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How To Test an MVP - Proven Methods from DBB Software

How To Test an MVP - Proven Methods from DBB Software

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14 Jun. 2024

#testing #dbbsplatform #MVP

Startups often wonder where to begin testing their products, and more than 77% of development teams believe that testing is an integral part of the development process. Testing is essential for the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), where the first impression is imperative for future success. 

This article answers the question of how to test an MVP. Correctly performed testing ensures you deliver a well-rounded and functional product, even with minimal core functionalities. MVP testing is a methodical process that allows you to validate your potential product while saving as many resources as possible.

You will learn how to test Minimum Viable Products using low—and high-fidelity methods to make informed decisions about your product development. 

What is MVP Testing

An MVP refers to the most basic version of a product that a company can release to the market. A Minimum Viable Product should have enough core features to satisfy early adopters and gather valuable feedback. 

MVP testing involves exposing the product to a subset of target users and collecting their feedback through various channels. This process lets you gain insights into user behavior and preferences. You can use this information to make proper decisions about future iterations and help you prioritize features for subsequent releases.

Traditional testing is quite strict, but the situation is different for MVPs. It is more exploratory and focuses on gathering qualitative feedback. The primary goals of MVP testing are:

  • Validate whether the product fits your market: Does the MVP address a real problem or need for the target audience?
  • Assess user experience: How do users interact with the product, and what are their impressions?
  • Identify areas for improvement: What features or functionalities should be added, modified, or removed based on user feedback?
  • Gather insights for future development: How can the product be enhanced to meet user needs and expectations better?

The Importance of MVP Testing

For anyone wondering why it's essential to know how to test an MVP, the answer is simple – this is a critical step that offers necessary details for the developers with several benefits tied to it. Let's take a look at crucial reasons to test your MVP:

  • Development cost reduction: you can effectively identify issues during the development step and avoid investing in features that won't make sense for the target audience.
  • Risk mitigation: MVP testing allows you to reduce failure chances. Although an MVP includes only basic features, you want to release a product with no imperfections, even if it means core functionality.
  • Facilitation of agile development: MVP testing practices perfectly fit into agile principles, allowing you to conduct iterative improvements based on honest feedback.
  • Promotion of continuous improvement: feedback transforms information, which translates into a roadmap for future development.

As you can see, MVP testing is pivotal in the development process and affects the product's launch.

Preparation for MVP Testing

Before proceeding to the examples of how to test an MVP, you need to understand how to prepare for the process. It's simple – a well-laid-out groundwork generates the most value from the test results. These results will transform into information that will affect future decisions. Here are several considerations to improve your preparation for MVP testing:

  • Define the target audience: You should identify the target users for your MVP. This way, you will ensure that your feedback is relevant and valuable. Consider several factors, such as demographics, industry specifics, and other characteristics defining your target audience.
  • Set objectives: You want to create a set of reachable goals for your MVP testing process. Think of validating specific assumptions that are mission-critical for your product. Do you prioritize usability, user experience, or engagement? Is everything combined or something else entirely? Answer these questions – that's the idea.
  • Select the methodology: This is one of the most important aspects of preparation. You want to select test methods that suit your goals. Consider factors such as the complexity of your product, target audience, and available resources.
  • Set up the environment: Depending on your chosen testing methods, you'll need an appropriate environment. This can be anything from digital test labs to virtual meeting rooms. 

Low-Fidelity vs. High-Fidelity Testing

With general preparations covered, let's look at the testing methods available. You'll need to decide whether to proceed with low or high-fidelity testing or a combination of several methods. Each approach has its pros and cons:

Low-fidelity Testing Methods

Advantages:

  • Only basic prototypes are required to provide a general idea of what the product will be about.
  • These methods are cost-effective and relatively quick to implement, offering the benefit of early feedback.

Disadvantages:

  • These methods can lead to an unrealistic image of the final product.
  • Potential risk of shallow and low-quality feedback.

High-fidelity Testing Methods

Advantages:

  • Provide accurate representation of the user experience, resulting in precise user feedback.
  • Prevent potential errors caused by imperfect design and development implementations.

