5 Benefits of MVPs in Mobile App Development
Mobile apps are ubiquitous today. Below are 5 major benefits of implementing the MVP approach in the app development process.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Mobile apps are ubiquitous today. Businesses use them to increase their presence, seamlessly connect with their customers, and deliver an enhanced self-service experience to them. While apps have the potential to boost the profitability of a business, there exist certain concerns with respect to their development.
Firstly, it requires a considerable amount of time and money which keeps increasing as you introduce more features. Secondly, there always remains to be apprehension as to whether the app will be successful. One can never be certain that users are going to like it.
To tackle these concerns, many businesses are turning towards the concept of MVP or Minimum Viable Product. The MVP is a complete product equipped with all the fundamental features needed for the app to run. It only involves the core functionality to address user needs and doesn't include any proposition beyond that. Simplistic in design, an MVP is an easy-to-use offering.
Under MVP methodology, you add features in the app in stages, the next stage being more advanced than the previous one. This helps you ensure you're not using all the resources in a single stage and allocating them wisely to earn optimum ROI on them. In addition to this, it lets you gather crucial reviews from real customers without a high degree of risk.
You might feel that the MVP skips several important functionalities and comes as an incomplete offering. But MVP, in no manner, means a substandard or incomplete product. On the contrary, it's a complete product at every stage and continues to evolve as it reaches the next stage. Instagram, Uber, Facebook, and many other big businesses are perfect case studies for how MVP can be instrumental in success.
If you're planning to build an app for your customers, you may want to understand why MVP is indispensable today. Below are 5 major benefits of implementing the MVP approach in the app development process.
1. Living up to Expectations
When you understand the basic needs of the app users and develop the app around them, you have better chances of meeting their expectations. MVP allows you to set practical targets. Thus, there are the least distractions for the developers which prevent delays as well as the possibility of an underdeveloped app.
Keeping minimal features in the app eliminates the chances of complexities. They can start enjoying its benefits right away without having to struggle with extravagant navigation.
When you develop the app using the MVP approach and the users start using it, they realize it offers what it promises. This builds their trust for you and leads to customer loyalty.
2. Faster Time-to-market
The market is highly competitive and at the same time, unpredictable. Any unnecessary delay may not only prevent you from the first-mover advantage but it will also strengthen the possibility of a costly mistake. With more features you intend to add to the app, it will take longer to reach the market. It will also cost your resources without even being sure whether the user community is going to like it.
An MVP approach will enable you to launch a clean app with minimal features in the shortest time. The developers will be able to deliver it faster. It will allow you to collect user reviews quickly and release the app again with a more accurate value-proposition.
3. Quicker App Review
An app is successful only if it's able to serve the objectives of users. And what better way can be there to test this than getting the feedback directly from the end-users? MVP gives you a quick and complete idea of what features of the app users find useful and what features can be done away with. Based on the gaps you identify, you can add the required features to meet the user's expectations. Since MVP only offers the basic features, the users will be quick to realize what new features have been added in the new version and whether those features are helpful.
On the other hand, a heavily stuffed app may not provide you with enough to make adjustments based on user opinions. This, in turn, can fail to garner user interest and affect your relationship with them negatively.
4. Scope to Provide More User Value
MVP works in phases where each phase is assured of the efficacy of the previous one and offers superior value in terms of solutions, UX, security parameters, visuals, etc. It gives developers an opportunity to introduce incremental benefits with each version. They're able to keep the core functionality of the app in place while upgrading it in subsequent stages. MVP also assures that the risk of bugs in every next stage remains minimum. So, not only does your product remain relevant to user needs, but it also sets the benchmark high for your competitors.
When a version has fewer features, it's relatively easy to remove the futile ones or upgrade the existing ones as required. Since the pace of development is gradual, you'll also have access to the latest technologies available to introduce innovative features in the app.
5. Remember: Only Include What Users Want
While designing the app, you may get numerous flashes of apparently wonderful ideas. You may want to add vibrant visuals and flashy graphics to make the app look more presentable, or to appeal to prospective users. As much as presentability is important, this is an area where app developers often make a mistake.
You need to keep in mind that your core offering is the value to users. They aren't going to pay for stylish layout but for what they get out of the app. All the value-addition will be of no use if the app fails to offer what they're expecting out of it.
Study your target market thoroughly and understand what its needs are. That should work as the core of your app development. Carefully plan the layout and measure the ROI of each dollar spent on the development and marketing.
Once the app is developed the way you planned, roll it out and collect feedback from the early users. Make required updates in the app based on user feedback; confirm it is able to deliver the value the users are paying for, and release it again.
READ MORE: How an MVP Helps Accelerate Agile Development.
MVP is Optional
Clearly, MVP can be a big bundle of benefits. However, it's also important to note that it's only a part of the app development and is totally optional. It may not be suitable for all types of app development. Its feasibility depends on your business goals.
However, if have a resource constraint and intend to launch the app at the earliest, MVP is the recommended path for you. Additionally, if you're looking at the scalability of the project, MVP is going to be a highly effective method. It also gives you more flexibility to make quick upgrades in the app according to user feedback.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.