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Minimum Viable Product Template MVP

Estimated read time: 14 minutes

Do you need a Minimum Viable Product template (MVP) for your new mobile app or website development project?

If so, then this article is for you. Our expert development team and I have put together a detailed MVP template to help you. I have based this MVP template on a project to create a chatbot powered by ChatGPT, the generative AI chatbot that most of you will already know all about.

You can use this template for any project type. After the template, I have included a small section on how much it costs to create an MVP.

  • What is an MVP?
  • What is an MVP template?
  • How to build a minimal viable product (MVP)
  • MVP development costs
  • Conclusion
  • What is an MVP?

    A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a basic version of a software product (e.g., a mobile app or a website). An MVP enables companies to test their core ideas without allocating much funding and time. The cost of developing an MVP is a lot cheaper than a full product.

    This is because, due to the limited number of features being developed, the product owner doesn’t need to hire lots of developers from the outset and is able to reduce the number of development hours required to build the MVP vs. the time it would take to build the complete product in one go.

    If the initial set of users likes the MVP and its core features, then it’s a safe bet that the company can continue investing further in developing the product.

    If the opposite happens, and users are not satisfied, it’s great too, because early-stage user feedback can be used to alter the MVP features or pivot the product offering entirely. Such iterations can continue until a suitable product/market fit is found and users are ready to use the product and pay for it.

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    To build any kind of MVP, be it a web MVP or a mobile app MVP, you will need an MVP template. This is what I provide below.

    What is a Minimum Viable Product MVP Template?

    An MVP template is a framework that details the process of creating a Minimal Viable Product. Keep in mind that an MVP template is not the same as a Software Design Document or SDD. An SDD is a complete description of a software product’s architecture, components, modules, interfaces, and data. If you need a software design document template, you can find one here.

    You can use this template to outline the MVP for any industry or product type. And it can help you to come up with a detailed outline of the product you have in mind. It details the following criteria:

    1. Application goals and target user base.
    2. Preliminary research/user suggestions, etc.
    3. General outline of the application including user flows.
    4. List of features.
    5. The development technology stack you will use.
    6. Any compliance regulations and other important aspects related to your industry.

    How to Build a Minimal Viable Product MVP?

    1. Define the Problem:
      Understand the product’s target audience and what they need.
      Identify the central problem you need your MVP to solve.
    2. Understand your Competitors
      What rival products must your app compete against, and what are their pros and cons?
      Are there any unique ideas that could greatly enhance your product vs. its competitors?
      What will be your pricing model?
    3. Identify Core Features:
      Create a list of only the essential features that you need to build to solve the problem your potential users have. (payment gateway, product suggestion feature, facial recognition, etc.).
      Prioritize features based on their importance and relevance to the problem (this will allow you to accurately plan your development sprints later on).
    4. Develop the MVP:
      Build a basic version of your MVP application. It must incorporate the core features outlined above.
      Focus on the app’s functionality over getting the UI appearance perfect.
      Keep the UI design simple and user-friendly.
    5. Test and Validate:
      Release your MVP to a limited group of users who should be encouraged to provide as much feedback about your app as possible.
      Collect and analyze your users’ feedback about your MVP.
    6. Refine and Iterate:
      Use your users’ feedback to refine existing features and to integrate new ones.
      Repeat the above step over and over to accurately refine your MVP based on your customers’ feedback. This will enable you to build the product that your users really want and enjoy.
    7. Plan for Scaling:
      You should plan to scale the product based on your user growth to meet future market demand (you should plan for this from day one so that your product is built in a way that allows it to scale easily).
    8. Monitor and Adapt:
      Monitor key metrics and user feedback post-release to track your MVP’s performance.
      Be prepared to adapt and pivot your project development direction based on changing market dynamics and user requirements.
    9. This interesting video is a step by step walkthrough on how to create an MVP and launch it.

      Sample MVP Template

      The following is a sample web app MVP template for a software product owner who plans to develop a chatbot powered by ChatGPT, the world-famous generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) chatbot developed by OpenAI.

      This will give you a clear idea of what an MVP template looks like and what questions need to be answered.

      Minimum Viable Product Template for ChatGPT:

      User Interface:

    • Requires a simple interface that allows users to input text and receive quick answers from the ChatGPT system.
    • Needs to be a clean and intuitive design with minimal distractions or clutter.
    • UI needs to work across various desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
    • Needs a text input field where users can type their queries.

