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6 Proven Strategies to Test Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

6 Proven Strategies to Test Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The success of any product depends on factors like - whether it performs the way it promised or is supposed to. How does the user interaction work? What are its advantages over other available options?

But, how can you efficiently assess a product’s performance without any hassle? The answer is Minimum Viable Product (MVP). An MVP is an early product with limited features and can be trialed with the specific target audience to collect feedback and evaluate its potential. It helps minimize the risk of miscalculating demand and losing time, resources, and money. Once you build an MVP, it is important to conduct usability tests and collect feedback from the users to make well-informed decisions.

Customer interviews

Understanding and utilizing information is key to MVP success, but such information needs to be packed with data concerning the target audience. Therefore, customer interviews are the best ways to get such information.

Through customer interviews, you can get information that is -

  • Based on honest reviews
  • Product-oriented
  • Free from fabricated or fake details

But how do you get such customer reviews?

Follow these steps for authentic information-

  • Prepare a dataset of potential users
  • Request them to try your MVP
  • List all the problems mentioned by the users
  • Cross-check them through your testing mechanism
  • Improve, enhance and re-test

Explainer videos

We have heard that an image speaks for itself. However, a well-designed and message-oriented explainer video goes beyond mere speaking. Explainer videos are one of the best ways to connect with the users and also catch the user's attention.

A simple yet interactive explainer video must include these -

  • What is the product?
  • How does it work?
  • What are the functionalities that it offers?
  • Why would one need it?

At the end of the video, you can point the viewers towards an online form or sign-up page to get reviews about the product, as well as the signups. Both of these will help you understand if the product is in the right direction or not.

For example:

The explainer video from Dropbox created history as it helped them gain over 70,000 signups overnight and made the MVP test a huge success. That too, when the original product was far away from release.

Paper prototyping

Paper prototyping is an easy and handy way of prototyping. You do not need any kind of fancy tool or software for that. In paper prototyping, all you need is a piece of paper and pen or any alternative for the purpose of your MVP representation.

Through paper prototyping, you can do-

  • Rough sketching
  • Flow charts or diagrams
  • Simple modifications at any time
  • Pre-planning for digital prototyping

For example:

A paper prototype of an eCommerce website can be crafted wherein different pages, functionalities, and details can be charted out in an interconnected manner.

Digital prototyping

Though paper prototyping is efficient and cost-effective, it can not be tagged as an alternative to digital prototyping. This is because digital prototyping helps in creating wireframes, mock-ups, and other prototypes of your product.

In addition to that, you can also showcase how the product will work in real life and how the functionalities will be sorted. There are numerous digital tools available for digital prototyping, such as InvisionApp, Figma, MarvelApp, etc.

Single feature MVP testing

Your product may have numerous features, but as experts suggest - go with only a limited number of features at the initial stage.

Single feature MVP testing helps in -

  • Reduction of development time
  • Narrowing down the end-user base
  • Allows end-user to focus on the main feature of the product
  • Reduction in extra expenses

For example:

Suppose your product is a microblogging application. Then at the initial stage, your focus should only be on the microblog posting and the end-user experience. It will help both parties get better insights into the product, leading to a successful MVP test.

Hallway MVP testing

Hallway MVP testing is like a beta testing approach, wherein you ask some random end-users to use your products and provide feedback based on their personal experience and interaction.

Hallway MVP testing helps you understand -

  • Is your product easy to use?
  • How the GUI feels to the end-users?
  • What kind of issues are reported by the end-users?

Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz MVP tries to develop an illusion of a fully functional product but secretly depends on manpower to deliver the solution. On the front end of the product, you deliver the impression of a completely operational model. However, on the back end of the product, you have to execute all directives manually through your available workforce.

This helps in keeping the checks and balances in position. In addition to that, the customers get a complete preview of the product working cycle in a real-life scenario.

Concierge MVP

Concierge MVPs give your end users an overview of what you are going to build in real. This includes manually helping your end users achieve their objectives as a means of validating whether or not they have a need for what you're offering. Building a product is not even necessary.

Therefore, this process helps better understand customer requirements to build a better product.

Piecemeal MVP

A piecemeal MVP is a process wherein you launch a product or service through the combination of pre-existing tools. This type of MVP helps in cost reduction with optimum results. By using piecemeal MVP, you serve your product to the customers by investing a minimum amount of money and sometimes not even that.

Thus, piecemeal MVP creates a win-win situation for both the product developers and the customers. Both parties achieve their goal without investing much time, effort, and money.

What are some common MVP test mistakes to avoid?

Try avoiding these top 5 mistakes while conducting MVP tests -

Not doing proper market research

This would lead to the failure of the product in the initial steps itself. Lack of market research may cause -

  • Poor returns on investment
  • Increase in the cost due to sudden changes

Choosing the wrong customer base

It could be one of the outcomes of doing improper market research. If the reviews that are coming out through the feedback mechanism are not relevant to the project, such reviews would be categorized as vague only.

More focus on candid feedback

Focusing more on candid feedback would lead to a narrow feedback mechanism. This may reduce the valuable outcomes that were supposed to be received.

Skipping the test and validation phase

Skipping this could cause several issues from modeling to development phases. Testing and validation help in sorting out several bugs, technical glitches, design issues, UI/UX issues, etc. in the production phases itself.

Thus, this should not be missed at any cost.

Failing to choose the right development team

The right development team holds the cards for the right development approach, technologies, tech stack, etc. Therefore, choosing the right development team which is more aligned with your organizational goals as well as the tech stack you are going to use is the key to success for any MVP.

Conclusion

Now that we have discussed the types of MVP testing and common mistakes to avoid while testing your MVP, we hope that you will use this information to make the most of your development process.

Follow the right strategy according to your requirements and build your product smoothly and efficiently.

Author

  • Content Writer - Turing.com

    Abhishek

    Abhishek is a Geek by day and Batman by night. He loves to talk about Data, and his passion encircles around Trekking, Hitch Hiking, Gardening, and analyzing Ancient Indian Texts. His geeky stuff got highlighted at Microsoft, Code Project, C-sharp Corner, etc. For more info, either catch up with him for a cup of coffee or reach out to him on LinkedIn | Twitter | GitHub @jabhij

Frequently Asked Questions

The top 5 MVP testing strategies are-

  • Customer interviews
  • Loading pages
  • Crowdsourcing resources
  • Ad campaigns
  • Wizard of the Oz

MVP testing is a technique for validating the product vision, specific product features, and the development process itself before launching the final product in the market.

It is about creating tests that only focus on the customer's opinions, company vision, or product performance. The basic purpose of an MVP test is to collect feedback before releasing a full-fledged product.

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