When you’re creating a new product or service, understanding the core value of what you’re providing is critical to success. Often when building something new, this core value is represented in your minimum viable product, or MVP.
Creating an MVP doesn’t just happen, however, and you need the right tools to bring it into existence.In this article, we’ll talk about creating your minimum viable product and how online whiteboards are the perfect tool to help you complete this journey.
What is a minimum viable product (MVP)?
As defined in a recent guide about MVPs in UX design, a minimum viable product is defined as “The minimum viable product (MVP) is a product that has just enough features to satisfy early customers and allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about product development with the least effort.”
Essentially, the MVP is the first testable version of the product, and it opens the door to feedback and future changes. Only the bare essentials that provide value are present, and having this initial version is very important.
Having an MVP means you already have or are in the process of creating, a clear idea about what is valuable for your users. Your MVP will help build this value and highlight what is most important for them.
Creating an MVP is very important but it’s no trivial matter. This can be a very difficult task and in order to build an effective MVP, it’s important you use the right tools. Here are the reasons why online whiteboards can help create an amazing minimum viable product.
How online whiteboards help create an MVP
Aligns shared vision and enables instant communication
One of the most important parts of creating an accurate MVP is developing a shared understanding of what it will be and why it’s being created. This requires quick communication between team members and a solid, shared understanding of your major goals.
Online whiteboards provide a space where you can collaborate and communicate your needs in real-time. You can use visual elements to diagram your priorities and create an inherent understanding of every piece of your MVP.
Communicating on an online whiteboard is incredibly easy because you share a virtual space with everyone, allowing you to distribute ideas through a visual interface. People are visual learners and being able to see different features of your MVP organized on a shared space is incredibly helpful to align your team’s vision and understanding.
Creating mind maps
Mind maps are great diagrams to outline the possible flow of your MVP and make it super easy to highlight different stages of development. Mind maps are defined on Fresco as:
“A mind map is a simple visual tool that helps organize ideas in an easily understandable, sequential structure. It can be used to capture different ideas and display their relationship while organizing them in a way that doesn’t clutter and disorient the brain.”
There are many different reasons to use a mind map, and planning out your MVP is a very fitting scenario to apply to mind mapping. Mind maps enable your team to plan out different phases of development and create a diagram that clearly outlines every possibility.
If you’ve just started your journey to creating a minimum viable product, using a mind map can be a good first step for organizing your thought process and moving forward efficiently.
Conducting user research
User research is one of the key pieces that goes into your MVP and will also play a role as you evolve your MVP into a final product. Listening to your users and analyzing their opinions is key when deciding what should be included in your initial prototype, and online whiteboards provide a platform that can help you organize and compartmentalize tons of user data.
Online whiteboards allow you to take user research and organize it into different sections depending on how pertinent it is to your MVP. These research points might even form the base of your MVP.
As you proceed through the development process, conducting user research and keeping a close eye on your user’s needs is essential to evolve your roadmap. Hitting these points will help make sure you’re maximizing the valuable interactions with your customers and meeting their collective goals.
Online whiteboards jumpstart the collaboration process
A key feature of online whiteboards that catalyzes the ability to conduct user research is collaborating in real-time.
Getting multiple perspectives is often required when creating and validating your MVP, and online whiteboards provide a space that makes this possible.
Online whiteboards grant your team a living workspace where you can collaborate on ideas, strategy, and the creation of your MVP. Collaboration is critical when creating an MVP and online whiteboards make it incredibly easy.
Certain templates on online whiteboards make collaboration even easier than usual and provide special value to those creating an MVP.
The MoSCoW Analysis is one of those templates and creates an easy organization that helps determine what will be included in your MVP.
The MoSCoW Analysis is organized into four columns titled Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, and Won’t Have. These all correspond to features that will be available in the initial prototype and by adding features to each column you automatically prioritize what features are most critical.
This template also importantly includes a Won’t Have column that specifically includes features that will be excluded from the MVP. This is critical when developing a minimum viable product because there will be a ton of things that won’t get included, and it’s important to set all of these aside to focus on the most valuable core features.
For this reason, using templates like the MoSCoW Analysis make creating your MVP easier than ever.
Whether you’re using them to simply collaborate with your team, conduct user research, or organize your features on a MoSCoW Analysis, using an online whiteboard for your MVP is one of the best things you can do.