Disadvantages:

  • It requires a fully functional, almost finished MVP.
  • More resource-intensive, potentially delaying the release of the product.

Your choice of testing methods depends on a combination of factors. Consider the complexity of your product, current development stage, and testing objectives. These things matter more than one might think.

Considering the aspects mentioned above of testing preparation, you'll have a clear idea of where to move. Careful planning and preparation will save you time and money, improving your chances of a successful launch.

How to Test an MVP: Low-Fidelity and High-Fidelity Methods

In this section, you'll find methods and examples that explain how to test Minimal Viable Product. As previously mentioned, there are low- and high-fidelity MVP testing methods. Here's a brief explanation of the most common and effective ones:

 

Low-Fidelity MVP Testing Methods

Paper Prototyping

This is one of the most basic and cost-effective MVP testing methods. It works just as it sounds – you create a hand-drawn sketch or printed screens of your future product's interface and key features. 

These paper prototypes are handed out to the control group of users, who interact with them. This method allows you to simulate product experience and navigation through different screens with virtually no financial costs required. 

The method's usefulness lies in the fact that it offers an opportunity to gather feedback regarding potential architecture, navigation flow, and usability of the future product. An excellent method for early stages of MVP development. 

Wireframe Testing

This method is an evolution from the previous one. Wireframes are mockups that offer a glimpse of the product's user experience. While often lacking design elements, wireframe prototypes focus on information hierarchy and window layout. 

Wireframe testing is an excellent method of gaining insights into the best ways to achieve intuitive user experience. It also helps with identifying potential usability issues with the organization of user interface in the early stages of the development process. 

Clickable Prototypes

Clickable prototype is an interactive mockup. Companies often use specialized tools such as Framer, InVision, or Marvel to create them. These prototypes allow users to navigate through different screens, which simulates interaction with the product. The DBBS Platform features a Storybook – a tool for creating clickable prototypes.

This method is beneficial for gathering real-time feedback and providing a realistic experience with an MVP. Clickable prototypes offer the benefit of observing actual interactions with the product, which helps with identifying any obstacles or areas for future improvements.

Storyboards

Similar to clickable prototypes, storyboards serve as visual representations of the user's experience and interactions with an MVP. They look akin to comic strips and consist of sketches with descriptions. 

A storyboard is a valuable testing tool that effectively identifies pain points and areas that can lead to confusion, providing invaluable information about what should be improved.

Role-Playing Testing

This method is quite different from the above-mentioned ones. Also known as "Wizard of Oz" testing, it's based around a person who simulates a product's functionality. Users interact with the prototype while the wizard simulates its functionality behind the scenes. 

Such a testing method yields results similar to previous methods but requires less input in terms of developing a prototype. This way, the team simulates the user journey and collects information with a person taking notes in real time.

Landing Page Testing

Finally, a landing page is a great yet simple method of how to test Minimum Viable Product. It's about creating a simple page that describes the product's main features and value proposition. Landing pages often include a call-to-action.

This method benefits from stirring potential users' interest and generating traffic. The team can analyze the page's traffic and conversion rate to assess whether their product will be of interest to the target audience. 

Want to Accelerate Your MVP testing speed and launch?

Book a call with Mina to find out how DBB Software and our unique platform can improve your approach to MVP testing with pre-configured environments and accelerate its development by 50%.

High-Fidelity MVP Testing Methods

Functional Prototyping

This testing method involves developing a fully functional, high-fidelity prototype/beta version of a product. Functional prototypes are interactive and function similarly to the final version of a solution. Our DBBS Platform uses Detox for mobile apps and Cypress for web apps to perform end-to-end testing to ensure that the solution performs as intended. 

Functional prototypes offer the benefit of comprehensive testing of features, usage flows, and usability in general. This type of testing is usually helpful for later stages of development and offers valuable insights into any potential problems, bugs, and areas for improvement.

A/B Testing

A/B testing is a method for comparing two features or UI element variations to identify their performance. Users interact with two versions of some element, and the team collects feedback based on predefined metrics. The DBBS Platform features a packet configured for A/B testing for Next.js applications.

