How to Test An MVP: Best Ways to Test a Minimum Viable Product

how to test a mvp

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Today, we’re going to talk about how to test an MVP. Nope, this is not about the most valuable player ???? in sports, but something else—the minimum viable product of your business!

Aspiring startups, growing entrepreneurs, and hustling hackers always encounter questions and deal with doubts about their MVPs. But these are not bad signs because there’s nothing wrong with tweaking and trying new approaches to your MVP.

While it’s important to know what the MVP requirements are, the thing that you need to be more conscious of is how you test your MVP. This is crucial because it uses up valuable resources that you can’t afford to waste.

If you’re ready to know more, here are the best ways to test a minimum viable product.

What is MVP?

Basically, an MVP is a prototype complete with all the basic features of your product plus a few other extras that are aimed at potential customers, partners, sponsors, and investors.

MVPs are generally in their testing phases and aren’t considered complete apps yet, unlike successful products in the market. Since this is only in the initial stages, resources are kind of scarce and you’re not yet sure about how well your product will perform. So, the practical approach would be to just produce the bare minimum that we call MVP. 

You can find some of the best MVP examples here.

How to Test MVP

One of the basic rules in sales is to create a need that can be addressed by your product. So, your best metric is if your MVP actually delivers the solutions you hope it would. ✊

Social Testing Your MVP

There are different approaches to testing an MVP, but here are 10 of the best methods to do so

Customer Interviews

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What better way to test your MVP than to hear from your target ???? audience directly? Customer interviews may seem daunting at first because of the honesty and unfiltered comments about your potential product, but that’s exactly the kind of information you need! 

Here are the minimum metrics you can use in choosing customers to interview.

  • Demographics (age, sex, etc.)
  • Employment status and purchasing power
  • Tendency or interest to avail of your MVP

If you’re getting answers and feedback that support what your MVP intends to deliver, then you’ll know that your product has a market waiting for it. You can easily do surveys online or read through user experiences on different forums.

Fundraising

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With limited resources available during the initial stages, you are most likely to use them all up for the MVP. But, if you start a fundraiser for your product, you can disseminate more information about it while politely asking for donations to fund the full-fledged version of your MVP. That’s like hitting two birds with one stone.

Coming out with a fundraiser is also a great way to see just how much customers want your product. The amount of interest that goes into your fundraiser is generally proportional to the enthusiasm of your customers as well.

Check out the best crowdfunding or fundraising websites here.

Wizard of the Oz MVP and Concierge MVP

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If you’re interested to know whether your MVP can actually entice an investor, we have two tests to recommend: the Wizard ???? of the Oz MVP and Concierge MVP. These tests are frequently confused with each other, so let’s get things straight first. MVP submissions to both entities are done manually, aside from this, everything’s pretty easy to distinguish.

Here’s a quick comparison overview.

ParameterWizard of the OzConcierge 
TaskTest a solution or hypothesis, a.k.a your MVPGenerate a solution or hypothesis, a.k.a your MVP
Form of communicationAnonymous (the Wizard of Oz)A person or individual from Concierge

Crowdsourcing Campaigns

While crowdfunding explicitly mentions funds, crowdsourcing is more of an information dissemination and collection strategy to test out your MVP. 

Such campaigns may take the form of surveys but you can also ask for reviews on how likely they are to spend or invest their resources on your MVP. Just make sure that your MVP survey questions are well-researched to achieve the best results.

Ad Campaigns

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As mindless as it is to close a pop-up ad, people are still likely to engage with it if they are at the slightest bit interested in the product or service being advertised. So, you can use ad campaigns as a way to test your MVP, especially if you’re well-versed with platforms that offer this feature ✨, such as Google and Facebook.

You’ll want to capture the these details from your ad campaigns:

  • Clicks to a landing page
  • Engagements
  • Other behaviors you are expecting from potential customers

Advertisements will help you know how much of your target audience is interested in your product!

Videos

People have different learning preferences, but it’s no secret that videos and animations leave a bigger impression than written content about a specific product or idea. If you know that your potential and targeted audiences are visual learners, then you should go ham with videos where it’s easier to get your point across. 

You can even repurpose your content because this method of testing your MVP can be in:

  • A long-form video
  • Social media highlights
  • Video ads and graphics

If you want to test the accessibility and ease of use of your MVP, creating a video tutorial for it will show you the experience of navigating through your interface. 

