What Should be the First Version of Your App: MVP vs Prototype?

MVP vs Prototype

It is very important for digital entrepreneurs to understand the correct way of validating their mobile app idea before they launch their final build. 

Most businesses commonly use two different approaches to validate their business model.

1. Building an MVP ( Minimum viable product). 

2. Creating a Prototype. 

MVPs and prototypes are both great ways to validate your concept, but they are suited to certain situations. In this article, we will discuss all the aspects of MVP vs Prototype. Also, we help you understand which is best for your business. 

What is MVP Development?

MVP stands for a minimum viable product. The idea to launch an MVP is to check the user’s response to your product. It consists of limited yet main features to draw the attention of early users. 

Businesses launch their MVP in order to :

  • Validate your solution with a real user. 
  • Make the market presence as early as possible.
  • Get feedback and upscale products.
  • Save money for further development. 
  • Attract investors by demonstrating the product. 

By launching a minimum viable product, you can identify the user’s problems and can provide improved solutions.

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MVP vs Prototype

Merits of MVP Development

Using a minimum viable product is an excellent way to provide instant value, minimize development costs, and identify the most appropriate development direction. 

In order to maximize the benefits of an MVP, you need to consider the following:

  • Validate and Spend Less: Instead of testing your key theory with a feature-heavy application, you can test your concept by offering only its core attributes. In this way, you can save your investments in the development process 
  • Early Monetization: You can begin to start earning before you launch the final version of the app. 
  • Evolve Better: You’ll gain insight into what works and what doesn’t work by developing a user base. Using such information, you can decide how to improve the product in the future. 

What is a Prototype?

A UX UI prototype works as a presentation of your app. The purpose of prototyping is to find user flows and design errors before building a final product.

It is possible to create prototypes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Also, the level of usability and detail of a prototype can vary – usually, it’s a demonstration of what the product will look like.

The development stage begins once the prototype is finalized and tested.

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Benefits of Prototyping

Prototyping allows businesses to get a feel for how users will interact with their products in the future. Additionally, it stimulates overall ideas about the product.

The following are some of the most important advantages of prototyping:

  • Time and Cost-Effectiveness: The prototyping process is both cost-effective and time-efficient. It helps in identifying and resolving potential issues at a very early stage. 
  • Easy in Development: Prototyping makes the development process easy. It helps the development team to understand the app and its specifications. 
  • Defines the Scope of Work: A prototype is the best way to visualize how the business vision will work as a product. In this way, the product can be significantly improved.

Confused about which whether to choose low fidelity or high fidelity prototype? Our guide on low fidelity vs high fidelity prototypes is here to help you.

MVP vs Prototype: Common Point 

MVP vs Prototype

Both prototypes and MVPs are ways to validate a digital idea. The validation is done to solve and identify the following queries

  • Is the concept profitable?
  • How can it be implemented?
  • Will it be scalable? 

Building MVPs and prototypes in the early stages of app development can help you test the viability of a digital product without having to build the entire product. 

It saves time, reduces risk, and lowers the cost of investment. 

MVP vs Prototype: Point of Differences

Both of these validation concepts are used under different circumstances. 

  • MVPs are made to launch apps as soon as possible in order to gain user feedback or monetize the app.
  • Whereas, the prototype of your product is the key presentation of your desired product.
  • An MVP is a market-ready product with fewer features. Whereas a prototype is a simple user flow presentation of your product. 
  • MVP is a fully built product that requires more time and investment as compared to a prototype. 
  • The Target market for an MVP is the actual user, whereas prototypes are built to gain the attention of the investors. 

MVP vs Prototype: Which one is best?

Validation is practiced to reduce the risk of failure. In the mobile app industry, the competition is relatively high and you will find many apps similar to each other competing. The only difference in these apps is the UI and UX design. 

If your app idea is based on something which already exists in the market and is accepted by various users. Then going for building an MVP is the best option. 

However, if your project brings a different concept to the table. Then it has to be validated and requires an expert to review. In such circumstances, a prototype is the better option.

In order to get a better understanding of how to prepare for a market-fit mobile you can check out this guide to get started with mobile app ideas


Both MVPs and prototypes can be used to validate a business idea relatively quickly and cost-effectively. It will be easier to test key concepts and technical capabilities and validate marketability if you use one of them to enhance your application launch.

In product development, each method plays a crucial role, but they all serve different purposes. Prior to building a fully-fledged product, it’s often best to implement each of these testing methods one by one.

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