Discover How to Build an MVP For a Mobile App: Timing, Stages, and Evaluation

Difficulty: Intermediate

Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes

Most businesses like to run Minimal Viable Product (MVP) development before investing in fully-fledged software. Such a strategy helps reduce costs and minimize business risks from creating an unsuccessful application.

Statistics show that up to 90% of startups fail. That’s why a well-thought-out approach to developing an MVP product first is crucial. Let’s review what MVP development is, the reasons for its significance, stages, evaluation process, and costs.

What is a Minimum Viable Product in App Development?

An MVP is a basic functional version of a new software solution. It has only the basic functionality and the most primitive design, intended to provide an initial insight into a concept developed. 

MVPs imitate a future mobile application, helping potential users to decide whether they are willing to use it in the future or not. In turn, developers gather essential feedback that indicates an intended app’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential popularity to consider while making an investment decision.

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Significance of an MVP in Developing the Mobile Application

A rare innovative application can go without having an MVP first. But ones that benefit from creating an MVP prior to running a fully-fledged development process are startups. They typically have a restricted budget and rely on highly innovative concepts that may not be viable. 

The actual reasons as to why it is recommended to build an MVP mobile app are the following:

  • Solid conceptual validation. Early access to the market enables validation of the concept—proving its viability in the long run. It helps discover if a released application has a chance to become popular or not.
  • Gathering feedback. It ensures that your and your potential customers’ understanding of the best ways to solve their issues matches. This way, you can make vital adjustments to the intended app before the actual release, which is cost-effective.
  • Cost and time-effective product evaluation. If you consider running a pre-sale campaign, you will receive a pretty accurate assessment of the customer’s willingness to purchase your product. This method does not require much effort and helps you learn more about the potential profitability of the project.
  • Expense reduction. An MVP reduces business risks from launching an unsuccessful app naturally. Besides, it helps eliminate errors that could have been in the complete software and would require fixing, which also has its price.
  • Strength and weakness determination. Once you gather user feedback, you have a detailed overview of what they consider beneficial and what is obsolete. It may help you to emphasize weaknesses and address strengths.
  • Higher development flexibility. MVP is a comparatively low-cost attempt to find a viable concept. As the price for the mistake is not that high, your desire to innovate is well-supported.

Stages of Mobile App MVP Development Process

Developing an MVP is quite similar to building software from scratch, and this process comprises the following seven stages. 

Market Research

You should start with learning more about the user needs to define what software would fill the market gaps correctly. Then, it is essential to evaluate close competitors and determine the strengths and weaknesses their apps have. Research may also help determine a market’s potential and decide if developing such software can be a profitable investment.

Brainstorming Ideas

Once you have a set of clear problems to resolve, you should come up with ideas of how to do so—features. Some techniques to consider for effective group brainstorming are:

  • Mind Mapping.
  • Brain Writing.
  • Rapid Ideation.
  • The Idea Napkin.
  • Reverse Brainstorming.
  • Step Ladder.
  • Storyboarding.

You should have a few must-have features to incorporate into your MVP at the end of this stage.

Establishing Goals and Outlining a Plan

Next, you should determine what goals you intend to achieve during your MVP development process. Write them in the form of a step-by-step plan with approximate deadlines indicated. This plan will be the basis for the development approach and help you effectively progress towards your goals.  

MVP Development

Then, you proceed to the main stage, creating a basic design and coding the primary functionality. MVP app development includes selecting a design decision and making a primitive control panel with several pages. Moreover, in this stage, developers perform coding of the intended features and integrate Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) if necessary. 

Releasing the MVP

After your MVP is complete, you should let the audience try it. You may run a marketing campaign and advertise your product on social media. Make sure that your target users can freely check your MVP and have options to leave their feedback. 

Gathering Feedback and Conducting Assessment

Once users familiarize themselves with your MVP, they start sending you suggestions—feedback to consider carefully. It is vital to filter it and analyze thoughtfully. It will help you determine certain tendencies. For example, most users may note that they like or do not like a particular aspect of your concept. In any case, you should consider their opinion while deciding on your next development steps. 

Implementing Changes

Now, you have user suggestions filtered and assessments completed to determine problematic areas. The last of the stages to building a mobile app MVP development dictates the adjustment of the basic model as per the build-measure-learn approach. Let users evaluate the progress achieved toward solving the problems they have. You may continue updating your MVP while working on creating a fully-fledged piece of software.

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How Should You Prioritize Features For an App MVP?

Considering that an MVP may have a limited number of functions included, their correct determination is crucial. A correct strategy for deciding on features comprises the following steps:

  1. Determine your target audience.
  2. Identify problems that your target audience has.
  3. Learn how their concerns are being addressed by other apps currently.
  4. Research the competitors and find out their strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Determine the strengths that you intend to emphasize.
  6. Determine how to offer customers value, i.e., concrete features that resolve their issues better than competitors.   

