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App Development


Defining the Minimum Lovable Product for Mobile Apps

How do you get your app to produce the most amount of love for the least amount of back-breaking effort? What are the goals you should shoot for during the early development stages of your app? Today, let’s take a look at the idea of the minimum lovable product and discuss how you can create a lovable app early on in your development phase.

Don’t settle for minimum viable product

These days, there's more pressure than ever to deliver polished products quickly and on the cheap. By now, most of us have heard of the term “minimum viable product.” The minimum viable product is an effort to validate your idea with the least amount of investment, so that most of your resources can be applied to development after your idea has been validated. For many years, the minimum viable product has been the startup gold standard for launching new ideas.

But the minimum viable product is no longer enough. We live in an age where companies go global fast, and there's more competition than ever for the same spaces. Not only is there redundancy, but the increased connectivity of the world means that accessibility is higher than ever. All of this means that consumer expectations are rising. chances that you'll be the first to have an idea are much lower than they once were. The goalposts have moved. Now your most realistic option is not to be the first, but to hope that you can become the best.

So does this mean that the concept of a minimum viable product is now useless? While I don't believe that entirely, it has become outdated. Successful app development calls for a more nuanced outlook on product prototype releases. So let’s look at what’s changed.

Meet the minimum lovable product

The minimum lovable product (or MLP for short) is the new decade’s answer to the minimum viable product. As the name implies, it's the minimum amount of effort or investment required to put forward a product that consumers truly love. This might sound like just another version of the minimum viable product with a new name, but it's more than that.

The minimum lovable product requires a completely different outlook on success than the minimum viable product — you have different goals. You are not just seeking validation for your product; you are seeking adoration. While these concepts sound similar, you need to think about your customer in a new way to succeed in today's market.

Adoration not validation

Building your minimum lovable product requires a great deal of research to identify who your real consumers are, and what are their true wants and needs. While the minimum viable product focuses on validation in the business needs, the minimum lovable product addresses user needs for a user-focused product.

What are the benefits of focusing on the user’s needs during product development? There's a huge shift in marketing and development from the needs of the business to the needs of the consumer. Everything is all about them these days, and this is an attitude that's likely to stick around. When you focus on what your users need, you end up naturally creating something they want and love. Creating user loyalty helps serve your business goals and the shift in attitude benefits your business as a whole.

The minimum lovable product is not your final goal, just one step in the journey toward your marketable, live product.

Creating the minimum lovable app

What are the qualities of the minimum lovable app? Your mission is to create a first version of your app that is something to truly be loved. Let's talk about what you need to strive for in order to create an app worthy of adoration.

Mobile design

One of the most important things to factor into an app's lovability is its design and usability. Just because your app is mobile doesn't mean it's ideal. You need more than to just put functionality in the hands of your users, you need to attract them with design that is simple and intuitive to use. Its features should be well adapted for mobile use and put the user’s needs first.

In order to do this, you'll have to think critically about how users use your app. What are the actions they perform most and how can you make them more accessible? Can the features of your app be changed in a way that makes them easier to use? Is the user interface intuitive and comfortable? You need to consider how people use their phones and how you can integrate your app into their lifestyle. If your app fits into the user's life, they'll enjoy using it much more and more often.

Established purpose

In order for your app to be loved and appreciated, it needs to have a clear purpose in the user's life. It must address a real problem or stimulus for the user. Can you sum up the value of your app in one sentence? If it does not have a clear simple value proposition, then it may be time to head back to the drawing board. You also must have clear distinguishing features from other apps in your genre.

if your app’s purpose is too vague, then you'll need to hone in on one feature and really make it indispensable. If you're focused on too many things, you may need to reduce your scope. Narrowing it down means you may only be doing one thing, but you’ll be doing that one thing really well. And that’s what will set you apart from your competition. Don’t try too hard to appeal to everyone. Remember, that’s not the job of the MLP. It’s to earn devotion from your core users — and not everyone is your ideal user.

Quality control

One of the main ways to keep users coming back for more is to have a quality product. You must be sure all of the parts of your app are working properly and reliably. Quality should never be overlooked during product development, so make use of beta testers and solicit their opinions often. You want to have responsive bug reporting software to stay on the ball with issues in development. Multi-purpose tools like Instabug allow you to collect context-rich bug reports in real-time, detect crashes in your app, monitor its stability and survey your users.

Enjoyment factor

Does it feel good to use your app? If it's not delightful, it won't earn devotion. Something that's enjoyable matches well with your user’s everyday life. It's simple to pick up and use. It does what it's supposed to. And some aspect of it has to feel rewarding for the user. So what does your app give them that makes them feel happy? Figuring this out is a top priority. Remember that what makes the business happy is not always what makes the user happy. Of course, the best solution is to create something that achieves both.

When your app is lovable, it creates advocates and promoters out of regular users. Your minimum lovable development phase is a better time than ever to build up a loyal user base that’ll stick with you as you develop, and even bring in more users. With most people, you only get one shot to make an impression. Make that impression count, and make sure it shows potential.

If your app meets the needs of your users, is easy to use, performs reliably, and produces joy, then you have yourself a lovable app. You’ll be able to build an audience of loyal fans who stick with you through development and beyond.

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