designJuly 24, 2018
An introduction to MVP websites
If you hold an interest in website design, you might have heard of the term MVP website being used around; in articles, blogs or videos.
But if you’ve always been intimidated and confused by the term and thought of MVP as some complex mumbo jumbo in the website design world, don’t worry. In this blog, I seek to walk you through an introduction of MVP – its meaning, process and benefits.
By the end of this article, you will have a fair idea of the term. In subsequent blogs, we will then delve a little bit deeper into the world of MVP websites.
Let’s get started!
MVP stands for Minimum-Viable Product.
Now, even with the extension, we might see a slight definition of the term. So basically, an MVP is a product that comes with the least enough features such that it satisfies an initial list of customers and accepts feedback for future development.
The definition of a MVP is best explained through this image.
Original illustration by Henrik Kniberg explaining the Minimum Viable Product
So, if your product is a car, for your MVP , you start by building a two wheeler skateboard.
Why is building a wheel not an MVP?
Because, a wheel is not viable or functional. It does not in any way represent the basic functionalities of your final product; the car. A wheel is of no use to a customer. It is not saleable.
A skateboard with two wheels, on the other hand, is an MVP because it comprises of the minimum features that your final product will have. And it is saleable to an initial customer base.
Now, let’s take this analogy to designing an MVP website.
Let us assume your idea is to build a highly functional website to sell a product.
What you would want to do is build an MVP website that will comprise of the minimum amount of content, design and interaction elements that is necessary for a user to buy the product. And you will make your website live with these features only.
So, your MVP could simply be a landing page with a “Buy now” button and contact form. Or it might be a catalog of your product with an “Add to Cart” button.
Your MVP should have everything it needs to be saleable and not more. Makes sense?
Now, what happens after your MVP website goes live?
You let your users engage with with it and gather the data about their experience.
There are tools available in the market that lets you receive feedback from your clients or customers and/or gather data about how they used the first iteration of your website.
The feedback from your first iteration will give you an idea about what works and what does not on your website’s usability. Based on this data and feedback, you reiterate and make changes to your website design. Then you re-test it.
The first release of your MVP website is essential for you. It gives you the opportunity to learn what your ideal customer base wants from your product.
An MVP website is not created in a hurry. Neither is it the raw version of your final website.
An MVP is a teared down version of your final website. You spend minimum time on its development but it has to have all its necessary key features that define its usability.
Now that you know the meaning of MVP, let us look at the benefits of creating a MVP website.
Benefits of MVP website
- You can test whether the product in your vision is appealing enough for the user
- You can gather information about potential clients and look for early adopters
- You can reduce the product launch time by concentrating on only the key features.
- You can have multiple iterations of your product development and find out which one performs the best.
- You can save up on a lot of money by not building a full fledged product that might eventually fail in the market.
An MVP website is a crucial step in a website development process. It is developed with the intention of seeing how users would react and interact with it so that appropriate changes can be made.
An MVP website has enough value that people are willing to use it initially.
In subsequent articles, we will look into how to begin designing your first MVP and some MVP design tips that should be followed.
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