Minimum Viable Product Design: How to Build a Successful MVP

Designing a product is quite a challenging task. The design should clearly show the idea and value of a solution. So, designers use colors, fonts, and the structure of elements to achieve this goal.

The same is with the minimum viable product design. MVP is usually built to test if the business idea resonates with users. The look and structure are vital aspects of minimum viable products. They bring the first impression about an app. Thus, the MVP design can determine if a customer will stay with the product or search for another.

In this article, our design team shares aspects that help create an optimized and eye-catching digital solution. Thanks to our MVP design tips, your product will be appealing and convenient for users. Let’s discover how you can reach this.

What is a minimum viable product (MVP)?

A minimum viable product, or MVP, is an early version of a product that can be launched on the market. Since such a version includes the core functions, the development process takes less effort and resources.

An MVP is helpful as you can deliver it in a shorter time than a fully-fledged product and see how your customers perceive it. The valuable feedback of early adopters will show you what to improve in your product.

Why should you start your solution as a minimum viable product? There are several reasons:

  • The main value. It helps you focus on the key benefits that you offer to your potential customers.

  • Saving costs. Since you include the main functions of the product, developers and designers spend less time and resources on creating an MVP. So, you save costs and release it earlier on the market.

  • Iterative approach. This method allows you to add more features one by one. Such a process allows the agile team to move in small steps and check the viability of each feature.

  • Attracting investors. With an MVP, you demonstrate customers’ interest in your solution to investors. This will persuade investors that it is worth putting resources into your business.

  • Feedback from early adopters. As you deploy your app early, the first users can share impressions on how helpful your solution is. Based on feedback, you may know how to enhance the solution for users.

You may also like: 5 Reasons to Start Custom Software Development with an MVP

For instance, Codica created this referral management software solution as an MVP. Thanks to this, the customer checked his business assumptions. Also, based on the feedback from early users, we knew how to improve the solution. Thus, we added a convenient booking system to the platform.

Applying the lean approach, we moved in small steps and discussed changes with the customer as needed. So, we delivered the app in the agreed term. This also helped the client to save costs for development.

Why is an MVP design important?

The statistics in the report by McKinsey show that businesses that invest in design have a 36% higher revenue compared to companies that don’t. Customers get their first impressions from the MVP application design. So, if you want to transform your MVP into a profitable business, you need an efficient design strategy.

MVP in design is the basic concept of the Lean UX approach. The idea is that the team moves in iterative steps and includes the main functionality in the solution. This helps to reduce the unnecessary effort in product development.

The lean model focuses on the requirements for the final product rather than the deliverables. It relies on the design process and collaboration in the team. MVP in design also includes the concept of three lean startup pillars: build, measure, and learn.

Lean startup loop

The MVP design process takes several phases. At Codica, we rely on the following steps when creating a minimum viable product design:

  • Product discovery;
  • Prototyping;
  • Discussion with the development team;
  • Adding new features.

At each step of lean product development, we discuss the needed improvements with our clients. Discussions of the MVP website or app design follow the pattern of the lean startup method. This allows for agility in the development process and making the required changes.

What does a minimum viable product design include?

A successful MVP comprises the elements placed in the proper order to make the user journey smooth and convenient. Positive experience with such an app results in better traffic and conversion rates. Let’s see what forms a good design.

User experience design

It is vital to ensure that a customer gets the best experience when using the product. So, it is helpful to create a UX wireframe that outlines how the potential customer moves through your solution.

UX flow in an MVP design

Start creating the MVP UX design with the analysis of the product background. Such research should include the following:

  • Interview with a client on the project objectives and scope;
  • Studying the market peculiarities;
  • User research;
  • Analysis of the buying and usage paths.

The proper research gives a comprehensive idea of how the MVP software design should look and organize components. So, this is vital to take the research as support for wireframes and prototypes in lean UX design.

For example, a job matching service that Codica Team delivered includes the process of creating a CV. We made this process easy and convenient.

User interface design

MVP UI design is the first impression a customer gets using a solution. As the survey shows, an eye-catching and coherent interface is a significant aspect that builds trust in a brand. So, making appealing MVP application design is crucial to win the user’s interest.

A well-thought interface implies special attention to the UI elements of the solution:

  • Colors;
  • Fonts;
  • Icons;
  • Interface elements (buttons, fields, modal windows, etc.)

This list includes other items depending on the specifics of a minimum viable product design. You should carefully think about arranging these elements to make a better usage process. When you create a UI part, choose the right color scheme and coherent style of visual elements, such as icons and images.

Color scheme in UI design

At Сodica, we understand the importance of the palette, contrast, and white space. So, we pay special attention to these aspects when designing an MVP.

For example, we built an online auto marketplace with the crucial aspects of the MVP UI design in mind. We chose the bold combination for this solution: blue as a primary color that highlights red as an accent color.

When creating an MVP application design, we also consider the latest design trends. Both new and proven tendencies help us create an appealing UI for a solution. In the video below, we share the trends we rely on in our design work.

You may also like: Latest UX/UI Design Trends

The required team for MVP design

There are team members that ensure the appealing and optimized minimum viable product design. Typically, such a team includes:

  • Project manager;
  • UX/UI designer;
  • MVP developer.

The team holds discussions with the client to see what should be improved or created. Also, the team makes suggestions on how the MVP website or app design could be optimized.

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MVP design tips

Below you will find the tips on how to deliver the best look and flow for an app. Let’s discover what they are.

