Why research informed MVPs rock!

I hear a lot of buzz on both sides of the MVP argument. Some say, MVPs are great, others say that they are trouble.

MVPs can be a great starting strategy for product teams looking to get products out there quickly. People who dislike MVPs typically are frustrated by the concept of putting out trashy user experiences in favor of evaluative research.

Let’s just make something and see how people respond.

People on the other side of the argument tend to talk about how they need to show people something to learn. This can be a dangerous strategy and makes designers uncomfortable. You have to be ready to rewrite your MVP because you are betting on assumptions. This could mean upsetting customers who have picked up your product and considerable delays.

Just because you are creating an MVP doesn’t mean you can’t do generative research and design.

The key is to spend just a little time doing research. Instead of developing your ideas in code, work with your team to ideate the concepts on paper as sketches. Make sure that you are designing broadly so you will be able to integrate additional features after your MVP easily. During this process, write down all of your assumptions. Don’t spend much time iterating, because you may start to over tune based on those assumptions.

Design an interview geared toward better understanding your assumptions better.

Update your assumptions with your new found facts. Iterate on your design. Implement and ship that MVP!