Minimum Viable Product (MVP) - Tips

As you're developing your design idea, it's very tempting to keep embellishing and adding features to the core concept.

We've all done it... You find yourself thinking, "well, as long as I'm doing X, wouldn't it be cool if I also did Y, and how about Z too!"  This is known as "feature creep", and it's a real danger in most design projects.

As you develop your creative design solution, it's critical to stay focussed on the core features of your design that address the needs you identified in your point of view.  You'll be prototyping these features and testing their effectiveness, and you can't let yourself get distracted by adding bells and whistles that dilute your attention.

You can consider adding in some of those extra features -- at a later time -- but only after you've fully designed and testing your core features.

To help you stay focused, it's useful to outline the features of your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) -- the essential features that you proposed design must provide.   Some define it as "the smallest thing that you can build that delivers customer value".

Try to keep the list very brief and concise.  This isn't a full product spec -- it's a bullet list of essential items to help remind you of what's absolutely essential for your product to provide.

Here are a few blog posts that describe how thinking about the Minimum Viable Product can help lead to to better designs: