines the essence of business value and reflects a clear and compelling message to customers. Product goals from the team are discussed to reach a consensus on what is essential.
To effectively identify the features of a product, it is essential to keep users and their goals in mind. A persona creates a realistic representation of users, helping the team describe features from the point of view of those who will interact with the final product. A persona also represents a product user, defining their role, characteristics, and needs.
This step describes a user’s journey through a sequence of steps to reach a goal. Some of these steps represent points of contact with the product, characterizing the person’s interaction with it.
In this step, a feature description is tested, which must be as simple as possible, aiming to meet a business goal, a person’s need, and/or contemplating a step in the journey.
Technical, Business, and UX Review
This review discusses how the team feels about each feature’s technical, business, and UX feasibility. This activity clarifies new, and the disagreements and doubts become more apparent.
By prioritizing features, teams can organize, plan and view features to carry out incremental validations of the product.
This is the last stage before the showcase, where the visual chart is created that helps the team to align and define the MVP.
It’s important to note that design thinking adds a lot of value to the MVP development process by:
- Aiding in the creation of a product that provides genuine value to people.
- Encouraging businesses to try out the MVP as often as possible.
- Promoting innovative ideas and solutions through research.
The concept of a minimal viable product advises that businesses shouldn’t spend too much time and money on an MVP development process unless they are convinced that the market needs the answer it is offering.
Businesses that use a design thinking approach are more likely to create something larger than a minimal viable product and may even create a minimum loveable product. The Minimum Lovable Product creates something that users will fall in love with emotionally and eagerly awaiting the product’s full release. Customers do not want their demands to be met; instead, they want to be delighted. They don’t just want to utilize the product; they want to adore it; thus, MLP sees a promising future.
About the author
Sameeksha Nath is an Assistant Product Manager with the Design Thinking practice at Accolite Digital.
This article was originally published in Marketing in Asia.
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