Imagine that you do not invest too much money into the business, but at the same time, you can start getting more clients. Too beautiful to be true? Not necessarily. Minimum Viable Product makes it possible to approach the subject in this way.
What is MVP?
In the case of a website, MVP is a solution that has basic, but also sufficient functionalities to launch a website. It can be said that it is version 1.0, which through subsequent iterations will turn into a final software product. So, you start with a low financial expenditure, test the clients' behavior and you build the website based on the analysis.
Eric Ries, the originator of the concept, explains that MVP allows you to get the maximum amount of information about consumers with minimum own involvement. If there is a product/service that you want to introduce to the market, it is best to test the idea with real users before you invest a lot of money. After all, you never know if the offer will suit the consumer's need and cause the desire to purchase your products/services.
What do I gain with a Minimum Viable Product?
You gain a lot:
- You enter the market with your website in the shortest possible time.
- You minimize the costs of implementation.
- You test the functionalities until you get the final version of the website.
- Already at the initial stage, you catch errors and elements that require an efficient operation, thanks to which you save time, and thus – money on development works that would be carried out in the future.
- You gain invaluable knowledge about what works and what does not work on your website.
- You build a CRM with clients' data, at the same time collecting the feedback based on their behavior on the website.
How should an MVP process look like?
The first step is to make sure that the website will implement the company's strategic goals. In other words, answer the question: where do you want to be with your business idea, e.g. in six months, and how can your website help to get you there? So, what tasks does the website have to perform first?
Here, you should also specify how to measure the effectiveness. Your goal should be measurable. The number of visits, completed contact forms, phone calls received, subscriptions to the newsletter, and volume of sales. In addition, it is worth to analyse which subpages are visited most often, what are the sources of traffic (does the user visit the website directly by entering its address, by entering a phrase and going through a search engine, or by a link from another website), what is the time spent on the website and finally – what is the bounce rate.
The second step is to develop the user path. Imagine you are an external user of the website. Plan the path from entering the website to the final destination (e.g. purchase of a product). Thanks to this you will realise what will be optimal for the visitors, which may discourage them, what action they will have to take. This way you will acquire the knowledge that will be necessary for the developers who will carry out the Drupal development works.
To perform the above task well, you must define your client. Because of different categories of users will use your website, you have to take this into account. And if they are actually different profiles, it will translate into a "journey" around the website and a different path to the destination.
The third step is the result of the previous one. Knowing what needs improvement, develop a diagram: problem → action → solution. For example: lack of the ability to choose the best one from among many products on your website → creation of a comparison tool → option to view products side by side.
By preparing the analysis in this way, you will create a list of all elements that need improvement.
The fourth step is also the result of the previous one – as you can see, this process is just a series of events. Therefore, having the above-mentioned knowledge, you can now decide what functionalities the website must have in order to achieve the goals and minimise the defined problems.
Point out the tools (functionalities) that will be necessary on your website. It is important to set a priority for each one of them. Helpful here might be the question: what does my user want and what does my user need? Referring to the previous example: the user must have a comparison tool to select a product but does not need to have dozens of filters to execute this view. So, what kind of filters should these be? The answer is short: the essential ones.
Minimum Viable Product - example
Droopler is a great example. It is a kind of a template that lets you quickly get the work started, adjust the content, layout and appearance of the website. By keeping the MVP methodology in mind, you will accomplish all of your goals, whether your project is a start-up or a corporate website.
From the very start, Droopler provides you with a concrete and effective programming language, which is Drupal. And thanks to the fact that Drupal is OpenSource software, you do not have to worry about the costs of implementing additional tools (you do not incur license fees), which would result from subsequent iterations.
Droopler has extensive functions for adding subpages, sections, modules. It is fully responsive, so from the very beginning, you have access to a preview of the website on mobile devices. Its HTML code is optimised for SEO and fully ready for being integrated with other SEO tools.
And finally: thanks to sharing the Droopler test environment on request, you can see for yourself what managing and introducing changes look like.
Minimum Viable Product - summary
Preparation and implementation of MVP is the end and the beginning of a stage. After implementing MVP, the time comes for further analysis. Collect opinions, verify user behavior, identify weak points of the website, make changes, test until you get the final version of your website. And if you still have doubts about whether to use MVP, I would like you to know that MVP is a solution chosen by companies such as Airbnb, Amazon, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, Uber, Zappos, and even iPhone.