Chapter 5. MVPs and Experiments

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 what it means in Lean UX. In addition, we’ll cover:

  • Determining product focus (delivering value or increasing learning?) using MVP

  • Using prototypes and prototyping tools

  • Running experiments without prototypes

About MVPs and Experiments

Lean UX makes heavy use of the notion of MVP. MVPs help 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 concept is an important part of how Lean UX minimizes waste.

Your prioritized list of hypotheses has given you several paths to explore. To do this exploration, you are going to want to create the smallest thing you can to determine the validity of each of these hypothesis statements. That is your MVP. You will use your MVP to run experiments. The outcome of the experiments will tell you whether your hypothesis was correct and thus whether the direction you are exploring should be pursued, refined, or abandoned.

The Focus of an MVP

The phrase MVP has caused a lot of confusion in its short life. The problem ...

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