The method of how to test an MVP is most commonly used to tweak and optimize smaller features. Think of CTA buttons, specific flows, headlines, etc. A/B testing is an excellent way to make an informed choice when presented with two alternatives.

Multivariate Testing

This method is similar to A/B testing; however, it involves multiple variations of features. Multivariate testing helps the developers identify the most optimal combination of features and elements. An excellent method for testing several elements at once to optimize the product before launch.

Live Beta Testing

A well-known testing method that involves releasing an almost-ready version of the MVP to the public. However, it's accessible to a limited audience of people who perform real-world testing and provide live feedback. 

Live beta testing is great for testing the product in the field to identify any underlying issues with it. This method also offers valuable feedback that could be used to quickly release fixes and prepare the MVP to its official launch.

Soft Launch Testing

Soft launch is quite similar to beta testing. This method is about launching the MVP to a specific target audience. For example, you release the product based on geographical region to some user segment.

The method offers all the benefits of live beta testing and allows the company to observe user behavior and MVP performance. This information enables developers to adjust the product before full release.

Crowdsourced Testing

The final method is based on crowdsourced testing platforms. These platforms offer the benefit of numerous testers who actively interact with the MVP and provide feedback. Usually, a crowdsourced testing platform is equipped with tools for moderated/unmoderated testing sessions.

The benefits of this method include a dedicated audience of testers who will generate professional feedback because they know where to look for issues. Crowdsourced testing is also beneficial for gathering information from users with diverse backgrounds, providing invaluable insights into potential improvements for the MVP.

Bottom Line

Knowing how to test Minimum Viable Product is critical for your solution and should not be overlooked. Tests provide valuable insights into numerous aspects of an MVP, such as user preferences, behavior, and potential areas of improvement. Testing enables developers to validate their assumptions and make informed decisions regarding the future of a solution.

For maximum efficiency, you can employ a combination of low-fidelity testing methods such as paper prototyping, wireframes, and clickable prototypes in the early stages and high-fidelity methods like functional prototyping, A/B testing, and live beta testing in later stages. 

The DBBS Platform is a comprehensive framework that enables developers to expedite the testing phase and deliver high-quality products in a shorter time frame, offering a competitive edge in the market. It allows users to:

  • Execute built-in test suites;
  • Use Cypress and Detox testing frameworks to facilitate end-to-end testing;
  • Build and customize test tasks based on pre-built components.

With this rich functionality, our DBBS Platform is an excellent platform for MVP testing. As a result, our clients can focus their efforts on creating their unique selling proposition.

MVP testing involves careful preparation, clear objectives, and relevant practices. Combining these elements will ensure you deliver a successful product that resonates with your customers. 

DBB Software is an expert in MVP product development and empowers businesses with its streamlined workflows. Our DBBS Platform reduces the project delivery timeline by up to 50% and includes pre-built tools for every step of software development, including testing. Book a call with us to find out how we can help you transform your idea into reality.

FAQ

What is MVP testing?

MVP testing is the exposure of your product to target users and the collection of their feedback. The process helps validate assumptions and identify areas of improvement. MVP testing ensures that your solution meets the minimum requirements for a successful launch.

Why is MVP testing necessary? 

MVP testing is crucial for validating market-product fit, gathering user feedback, and reducing development costs. It also helps with allocating resources to necessary features, facilitating agile development, and mitigating risks. MVP testing allows the team to focus on user-centric development and promotes continuous improvement. 

How do you prepare for MVP testing? 

Knowing how to test an MVP is about preparation through defining the target audience, setting clear testing objectives, determining testing methodology, preparing testing materials, and setting up the testing environment. 

What are low-fidelity MVP testing methods? 

The most common low-fidelity testing methods include paper prototyping, wireframe testing, clickable prototypes, storyboards, role-playing testing, and landing page testing. These methods are cost-effective and valuable for early-stage testing and gathering feedback on core concepts.

What are high-fidelity MVP testing methods? 

The most common high-fidelity testing methods include functional prototyping, A/B testing, multivariate testing, live beta testing, soft launches or limited releases, and crowdsourced testing platforms. These methods involve more realistic, fully functional prototypes or products and allow for comprehensive testing closer to the final release.

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