Tip 1: Include the core functions

Core functionality in MVP design

As the lean approach puts it, a minimum viable product includes only the basic functions. To select them, it is helpful to start an MVP software design with a product discovery process. This is the stage when the client and the team discuss the business aspects of the future product. It helps get answers to the following questions:

  • What is the value of the product?
  • What is the domain of the MVP?
  • What problems does it solve for customers?
  • Who are the competitors?

Based on the discovery sessions, you can define the roles, flow, and primary features of a solution.

Discuss with the client how to include features when you design an MVP. It is reasonable to add primary elements in the first turn, and more fancy ones iterate in the future.

Further reading: Website UX Discovery Process

Tip 2: Create prototypes

Importance of prototypes in MVP design

Why are prototypes important?

This step is vital for the MVP design. A prototype shows the structure and flow of the application.

Before prototyping, it is helpful to create wireframes. They present the future MVP software design in a simplified way and should not be drawn in detail. Also, in wireframes, you can include several functions for each process or page.

Creating wireframes ensures a smooth and convenient structure for a user. Also, it will help you link different components of the MVP software design.

Wireframes in MVP design

We recommend discussing the wireframes with the client. Their feedback is a valuable source of information. It allows a designer to make sure that the necessary features are included. On the other hand, you can make suggestions to optimize the solution design. Having finalized the wireframes, you can start creating prototypes.

Recommended tools for prototype creation

There are many graphic editors for building prototypes with final features and flow. Some of them are the following:

Also, you can use applications specially developed for creating prototypes:

The main point of prototypes is to show how the product will work and present its architecture. To do this, draw each user’s action on the screen.

What functionality to include in a prototype

When designing an MVP prototype, start from the most important aspects. For example, you can begin by creating registration forms for users. Later pass to the target actions. For instance, buying, selling, and checkout are crucial features for building an online marketplace.

Prototypes allow you to see the functions to be included in the MVP application design. Thus, you can remove or add a process on your list to improve the product efficiency and usability.

Clickable prototypes for MVP design

At Codica, we create prototypes to present the core structure of the project and show it to the client. So, the client gives us feedback on the initial minimum viable product design. After that, we finalize the prototypes. As a result, the prototypes include clickable links, fields, and buttons.

Further reading: How UX Solves Online Marketplace Problems

Tip 3: Discuss prototypes and flow with the development team

Discussing MVP prototypes with development team

When prototypes are ready, it is helpful to discuss them with the technical team.

Developers can report a potential problem. They can tell how long it will take to create a feature. If it takes longer to build it, the team chooses and suggests another feature for the MVP software design.

With advice from the technical team, a designer adjusts the flow to make it more convenient for users.

Moreover, developers help the designer check the performance of all functions. If it is possible to improve their efficiency, developers make relevant suggestions. So, the designer can restructure the prototype if necessary.

Tip 4: Foresee the project’s scalability

Importance of scaling an MVP

As MVP includes the key set of functions, it is reasonable to plan scalability upfront. This means the possibility to add new features in small steps or one by one in the future.

The solution should stand high traffic loads and engage users with new functionality. So, think over the future product growth in advance when creating the MVP software design.

For example, when working on a messaging system, we add features in the following order:

  • A regular chat between two users;
  • The function of adding people to the chat;
  • Building video call features.

If a flow was created in advance, adding features to the MVP application design is easier. This way, the designer thinks through the details of the project look, including buttons, fields, and more.

Tip 5: Seek for good, not perfect

Optimization of the core features in MVP

The perfect is the enemy of the good. So, it is reasonable to show users a general idea of the core product’s functionality. This implies that such an early version does not include complex features.

The meaning of the MVP design is to ensure a well-organized user experience. The solution should be functional, easy, and convenient. It should give the users an idea of the product and enable them to see its value.

When designing an MVP, choose the right scenario. Your interactive prototypes will help you look through the entire application. If you see the options that confuse users, remove them or replace them with proper ones.

Codica’s expertise in creating MVP design

Design is a vital part of an MVP. Codica’s UX/UI designers have vast experience designing MVPs with the lean approach. Our portfolio includes appealing, responsive, and fast-loading products that bring positive reviews from clients.

We start from the research and rely on its results when planning the UX and UI of the future solution. We are attentive to the client’s view of the minimum viable product design. At the same time, we suggest how to optimize the visual part of the final product.

Depending on the solution objectives, we plan the arrangement of elements, fields, and screens. Also, our team selects the color palette suitable for a particular project.

Check an activity booking marketplace that we created for parents. This platform allows parents to plan leisure for their children. As we built the platform with kids in mind, we made it less official.

See below how this kids’ activities marketplace works.

Purple and pink colors are associated with care and nurturing. So, we used them to highlight this essential part of kids’ world. Also, we included small elements that remind us of careless children’s drawings.

Our team created a well-thought flow for parents and activity organizers. Such structure makes it easy to find and publish activities based on the kids’ interests and parents’ time and budget.

Below you can see our client’s review on this project.

Build, measure, learn, design

Designing an MVP is one of the crucial factors that influence business success. The MVP design should be appealing and convenient for users. To achieve it, you can rely on the best practices and our MVP design tips.

Also, it is vital to create the look and flow of a solution after discussions with clients and comprehensive business analysis. This way, you’ll find the proper direction for your design right from the start.

At Codica, we use our proficiency to deliver coherent MVP solutions, ensuring the best experience for a user. Check our portfolio for more, or contact us. We are eager to discuss the design of your MVP and help you create a successful web product.

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