We know you been working your brains out on that mind-boggling mobile app idea for pretty long. We’re also aware that your product leaders and sales force believe that the successful implementation of that out-of-the-box mobile app will have huge installs as soon as it’s unveiled. And if you have zeroed down on that brilliantly planned idea after filling that bin with a thousand of crumpled business plan drafts, then it would surely make sense if we asked, “you must have gotten the MVP in place too, right!?”
Didn’t ring a bell?!
Developing the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the key to secure the future of your product. It is about getting your idea to life with the help of a 2D or 3D prototype. Launching a micro-version before you work on the full-fledged app, helps save money, time and identify risks associated with your product. Adopting this strategy immunizes your brainchild against odds as well as eliminates the distress associated with the product failures.
What is a Minimum Viable Application (MVA)?
A Minimum Viable Application or an MVP App comprises of a list of essential and minimum features that the mobile app development team needs to create to check the validity of the business concept via feedback and analytics. It all starts with identifying the problem and then creating a skeleton product – also known as the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), to test assumptions and user reactions to it. The best part about creating an MVP App – it’s cheaper, faster and saves your product from disastrous endings.
How do Enterprises benefit from developing an MVP App?
Here, we investigate the benefits for businesses building an MVP, or minimum viable product.
- Cost effective and gives the business a sneak peek of the final product.
- Follows the agile and iterative process to arrive at the right and usable app.
- Finds out core offerings and app features from the user’s point of view and get it tested.
- Minimizes the risk before launching the app.
Cost of Building an MVP App
Let’s have a quick look at the cost estimation for the minimal version of the most popular and widely used applications.
Consider an app like Twitter. A similar app at its first minimal state would cost around $20,000. Similarly, a Facebook type prototype would cost around $25,000. These costs are derived based on our assumption of minimum features like UX design and initial architecture cost.
Factors Influencing the MVP App
As you already know, an MVP App is a simplified version of the to-be-launched application and factors like the ideation process, requirement gathering, test suite creation, development tools, process tools stay constant as a necessary overhead.
Mobile app development engineers or teams are typically billed on an hourly basis for the duration of the project (e.g. 4 to 6 months). This gives flexibility to the Enterprise to refine requirements or pivot the MVA until they reach the desired and business approved app.
Features Comprising an MVP App
Some mobile applications are complex by the nature of the business or the concept. If a mobile app idea was complex, so would be the app development process. So, businesses should first attempt the features that carry the most business value and yet not too complex to develop. However, in a few cases, attacking the most complex part would drive the highest confidence in its users.
For instance, in a taxi booking application, apart from the self-registration process, a payment gateway, database design, and usable screens form necessary a part of the MVA. And other features like full-blown admin dashboard, trip history, FAQs, etc. can be excluded from the MVA. The inclusion and exclusion strategy should ideally be decided in collaboration with the business and IT team, for better execution.
Ensure that the first version of your MVA consists the basic features and functionalities of the product. Eventually, you can move towards collecting more and even complex details.
Cost of Creating a Minimalistic Mobile App Design
Building a minimum viable app has its difficulty and cost. So, it is advisable to plan cautiously. The first mobile experience design incurs a separate cost and that is why it should be extremely easy to operate and to the point.
In addition, the UI must be attractive enough to your potent user personas. The components on which the UX design of the app depends are imperative for designing the wireframe, and most importantly the interaction map.
The wireframe is like the pencil skeleton of the flow, and its preparation takes around 25-30 hours and costs around $500.
Now, proceed with the mockup of mobile skins and place all the UI components necessary for that screen. Product and business owners must carefully review this artifact, as it shows a clear picture to the client on what we’re trying to achieve. This part would consume another 70-80 hours and cost around $2000.
After designing the mockup, review and implement minor changes that improve user’s interaction with the page. You can take help of tools like UXPin, AI, and InVision to build an interactive prototype.
Technology Stack Utilized
The next pillar that would play a crucial role in determining the cost of an MVP App is the technology stack. A Mobile App Architect would be able to dish out the best-suited tech stack for your mobile app project.
It is best recommended to see the technology options for customized solutions that can not only be easily implemented but is also of enterprise-grade and built to perform. The choice between the native and hybrid platform should be evaluated as a comparative study for the specific business requirements in hand.
Table: Mobile multiplatform development – an experiment for performance analysis
Outsourcing or Building the App In-house
The choice is not only for creating a minimum viable mobile application but an actual full-scale app as well. Both have their pros and cons. However, hiring an Enterprise-grade professional mobile app development company is always recommended as they have in-depth expertise and a highly proficient team to cater to client’s needs.
Even though occupying a Freelancer or In-house engineer would be economical but not offer the same level of project delivery proficiency. In turn, hampering MVP development in the later stages. A poorly designed code or ad-hoc design can cause complex issues down the line and a correct foundation is the only way to relieve from technical debt at later stages.
Since freelancers handle multiple projects at a time, it’s quite possible that stay unavailable to handle critical project queries. To make matter worse, they may use untested drag & drop frameworks or plugins that limit the features. And an in-house development team could already be tied up with prior project commitment or project management overhead, limiting their capacity to work freely with you.
Deciding the Launch of the App
The most crucial decision would be to pin down the stage at which the app will be launched to get feedback from the users. There is a certain criterion to be met for an application to get approved by the Apple and Google App Stores. Your development/outsourced team should be able to fasten that process so that the launch date does not get delayed.
Initiating the App Development
Creating a bare minimum product is the most important part of the entire app development cycle. To get started, let’s consider working on the steps below:
- Prepare a hypothesis for the test suite
- Choose the features to implement
- Develop the UX, code it, and integrate it
- Sanity, smoke, feature test the app
- Evaluate your app solution based on feedback
- Create backlogs accordingly
Building a minimum viable product (MVP) is the most crucial step of a mobile application development journey and the determining factor for its success. Working on an MVP App allows you to quickly ideate, prototype and test the user acceptance (B2B or B2C) for your app before making huge investments. The countless hours of planning, testing and building can go down for nothing, if you aren’t certain about your product’s future.
Make sure, while preparing or planning on a budget for a mobile app development project, break it down into phases that also includes the minimum viable solution phase and consider factors that are important for the successful launch of the product.
So, if you too have a brilliant idea in mind & want to see it transform into the real application by validating the idea, get in touch with us. Our mobility experts will get back to you with an estimate for your enterprise mobile app development cost and help you with an MVP that’s innovative and ahead of the curve.
Evoke’s Mobile App Development Services
Evoke Technologies has experience developing applications across diverse mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, App Porting Services). Our mobility experts can help your business create mobile solutions that streamline your services and are easily accessible to your customers.
|Kankana Choudhury heads the Mobile App Development Practice at Evoke. She is passionate about emerging technologies and its intersection with mobile, cloud and analytics. Kankana worked on some complex business and technology problems and provided effective solutions during her stint at Wipro, PwC and Huawei.