Four Main Types Of Minimum Viable Products And How They Can

Executive Director at GoodCore Software, a leading software development company based in the U.K.

Tech entrepreneurs and new business owners excel at identifying gaps in the market. They come up with the most brilliant product ideas to address the problems faced by their target audiences. The struggle often begins when they start working on shaping their ideas into full-fledged software products.

Financial shortfall is often cited as a primary cause of failure for small businesses. A limited supply of funds coupled with an urgency to launch a new software product in the market causes many startup founders to fail at the realization of their goals. This is where the different types of minimum viable products (MVPs) can help.

What is an MVP?

An MVP is a scaled-down or skeletal version of the originally envisioned idea of a software product. It usually has a limited number of features that are essential for laying the app’s foundation. This helps manage finances better and reduces the time it takes for you to launch your product.

There are several different approaches to MVP software development. Business owners choose the type of MVP that best matches their requirements and abilities. Let’s go over four popular types of MVP—two low- and high-fidelity types each—and their features.

1. Landing Page MVP: This type of MVP focuses on building an audience and gathering user feedback before the full product is released. You can use a landing page MVP (in addition to traditional research and marketing efforts) to test the viability of your product idea. You can build a landing page MVP by setting up a basic website (hence, the name) and evaluating the website visitors’ responses to the content you publish. This provides a great opportunity to sell your product before its creation.

After publishing some creative marketing copy and building interesting media content for the product you plan to offer, you can monitor user behavior and interactions. You can gauge which features the audience is most interested in by monitoring their scrolling or clicking patterns and finding out which pages they spend the most time on.

2. No-Product MVP: Like the landing page approach, the no-product or no-code MVP is also one of the low-fidelity types of MVP. It serves a similar purpose—validating the product idea. This includes marketing the product and gaining insights into customer behavior without coding the actual app. Because there is no development involved, the no-product MVP can take the shape of traditional no-tech or low-tech approaches, such as creative advertising campaigns on appropriate platforms, presentations, wireframes and even some basic prototypes or demos.

3. Single-Feature MVP: As its name suggests, this type of MVP focuses only on one key app feature or functionality. The single-feature MVP is considered a high-fidelity type of MVP, as the work that goes into developing the core functionality can be quite resource-intensive.

For this approach to work, you need to identify the feature that is pivotal to your app idea and how you can efficiently build the initial product around it. You can think of it this way: What is the primary function that you want your users to use the app for? Answering this question accurately tends to define the app’s core functionality. As the product’s user base grows, secondary features or other embellishments can be added.

4. Wizard-Of-Oz MVP: Much like the movie, the Wizard-of-Oz MVP presents an illusion to the viewer. The aim is the same—to determine whether or not a product idea will likely succeed.

Instead of investing time and money into a product with a complex back-end codebase, most of the effort goes into building a sophisticated front end that impresses the user and familiarizes them with the product. At the back end, you could have humans controlling the seemingly automated parts of the app. Once you have gained enough loyal returning visitors, you can conduct further rounds of development to incorporate more technological aspects into your product, such as AI automation or other complex algorithms.

How can an MVP help?

The different types of MVP approaches can all be very helpful in testing the market and generating critical user feedback, such as what the users like or dislike about your app. The feedback that you gather is then used to help refine your app in future phases of development.

This approach also helps control costs. Developing and launching an expansive app can be risky and quite expensive. An MVP, in contrast, is cheaper to develop. Money saved in the first phase can be used in later stages when you expand your app based on user feedback.

A targeted MVP software development approach can also reduce your time to market. In this highly competitive era, there are countless options available for all sorts of tech products. Thus, it can be crucial to release your product ASAP, which is what an MVP can help you achieve.


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