In our previous post on MDP vs MVP for mobile apps, we made the case for why a minimum desirable product approach is the best choice for your app development. Users don’t want something that ticks your business boxes. They want to be wowed from the very first time they open your app.
Saying you want to create an MDP is one thing but actually building it is another thing completely. The whole point of a minimum desirable product is a good understanding of what your users want to achieve. You need to pinpoint which app features will have the most impact on your users. And which will lead to significant quick wins for your business?
You can do this in just three simple steps…
#1 – Understand Your Users’ Behaviour
Research is an important stage of any app development. But it’s even more important when you’re developing an MDP. Because a minimum desirable product relies on great user experience (UX) which, in turn, relies on an in-depth understanding of your users’ behaviour. What this means is how your users are engaging with you, what it is they’re trying to achieve and the problems they encounter along the way.
One way to find this out is by digging through your old feedback forms, surveys or performance records. See if any patterns stand out to you. Have there been any changes in your retention rates, revenue or output? These trends will tell a story and through them, you can I.D your underlying problems. Whether it’s unsatisfied customers, unengaged employees or something completely different.
Once you’ve established a trend, the next step is finding out the reason behind it. And one of the best ways to do this is through physical observations. Like watching how a customer moves through your shop. Or observing an employee as they carry out a specific task. And it’s these real-world interactions that tell you why your users are encountering these problems.
So, by following these simple steps you should already have:
- Pinpointed your existing problems for you as a business
- Gained an understanding of how your users are interacting with your business or brand right now, and the problems they’re encountering
This gives you a good understanding of your users’ behaviour which is what will ultimately drive your app development. The research you undertake and the physical observations you make enable you to take a more user-centric approach. This focus on your end-user, rather than just your business objectives, is the foundation of what will make your app a minimum desirable product. This ensures user adoption and an ROI for your business.
#2 – Hear What People Really Think with Qualitative Research
You should now have a good understanding of how your users go about their tasks. And the problems they’re encountering as they do so. But the next step is to gather more context on why they’re having these problems. And why it is they want to interact with you in that way. Is it because it’s the most intuitive for them? Or is it because they’ve got no other choice?
One of the most common ways to work this out is by carrying out a survey. But when writing this, you need to be careful that all your questions link directly to your initial findings. The whole point of this step is to reinforce your research so far.
So, to confirm this even more you could conduct one-on-one interviews with your potential users. Because many of your users will prefer conversations over surveys. And they’ll be much more likely to reveal the experiences or challenges they encounter in one-on-one interviews.
This qualitative research gets interesting because more often than not, your users will also reveal things you might never have considered! The results you end up with during this step will give you a clear insight into what drives your users. And very often, there’s a huge gap between what your users’ needs and your business goals.
#3 – Build Your Hypotheses and Prototyping
By following the above steps, you will have a good understanding of your mobile app user behaviour. But also the large gap between what you as a business want and what your users’ needs are. From this, you can then start to build the series of hypotheses that will underpin the rest of your app development. But what makes a good hypothesis for MDP app development?
Each hypothesis you create should be clear, concise and actionable. For example, one of our clients Alpine Talent Management wanted to provide a tool that improved employee engagement across the board. So, the MDP hypothesis would look something like this:
By digitally tracking your employee’s goals, progress and targets we will be increasing employee engagement. Therefore improving the employee’s job satisfaction and improving staff turnover.
The reason why this is such a great hypothesis for MDP app development is that it links the business needs (increase engagement and reduce staff turnover) with that of the users (job satisfaction). A good minimum desirable product hypothesis will align you and your users’ needs, giving you a good foundation for the future app development. Helping you to make sure the app you build provides real world value to both your business and your users.
By following these simple steps, you can easily pinpoint the quickest way to delight your users. Which are the ones that are going to provide the most positive and delightful interactions to win your users over from the start? Which will make the biggest difference to your users’ day-to-day tasks?
But you also need to think about the way these app features link to one another. Because while the features of your app are important, it’s how your users interact with them that is essential for an MDP. Once you’ve established this, you can get prototyping!
The Evolution of Your MDP
Like many products and services in our world today, satisfaction cycles are so short. What once was new and exciting quickly becomes ordinary. Keeping up with these constantly changing expectations requires continually developing your mobile offering. Apps aren’t projects, they’re products. And they need long-term support if you want them to continue delighting your users long after they tap download. All of your research, hypotheses and prototyping to date should culminate in the perfect product roadmap.
If you’re interested in developing an app that delights and retains your users long after they hit download, then we’d love to hear from you. By following the process above, we’ve helped many of our clients use mobile to solve important business challenges. Whether it’s engaging employees, connecting with customers or increasing business efficiency.
Related Reading from Sonin App Development
MVP vs MDP for App Development: Which is the best approach for mobile app development? Minimum Viable Product or Minimum Desirable Product? Find out in our detailed comparison.
Future of the Mobile App Experience (with Video):The mobile app experience is evolving fast. New technology presents new business opportunities and more integrated experiences. How can your business take advantage of mobile to improve your customer experience or employee engagement?