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How to Design and Build a Minimum Viable Product?

If you want success, you need to design and build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). And don’t be scared by the complexity of this term. In this article, you will learn the nuts and bolts of MVP and how to enter the market having your homework done.

Why do you need MVP? You need it because it will help you understand what to focus on and whether it’s worth spending. MVP will help you assess your risks and estimate your gains even before you launch your product-idea in the market. Given the significance of MVP for product development, let us look at the ways how to design and build MVP. We will also talk about the cost and where to find the best agencies for MVP development. This article is a short but information-rich piece for developers and entrepreneurs interested in MVP development.

Let's get to the point and answer the question ''What is MVP app development?''

What is MVP App Development?

Essentially, MVP app development is the process when the core functionalities of a product are developed and tested. It is the skeleton of your product or, expressed differently, the bricks of your building. It conditions all other functionalities of your product and preconditions your success or failure. That's how important MVP app development is.

Before we move on to our next section, let us ask a simple question. What is the secret behind the success of giant companies like Airbnb? Surprisingly, it’s not big bucks or a valuable experience. Most of them were developed by amateurs. In fact, Airbnb was founded by two youngsters who bought a few airbeds and quickly put up a site called “Air Bed and Breakfast.”

So, what’s the secret?

The thing is that a lot of giant companies never launched anything on a big scale before it was tested. Amazon, Uber, Facebook, and many others were concerned about the effectiveness of their product and asked the right questions. What to focus on and what to ignore? What value does it bring to my customers? What modifications do I need to make to stand out? And finally, what if it doesn’t work?

To answer these questions, they designed and built MVP before they started large-scale investment.

We can now define MVP to make things clear. MVP app development is the process when a company builds core features and tests them in real life. By doing so, they do not waste resources. And most importantly, they make sure that their product or service excels in comparison with all other similar services and products available in the market.

Excited to make a mark in the market? Move on reading this article. We are going to guide you through the whole process.

Detailed Guide to Developing an MVP Application

Step 1. Research the market
Do you want me to tell you the best way to research the market? Funny enough, it’s not reading and researching the internet as they often tell you. It is something else. Be ready to learn about an easier and more effective way of researching. Follow these 5-star tips and you will get to the apple core.
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Do you want to sell a product? Act as a buyer! Go ahead, order, measure, see whether it works or not. Argue with the shoppers. Return their products. Act like a jerk!

Do you want to launch a service? Be the customer of a similar service and see what goes well and what’s not. Be the first customer of your business! Check similar services and products. See what you like or dislike.

You may need to spend some money at this stage but, I swear, it's worth it. Why spend your whole budget to find out that your idea won’t work. Learn without spending big bucks.

Here is a list of questions you may need to ask:

  • What do I like most about this product?
  • What annoys me?
  • Am I comfortable with it?
  • What do I dislike?
  • What do I dislike most?
  • If I were the product owner, what would I change?

Now sit and think about your product.

  • What value can my product give to potential customers or why would they buy it?

Sit and answer these questions in writing in a group or on your own. At this stage, you should know the core features of your product. Remember, you need to add value to the existing market offers. Otherwise, you will need to compete by lowering the price and sacrificing your potential market return.

Step 2. Build a prototype
Now that you know what works and what doesn't, build a prototype. After you build the prototype of your product, validate it. Once again, you may need to spend some money. You can ask friends and families for feedback. Alternatively, you may also hire user testing companies and continue to collect feedback from early adopters.

Step 3. Build, Measure, Learn
This is a crucial step in your product development. Feedback on your product is valuable. What did customers like most? What did they dislike? Go ahead and make a map of all the benefits and disadvantages of your product and make adjustments to the final product.

After you go through these 3 easy steps, you are ready to build the actual product. In other words, you have completed the MVP design process.
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How Much to Spend on Building an MVP app?

BusinessofApps says 42% of apps fail because of no research of the market need. Even if you spend thousands of dollars, chances are high that you may fail. But if you follow all of the steps mentioned above, not only will you increase your chances of success but also spend less money.

If you are an entrepreneur with a bright idea, go ahead and do the idea validation on your own. You do need to hire a team but you do need it for design, coding, code reviewing, project management, and testing.

You have several options:

  • Hire a freelancer
  • Hire an in-house team
  • Outsource.

We will not come up with estimates as the cost of the app depends on a number of factors like core functionality, location, design, number of features, the complexity of the app, tech stack, number of hours, and the idea itself. Instead, we will give you a clue for each of your options.

Hiring freelancers is less costly but you may compromise on quality.

In-house development comes with additional expenses as you hire developers not for a specific project but the company in general. This puts you in the position of an employer rather than a client.

Outsourcing can be a good move especially if you find a reputable team in Eastern Europe and Asia.

A good way of understanding product development prices is to look at real-life examples. You can find real-life examples at MVPs recently developed at AZATI if you scroll down. You may also want to read the article How Much Does it Cost to Build an App.

What are the Best Web Agencies to Build Startup MVP Applications?

There aren't many that are specifically focused on building an MVP. If you cannot find the right place to build your MVP, consult GoodFirms or DEV Community. Both are communities of tech companies. You can navigate through listings to find the right business partner. And if you still can't find an MVP app development company, consider doing the work in-house.


Whether you are someone with a bright idea that wants to turn it into a great product or you are a developer contracted out development work, this article should have shed light on some of the nuances of MVP that may have seemed too complex when, in fact, they are not. MVP development is simple and fun. Leave a comment or share, if you liked this article.

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