Chapter 5. Minimum Viable Products and Prototypes

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

With the parts of your hypothesis now defined, you’re ready to determine which product ideas are valid and which ones you should discard. In this chapter, we discuss the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and its relationship to Lean UX.

Figure 5-1. Lean UX process

Lean UX makes heavy use of the notion of MVP. MVPs help us test our assumptions—will this tactic achieve the desired outcome?—while minimizing the work we put into unproven ideas. The sooner we can find which features are worth investing in, the sooner we can focus our limited resources on the best solutions to our business problems. This is an important part of how Lean UX minimizes waste.

In addition, we cover the following:

  • What is an MVP anyway? We’ll resolve the confusion about what the phrase means.

  • Creating an MVP. We’ll share a set of guidelines for creating MVPs.

  • Examples of MVPs. We’ll share some inspiration and models that you can use in different situations.

  • We’ll talk about how to create prototypes for Lean UX, and what you’ll need to consider when selecting a prototyping approach.

What Is an MVP Anyway?

If you ask a room full of technology professionals the question, “What is an MVP?” you’re likely to hear a lengthy and diverse list ...

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