    ChatGPT Integration:

    • Must integrate with OpenAI’s GPT-based API to allow natural language processing.
    • The system needs to send user input to the API endpoint and receive rapid responses.
    • Must securely handle API responses and display them on the screen for the users to be able to read clearly.

    Conversation Management:

    • The system needs to store conversation history on the chat interface so that users can scroll back through them as and when required.
    • Should display user messages above ChatGPT responses which should appear directly below.

    Feedback Mechanism:

    • Implement a simple feedback mechanism that allows users to quickly rate ChatGPT responses (e.g., thumbs up/down).
    • Set up a process to analyze feedback data to allow future improvements in the model.

    Error Handling:

    • Handle errors by providing clear error messages to users in case of API failures or other issues.
    • Implement fallback mechanisms to handle unexpected errors.

    Basic Customization:

    • Allow users basic customization options including changing the chat interface theme (light/dark mode) or font size, etc.
    • Give users the ability to turn certain features on/off, i.e. filtering of rude words or specific conversation topics.

    Performance Optimization:

    • Needs to ensure the quickest possible response times between the user and ChatGPT.
    • Implement a caching mechanism to reduce API call frequency for repeat queries.

    Security Measures:

    • Ensure the right security measures are in place to ensure user data is protected and there is always secure communication with the API endpoint.
    • Avoid storing sensitive user information such as user questions, if not essential.

    Documentation and Support:

    • Users need access to clear documentation on how to use the application, including instructions on how to deal with problems such as inappropriate responses, etc.
    • Offer basic troubleshooting tips for common issues.

    Testing and iteration:

    • Conduct thorough testing to identify and fix any bugs or other issues.
    • Gather user feedback and iterate new versions of the MVP based on user insights and suggestions.

    Scalability Considerations:

    • Design the product from the very start with scalability in mind. Plan for a considerable jump in user traffic and data volume (ChatGPT actually generated so much interest that it frequently had to prevent users from asking any more questions due to excessive query volumes. This is an example of where an organization underestimated its web MVP requirements).
    • Implement scalable architecture and infrastructure to accommodate growth.

    This MVP template provides the key information required to start the process of building a basic chat interface powered by ChatGPT. It includes details about user interaction with the system, conversation management, and system performance and security features. For more information on MVP examples, you can read this great article.

    Now, let’s look at what it costs to develop an MVP.

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    Minimum Viable Product MVP Development Costs

    The cost of developing a software product Minimum Viable Product MVP can vary a great amount.

    The cost really depends on a number of factors such as the complexity of the product, the features, the technology stack, the development team’s location and experience, and the time required to build it.

    On average, the cost of developing a software MVP can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Example mobile app MVP development cost:

    Depending on the number and complexity of the features, an MVP-stage mobile application can cost anywhere between $30K and $250K and take 1 to 6 months to create.

    It will require anywhere from 2+ backend and mobile app developers. If the mobile app MVP requires specialist technologies like blockchain or AI, then you will need blockchain or AI developers as well as data engineers and security experts, etc.

    Most mid to enterprise-level apps will require QA and DevOps engineers (DevOps engineers assist with server setup and other code management chores). With these kinds of products, you can roll out new features gradually to test them with early adopters. At this point, hiring a professional mobile app designer is a must.

    This is a link to an example of a profitable mobile app MVP with more than 100,000 users. Here is a summary of the project’s specifics:

    The owner of a sports supplement company decided to develop a software application that would allow users to select and follow preplanned exercise regimens. The app needed to include a personalized calendar, daily progress photos, and food plans with the necessary amounts of water intake, among other things.

    A group of senior app developers created a custom-built, native mobile app MVP for both iOS and Android mobile devices within 6 months. This required several mobile app backend developers to create an admin panel, code and integrate the app with the backend server infrastructure that was built on AWS (see this article’s later sections for more on AWS for mobile apps).

    Over 100,000 paying users downloaded the mobile app within two weeks of its launch, demonstrating its high level of appeal and ultimate success. This success led to additional app development and the ongoing release of new features via app version updates.

    It’s important to carefully plan and prioritize the features of your MVP to align with your budget and project goals.