Once you come up with an initial strategy, you may use the following techniques for MVP application planning that will help you prioritize intended features:

  • Feature Priority Matrix. This has Impact and Effort axes that help you rate features based on the risk of functions not being essential to your MVP. The matrix categorizes functions into must-have, can-be-done, nice-to-have, and waste of time groups.
  • Feature Buckets. This technique categorizes software features into three types: Customer requests (directly requested functions), metric movers (features that impact customer satisfaction and income), and delights (non-functional utilities that provide minor improvements).
  • MoSCoW Matrix. This one combines the specificities of the two other techniques. It categorizes features as must-haves, should-haves, could-haves, and won’t-haves.

Questions to Ask Contractors Before Ordering an MVP for a Mobile App

  • What is your MVP development approach?

From the answer, you will learn more about the development workflow, techniques to prioritize features in the app, nuances of the communication process, and other essential nuances. Preferably, your contractor is willing to adapt to your needs and ready to help with choosing MVP core functionality. 

  • What are your platform, domain, and user experience?

This way, you will learn if a contractor has expertise in creating software for your specific industry.

  • What are the additional services you provide?

This may include assistance with creating a landing page and supporting materials for the pre-sale campaign, gathering and implementing user feedback, advanced analytics, etc. 

  • What is your project time estimation?

An answer will indicate how long it will take to develop an MVP and how much you will have to pay, respectively. Deadlines must be concrete but leave room for inevitable operational adjustments.

  • How will my application be tested?

This way, you will learn more about how carefully the contractor approaches a product’s testing. You may also discover whether they perform manual or computerized testing, or, preferably, both. 

MVP New Mobile App Evaluation Process 

MVP is a compromise between a product with no functionality and fully-fledged software you intend to build. Remember that a basic model serves the purpose of reducing expenses and shortening the development time. There are several points, assessment of which helps determine the MVP app cost and development time.

  • Idea validation time.
  • Time for creating a simple design.
  • Time for coding core functionalities and integrating APIs.
  • Time for basic testing.
  • Pay rates of designers, developers, and testers.

Besides the development time and costs, you may need to run a pre-sale of your product. It will require additional designing of a landing page and running a marketing campaign. These costs are calculated separately.

Obviously, your MVP must take several times less time than developing a complete software solution. Depending on the complexity of the desired app, it will require 1–4 months of work from an entire outsourcing dev team. Considering that the average hourly wage is approximately $30, one month of development will cost you about $20,000, or $20,000-80,000 for an entire project. 

You may learn more about the hourly wages of dev specialists involved from the table below.

Title of employeeUnited StatesLatin AmericaEastern EuropeAsia
Business Analyst$110–$205$45–$55$40–$63$30–$42
Software Architect$198–$292$60–$72$55–$77$35–$48
Project Manager$133–$233$55–$66$45–$70$35–$48
Junior Developer$105–$111$35–$44$25–$42$18–$24
Middle Developer$132–$140$30–$52$25–$42$18–$42
Senior Developer$176–$187$50–$61$40–$70$30–$42
Lead Developer$154–$163$45–$55$45–$70$30–$42
Junior QA$77–$81$30–$39$25–$40$15–$24
Middle QA$99–$105$35–$44$30–$49$20–$30
Senior QA$143–$169$40–$50$40–$63$25–$36
Graphic Designer$79–$163$40–$50$35–$56$25–$36

Consider Weelorum Your Trusted Partner in Developing Your Mobile App

Weelorum is your reliable contractor for building an MVP mobile app that will help you make a well-thought-out investment decision. You can be confident in the top level of our services regardless of whether you intend to create only a basic functional version or a fully-fledged software solution. Check our portfolio with examples of our work, most of which have undergone the MVP stage. 

Some of the benefits you receive from using our MVP development services are the following:

  • Full commitment to your business goals.
  • Careful consideration of your MVP’s specificities.
  • Full transparency of the development process and no hidden charges.
  • Assistance with evaluating the developed MVP’s performance.
  • Assistance with determining the basic functionality required to cut unnecessary expenses. 
  • Respect for your privacy and confidential information. 

Do not hesitate to contact us with your MVP details. We will respond shortly.

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Final Thoughts

MVP development is a complex process intended to reduce business risks from developing an innovative software solution. It starts from researching the market and ends with implementing changes based on first users’ feedback. 

It is especially significant to determine only the essential features while planning to build an MVP app. Prioritization of functions to include will help you get the most out of the basic app model, while early pre-sales will show the target audience’s interest. Analysis of the MVP’s performance will guide your decision on the continuation of the project.


Why do I need an MVP in mobile app development?

It helps you determine if a future digital product will be commercially successful before investing more.

What are the essential stages to building a mobile app MVP?

You absolutely cannot go without prior market research, a clear plan, and development and release stages. The following steps will help in the decision regarding continuing the development.

What is the average mobile app MVP cost?

A basic model of an average software solution’s price may fall somewhere between $20,000 and $80,000 depending on the complexity.

Table of content
What is a Minimum Viable Product in App Development?Significance of an MVP in Developing the Mobile ApplicationStages of Mobile App MVP Development ProcessHow Should You Prioritize Features For an App MVP?Questions to Ask Contractors Before Ordering an MVP for a Mobile AppMVP New Mobile App Evaluation ProcessConsider Weelorum Your Trusted Partner in Developing Your Mobile AppFinal ThoughtsFAQ
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