The market nowadays is constantly becoming more complex, because the demands of the end consumers and their expectations regarding products or services are constantly growing. Given the high competition in the application development market, companies need to not only offer solutions for users but make the use of the application as pleasant and outstanding as possible. In this article, we'll show how to create a Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) in 2022.
It all started with a constant increase in users’ requests and expectations. We live in a golden era of consumption: our grandmothers had a choice between sending information by regular mail and telegraph, and our parents had to choose between a regular phone and a mobile phone. We choose between applications: is this email application convenient enough to send messages with one hand? Which application is better at protecting our personal data? What other features are integrated into app X that make it better than the popular app Y?
The focus has shifted from simply meeting user needs and providing solutions to a unique app-using experience. Thus, the developed application should not only meet the needs, it should be lovable, the user should literally fall in love with the process of using the app. This greatly complicates the life of developers, but it just provides a huge amount of opportunities for unusual and creative solutions that make the whole industry and customers' quality of life better.
MLP vs. MVP
Earlier, we discussed in detail what a minimum product is: MVP represents a kind of a beta version of a product or service, with only a basic set of functions, there can even be one option, which still brings desirability and usefulness to the end consumer. More details about MVP you can find here. In 2022, this is no longer enough. Users should be in love with a product or service in order for it to survive in an ever-changing app market.
The idea of a Minimum Lovable Product is quite similar to the MVP: it is also about a fairly limited set of product or service features, but with an emphasis on the customer's experience during the use of the product or service. To achieve this, much more attention needs to be paid to the user experience and application designs. This will allow creating a unique acquaintance during the use of the application that will make a product or service stand out from the many other offerings on the market.
Previously, developers could afford to create an MVP, as it was only the first of many steps in the development process of a final product or service. However, with the acceleration of processes on the market, it is no longer enough to simply present a product or service with a minimum set of features that can interest the user. Due to the huge offer on the market, it is necessary to stand out already at this first stage of the development process, offering a unique user experience during the first use of the app.
A great example of the transience of trends in the app market is the Clubhouse app. When the application appeared in March 2020, it began to rapidly gain popularity among the audience due to its simple and understandable functionality. However, other voice messaging applications had similar features.
What made the clubhouse so unique? The answer lies precisely in the concept of an MLP. Despite its simplicity, the Clubhouse app had a nice design and was easy to use, providing customers with a good user experience. At the same time, the Clubhouse app gave users a sense of belonging to a narrow community of the elite, because the only way to get into the application was through getting limited invitation codes. Thus, a stir among users was created, and invitation codes were even sold on eBay.
Users didn't just get a convenient voice messaging app with social networking features. Customers get the feeling of belonging to a special group of people, a community of users from all over the planet who like this app and can use it. This is the secret of the successful MLP – enchanting feeling because of using the app.
As soon as access to the Clubhouse app became possible without invitation codes, its magic disappeared. By September 2021, the app was no longer being talked about so active on social networks. The application left such famous personalities as Elon Musk, who made a huge contribution to the popularization of the app among his fans. The app could not continue its ascent, because the user experience was no longer unique or desirable, the application stood on a par with other similar products.
In the case of an MLP, it’s not enough just to satisfy the user’s needs and provide a solution; you need to make the experience of using the app charming and inspiring.
How to create such a minimum lovable product?
There is no specific recipe for creating a minimum lovable product. It is important to know your audience first and think about how to make their user experience as satisfying as possible. To achieve this, it is important to focus on a few issues.
Know your goals
When developing a product or service, it is important to prioritize correctly. This applies to all aspects: from the direct functionality and design of the application to its marketing and pricing strategies. Knowing exactly what you want to offer your client makes it much easier to make that offer as captivating as it is useful. A unique user experience is the key to the success of your MLP.
Know why you are doing it
MLP is still not a full-optioned application, it is a set of pleasant, but minimal functions. In an effort to please the client, you need to remember why the client wants to use your particular product or service. Minimalism and balance give much more satisfaction to the user, which is confirmed by behavioral economics research.
The MLP should focus on striking a balance between offering the most effective solution and the most pleasant user experience during the use of the product or service.
Know your clients
Qualitative and quantitative research in the early stages of MLP development is the key to future success. Such research allows you to understand exactly who your target audience is, and what their expectations and goals are. Most importantly, the research helps you understand how to meet user needs and what user experience will determine them to choose your app.
Know what to change
The MLP is not the final version of a product or service. It can and should change as research results and customer feedback come in. Only through innovation, you can achieve the very product or service version that your customers will truly fall in love with.
What is an MLP?
A product or service with a fairly limited feature set that focuses on the enchanting user experience while using an application.
What is the difference between MVP and MLP?
The main difference is the various levels of fascination with the application among end-users since the MLP considers not only the provision of solutions to the user but also tries to create a strong emotional connection between the user and the product or service.
How to create an MLP in 2022?
When creating an MLP, you need to design not only a functional solution for the user but also understand how you can make its user experience as interesting as possible, different from other similar applications. To do this, you should use quantitative and qualitative research of the targeted audience, always adapting the app to the needs and expectations of the end-users.