Social Media Surveys

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Asking for reviews, feedback, doing surveys, and other forms of communication with your target buyers and investors ???? are mentioned more than a few times in this article because they’re super effective. Speaking of communications, where else should you be doing this than through social networking sites? 

Aside from the diverse demographics, you can also be creative with how you can engage potential customers in social media sites like:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

Software Testing for MVP

The list above is general ways to test your MVP using the powers of the internet but still heavily relying on external inputs. They could also take a while before significant findings come to surface, which may not work well with an MVP under time constraints. 

Here are some MVP testing examples using software.

Unit Testing 

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First, we have unit testing. This software testing evaluates the building blocks or units of the MVP and looks for issues that may have been overlooked or unintentionally created by the developer himself.  This test is also dependent on other MVP-related information, but the viability of the MVP is measured ???? using test codes. There will be unit tests for the presenter of the MVP and the actual model.

A/B Testing

For MVPs that have another backup option or idea, you can try using A/B testing. This method can help you decide which of the two ideas you should proceed with based on the results of different analytics conducted on a web page.

User Acceptance Testing

Unlike other software testings for MVP, the user acceptance testing is conducted during the final stages. Doing so will help the MVP proponents assess if they have met the customer’s expectations. This stage could make or break any business deal so only proceed with this testing when you’re fully confident about your ready-to-launch MVP. ????

Component Testing

Some MVPs are composed of a single unit or piece, while others aren’t. If yours belongs to the latter category, you can also subject your MVP to component testing to determine if the sum of its parts is greater than its whole. This is often crucial because the more components there are, the higher the initial production costs could be. Unless your product is set in stone to be composed of several parts, then unit testing could be more applicable.

Smoke Testing

If you already have a working MVP, then you could proceed with smoke testing ????. Since the functional features are already established, this MVP evaluation assesses the product’s stability. Sometimes, this test is also referred to as confidence testing, sanity testing, build verification test, or build acceptance test. Again, this one comes after ensuring that you have a fully functioning MVP.

MVP Testing Benefits

MVP testing can be pricey at times, especially since it’s not recommended to test it just once. But if your testing proves useful in your MVP creation process, then you’ll be happy to show these benefits:

  • A valid MVP business plan that you can present to any interested investor
  • Cost-efficient, completely functional, and uniquely designed product
  • Lots and lots of valuable feedback that you can still refer to in creating a new MVP or improving your existing MVP
  • An MVP-creation system in place that actually works!

You Might Ask

What makes a good MVP?

While it’s good to start with the bare minimum features and build them up as you go, a good MVP should be complete, perfectly-working, and does not break easily.


How do you describe MVP?

An MVP has the complete functionality of your product but built effectively using the limited resources that the innovators have. It must address a specific need and already has a target market to attract.


What comes after MVP product?

By virtue of continuous improvement, market research and data collection does not stop after an MVP is released. This information can provide a bigger picture of how the product performs, what’s lacking, and where the innovators can build on to improve the quality and functionality of the MVP.


What is the MVP stage?

The MVP is produced at the initial stages of the product life cycle so it’s fresh and just got out of the oven. This stage involves product ideation and conceptualization. For some, the MVP stage can also include creating a prototype or a model. 


Why is MVP important?

Creating an MVP will transform your ideas into reality and validate the reasons behind the product’s conceptualization. The earlier you release your MVP to the market to scrutinize, the faster you can make adjustments which could lessen the cost of resources in the long run. 


How long does it take to create an MVP?

Depending on how complex you envision your MVP to be, product creation can take anywhere between four to six months. The largest chunk of time can be attributed to the back-end development, but it should be worthwhile for a fully functioning, solid MVP.


Conclusion

As much as we want to be modest with our resources, a market-ready MVP will inevitably scoop in the very last of our resources bins ????️. So, how can you make sure that everything you’ve put in for your MVP will be worth it? The answer is to test it out

When you’re in the testing stage, you can experiment with different approaches to improve your MVP. Go ham as  much as your resources allow, but ensure that you’re not putting all of the money on a single category. Doing so can render false-positive results, due to lack of variation in approach.

The bottomline is as long as you know that your product is meant to address a market need and be used by a portion of our growing population, your MVP will definitely be worth all these efforts.

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