How To Apply The principle Minimum Viable Product (MVP) To A Website.
This is the seventh blog in the “How To Prepare To Hire A Web Designer Blog Series”
If you have just joined me, maybe you would like to read the first blog in this series “Make sure you understand your business first” or any of the following in this series before continuing!
You may have heard the term Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and its association to tech company in Silicon Valley. Startup companies tend to use this principle to create a product with the least amount of investment as possible, so they can start measuring, gathering data and exploring what their audience likes and dislikes. This is a very powerful idea, saving them time (and money) on building useless features.
But what if we applied this principle for website brief? What if you could build your website on the bare minimum to get by then add features over time? You could get a website that is both cheaper and more effective, because you are only adding things you know will work.
What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
A Minimum Viable Product is the smallest possible product/item you can build to deliver the a solution to your customers. Think highest return for little investment, whether that investment is time or money.
Now lets apply this definition to a website.
By creating a MVW (Minimum Viable Website) brief and understanding what your first edition should be, you ensure that you are not asking website designers or developers to quote on the project far beyond the core of the basic functions.
How to create or design a Minimum Viable Website (MVW)?
With the definition of a MVW in mind, we need to work out how to understand what would make your company’s website function at the least amount of investment possible. Below are four steps to consider when creating your MVW brief.
1. Create an Essential List
Go ahead and write down all the items you think are essential to your company’s website. Here are some question to help you get started.
- Think about whether you need a full website or just a landing page?
- Do you want a unique custom theme built or would an existing theme work for now?
- Does it have to integrate with another system?
We had a client who was determined that they needed a custom booking system for their motorcycle tour company. After showing them the different free or paid systems available to them we were able to give them a lower quote based on what they really needed at the time.
2. What is important to the functioning of your website.
Now that you have created an essential list, you can think about all the different functions of the site. Let’s take a tour company as an example, here are some questions I would ask them:
- Do you need Client / Agent access? If so, what for?
- Does it need a custom booking system or would an off the shelf one work?
- Does it need an API so other sites can connect to you or can that come later?
3. Create the dream wish-list
This isn’t for the first edition, but it is always nice to keep track of all the features, extra functions you would like to develop in the future. I would give it to your developer for their input and advice, so that when you have spare time and money later down the track you are able to draw inspiration from this list and apply it.
4. Break your project down into stages
Ok, so you have the essentials, functions and the wish list for your site. Now, you are going to break it down into actionable stages.
Our latest project Borneo Adventure website redesign and development is broken down into three stages.
- Redesign of overall look and feel
- Redesign of tours pages and implementing new tour booking system
- Launch of discover section and introducing highlight pages.
This three stage deployment to not only allows the company to train their employees piece by piece but generate ongoing interest from their clients at each stage.
Can you break your website brief down into stages?
If you can break it down, then consider if the first stage isn’t your MVW already. Do you really need the other stages already, or is it better to wait for visitor feedback?
Ah, you couldn’t break it down, that means you must be there already!
Now you have a first edition Minimal Viable Website brief for your website
By creating a MVW, you are trying to keep your start up cost low but still have a website that is going to draw customers or clients in and create much better returns on your investment!
Where to go from here?
Give your brief to your preferred designer / develop to draft up a quote based on it. Remember, they also might give you their thoughts and suggestions about how to improve on it.
Let’s Work Together
Want a free quote based on your MVW, or need professional help creating your MVW? Talk to us today.