Get User Feedback FAST with an MVP

Cris and Andrew get passionate about the value that MVPs bring your product. In this episode of Tech Tuesday, they describe different kinds of MVPs and how they allow you to iterate on your project quickly to maximize your success. Save time. Save money. Discover what your user base wants and needs as early as possible.

First we want to define the difference between UI and UX. As Andrew explains, UX stands for user experience and it has to do with how the interacts and feels about your app, where as UI, user interface, describes the design choices like colors, fonts, and layout that you’ve chosen for your app. Both are very important, but today we are focusing on user experience.

User experience is relevant to your MVP in two ways. First is that UX may be among the items that you consider minimizing when building your minimum viable product. This is a conversation we have with clients a lot. There’s no right answer here and it really depends on the needs of your project, but we will discuss the options for how minimal or robust your UX needs to be on your very first release. Making sure that everyone is on the same page about what level is right for your project is important as clients then take their app to potential users and start getting feedback. Which brings us to the second way UX relates to your MVP. Ultimately, an essential goal for your MVP is to get even more information from your users about UX and then iterate upon that. This enables you to have the best app possible in the least amount of time on the slimmest budget. As Andrew summarizes it, “The MVP is going to drive what the user experience is going to look like and what users are going to see.”

At Bixly, this whole process of planning and executing an MVP, presenting it for user feedback, and continuing to iterate is highly collaborative. “We don’t expect clients to do that on their own. We ask them questions in their very early engagement to help focus them on where they need to go.” Andrew continues, We can help pull your success criteria out of you because ultimately you know your business, you know your clients, you know your industry.” By complementing your expertise in your vertical with our expertise in software, together we can truly arrive at the most successful version of your idea.

Finally, Cris and Andrew talk about different types of MVPs. There are options out there. The least amount of time and cost usually looks like what we call a “design MVP”. This is where we create wireframes and designs of the various screens for you app without actually coding or building any functionality. As Cris points out, these are often the best MVP for presenting to potential investors, who may not need to directly interact with version 1.0 to be able to determine whether or not they want to invest. The most common version of an MVP is a complete but minimal app. It is the most refined version of your app idea that is still cohesive and complete. This type of MVP is the one you want to build if you need to put it in front of users for feedback and testing, to being that iterative process of development. A more unusual MVP is one that we have come to call the “human MVP” and it is the process we went through for our app, Overflow. Not all apps are able to be tested this way, but it is a creative and low cost way to get valuable insight early on. The human MVP is when you use people to replicate the process that would be facilitated by an app. In the case of Overflow, this looked like our team taking orders from patrons at bars, using a third-party payment processor to accept payment from patrons, delivering the order information to bar tenders, and alerting patrons when their order was ready for pick up at a designated spot at the bar. All of these functions would ultimately be done from within the app, but by giving the process a trial run with people, we were able to discover a few frustrations or services we had overlooked.

If you feel you are ready to begin planning your MVP, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Set a free meeting with Cris today to begin the process of verifying your app idea and planning. In three months, you could have version one of your app ready to show to potential clients and investors!

Originally published at on November 11, 2020.

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