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

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MVP vs Prototype

Are you excited to create the first version of your app? Hell yes, you should be! After all, it’s a chance to turn your vision into reality and share it with the world. But I would advise you to stay prepared for the upcoming round of queries that might come to your mind.

The first one relates to comparing MVP vs Prototype and deciding what’s best for your business idea.

MVP vs Prototype: Which Approach is Right for Your App?

When starting an app development project, choosing the right approach can have a significant impact on the success of your app. As you are already aware, two popular approaches for building an app’s initial version are Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and prototype.

While both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, deciding which one is right for your project can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll compare the benefits and drawbacks of MVP vs prototype to help you make an informed decision.

By understanding the key differences between these approaches, you can choose the one that aligns with your goals, budget, and timeline, and create an app that meets your users’ needs.

So, without further ado, let’s get started right away!

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. If your vision aligns with the points mentioned above, it’s best to reach out to an MVP development company for help!

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. To start building your app prototype, I suggest you consult a reputable mobile app design agency.

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.

If you are not aware already, let me tell you that there are two categories of prototypes. One is low-fidelity and another is the high-fidelity prototype. It’s important for you to understand the difference between the two, in case you decide to go ahead with the prototyping as your first version of the app.

For your reference, here’s a link to a short comparison guide on low-fidelity vs high-fidelity prototypes.

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. 

Difference Between MVP and Prototype Development

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 app you can check out this guide to get started with mobile app planning

Conclusion 

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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