    If you are not sure exactly how to do this then I recommend that you consult with experienced developers or development firms who can provide more accurate cost estimates tailored to your specific requirements. They will also be able to help you with where to best hire mobile app developers.

    These great job description templates will help you. This mobile app job description template will help you find great mobile app developers. For platform specific templates, try this Android job description template and this iOS job description template.

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    Conclusion

    In this article, I have provided you with an example of an MVP template that you can follow when creating your own MVP documentation.

    A great tip I give everyone is to walk yourself step by step through your mobile application idea in your mind. Start with the very first screen you see and go step by step through the whole app, making sure to write down all the essential features that you need to develop for your mobile MVP.

    Armed with your MVP documentation you will be able to move onto the next step of the software development process – hiring mobile or web app developers to help you build it.

    If you need help creating your MVP document or want to hire expert developers and designers then DevTeam.Space can help. They are a reliable software development company that has partnered with hundreds of companies from all over the world to help them to design, build, launch, and maintain their next great software products.

    DevTeam.Space streamlines the outsourcing process by assigning a skilled developer or team to you within 72 hours of your request, allowing you to quickly scale up and down your development team as and when you need to.

    Its pricing is transparent and competitive and is backed by a no-risk trial for all its developers and development teams. In the rare event that you are not 100% happy, they swiftly reassign the developer and allow you to choose a new one. Such instances are very rare. They have achieved a 99% success rate in over 350 successful projects.

    Whether opting for a dedicated team or individual developers, they provide you with a dedicated tech account manager, equipped with relevant industry expertise who works alongside your project manager as well as manages your DevTeam.Space developers. DevTeam.Space has a unique agile development process that ensures the project development runs smoothly.

    This way, you will end up with a world-class mobile app, website, or another type of software product. Additionally, their complimentary quality assurance service ensures rigorous testing before each release, guaranteeing a flawless application experience.

    To find out more about DevTeam.Space’s community of expert developers and development teams, simply complete a DevTeam.Space product specification form. Once you have done so, one of their dedicated account managers will arrange a complimentary discovery call to answer any questions that you might have.

    FAQs

    How much does an MVP cost?

    The cost of an MVP varies depending on factors like complexity, features, technology stack, and development resources. On average, it can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands.
    Depending on features, an MVP-stage mobile application can cost between $50K and $250K and take 1 to 6 months to create. An example of this kind of app is Bolt+, a streaming app that includes several custom features and required 2 mobile app developers and a designer to build it.
    It’s essential to outline your MVP’s key features and consult with experienced developers for accurate cost estimates tailored to your project’s needs and budget.

    How do I create an MVP template?

    To create an MVP template, start by defining the problem your product aims to solve and identifying the core features necessary to address that problem. Outline the key functionalities and prioritize them based on their importance to the user and feasibility for development. Describe user personas, user stories, any technical requirements, and a list of features. Additionally, include success metrics and criteria for evaluating the MVP’s performance. Collaborate with development teams to ensure alignment and clarity throughout the document.

    How to build an MVP model?

    Building an MVP model involves identifying the minimum set of features required to validate your product idea while minimizing development time and resources. Start by defining the core problem your product solves and brainstorming potential solutions. From there, select the most critical features that address the problem and create a basic prototype or mockup to visualize the user experience. Test the MVP model with real users to gather feedback and iterate based on their responses. Continuously refine the model based on user insights and iterate until you achieve product-market fit.

    What is an MVP template?

    An MVP template is a structured framework or outline used to define the minimum viable product’s key components, including features, user interface, and user experience. It serves as a guide for MVP development teams to ensure they focus on building essential elements that deliver value to users while minimizing unnecessary complexity. MVP templates typically include sections for problem definition, solution overview, feature prioritization, user personas, user stories, a list of features, technical requirements, success metrics, and evaluation criteria.

    How do you structure an MVP?

    Structuring an MVP involves identifying the core problem your product addresses and defining the essential features required to solve that problem. Start by prioritizing features based on their impact on solving the problem and feasibility for development. Develop a basic user interface to demonstrate key functionalities and create a working prototype or minimal product version. Test the MVP with real users to gather feedback and validate assumptions. Iterate based on user insights, focusing on improving the core value proposition while keeping the product simple and lean. Rinse and repeat this process until you achieve product-market fit and can scale your product accordingly.


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    Alexey Semeney

    Founder of DevTeam.Space

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