Best Tools for MVP Development

Best Tools for MVP Development

A minimum viable product (MVP) is a popular development technique through which new websites and products are developed to cater to early adopters. These feature-rich websites and products go through extensive testing and feedback from initial users before they are released to general users.

In our last blog post, we learned-

  • That The Mobile Web is booming
  • Smartphones are replacing dumb-phones rapidly
  • Content is being consumed at an unprecedented rate on apps
  • Apps are here to stay
  • MVPs are a must when it comes to starting a tech-based business
  • Flutter can build your MVP better, faster, cheaper than other tools including native ones

Some of the best examples of successful MVP services include Spotify, Twitter, and Dropbox. If you are a business owner who is looking to publish your own MVP, there are several tools available that you may want to consider. These tools are meant to help you throughout your MVP’s lifecycle.

Documentation

Documentation is as crucial as the idea itself. We’ve experienced it first hand that most startups don’t document their features, requirements and other project related stuff. As they say- well documented is half-done. A proper documentation will not only help you in development, but it’ll bring more ideas on the table.

StepShot: Stepshot is one of the best tools for user manuals, online guides, and documentation. The service makes documentation easy with multi-format export, in-app editing, and customizable templates. StepShot can integrate itself with popular services like SharePoint, Confluence, ServiceNow, and WordPress to import and export data.

GenMyModel: GenMyModel can be used to create Unified Language Modeling (UML) flowcharts and diagrams that a in MVP development. It promotes team collaboration and group software architecture design. The user interface combined with its intuitive interface simplifies collaboration for MVP developers.

Prototyping

Prototyping helps in visualizing the MVP better. It is highly useful in making user stories and overall flow of the MVP. Prototyping is now most used by UI/UX designers to experience the look and feel of the software in real time.

Marvel: Marvel is our go-to tool for creating prototypes of MVPs. Using Marvel, product owners can create wireframes, prototypes and also design applications all in one place. Design specs can be generated and exported in seconds through integration with a large number of development platforms. Collaboration and user testing features are also integrated to streamline the prototyping process.

InVision Studio: InVision allows you to make prototypes collaboratively. The service allows you to create site maps, flowcharts, storyboards and other key elements of a functional prototype. InVision is used globally by designers to create high-end prototypes efficiently. Invision studio allows users to create interactive prototypes using high-quality animations. It currently has a Mac app, and the guys at InVision are working on a Windows app as well.

Development (Front-End)

You MVP will definitely need a user facing interface to interact with the system. This interface is called the Frontend of your MVP. Most MVPs are either a mobile app or a web app. Below are the two most powerful solutions for each category.

Flutter: Flutter is a cross-platform app development toolkit which is great for MVP development. It can be used to develop Android and iOS apps. It’s fast in terms of performance and has great developer tooling. We’ve been using Flutter since it’s inception and can vouch for it any day. We’ve written extensively on Flutter in the past. Do read our article on how Flutter can help you in developing MVPs quickly.

VueJS: Vue.js is a JavaScript framework that is used by developers to build single-page application. It is our go-to JS framework for our web development needs. Vue has recently surpassed React as the most developer-friendly JS framework. It gives you the power of quick-iterations and feedback. It can also be integrated into an existing webapp quite easily.

Development (Back-End)

While developing an MVP, you’ll need a backend which is going to store the data and execute the logic. Most startups do not take backend systems seriously which results in some harsh experiences later on. We always emphasis that backends are as important as frontends.

Parse: Parse simplifies back-end development quite a bit. Features like file storage, user authentication, push notifications can be built right out of the box with minimal coding. It is very flexible in nature and can be deployed on any node.js supported infrastructure. We use Parse extensively for MVPs which requires a backend. Read more about it here.

Firebase: Firebase is one of the most popular mobile and web app development platforms. It is owned by Google and allows app development without requiring infrastructure management. It offers crash analytics, A/B testing and performance metrics for developers to monitor at all times. It offers more features as compared to Parse but unlike Parse (which is self-hosted),  it’s hosted by Google and can cost more money in the long run.

Feedback

One of the main parts of MVP development is acquiring user feedback and enhancing the system based on it. Hence, one should always integrate feedback systems in their MVPs. Below are the two most used feedback systems that you should consider.

InMoment: InMoment offers cloud-based customer experience optimization services. Social reviews, employee engagement solutions, online reporting, real-time alerts, and other important features are available. InMoment incepted in 2002 and is the most reliable feedback solutions provider right now. The service also assesses your customer experience results and offers actionable suggestions. InMoment also offers a cloud-based service that deploys data science to gain insights on customers.

Qualtrics: Qualtrics is a popular experience management platform that takes advantage of the latest data collection methods. Web feedback, email surveys, social feedback are available to help businesses gain customer insights. Role-based dashboards are available to view results and monitor target chart progress. Qualtrics can be used to improve conversions, increase app usability and launch online promotions. It also offers insights on your customers’ overall experience based on data from multiple communication channels.

Analytics

In the age of data, analytical tools are the a boon. They capture data at various stages of the product and provide tools to analyze the gathered data as well. Some of the top products like AirBnB and Dropbox uses analytical tools extensively in

Google Analytics: Google Analytics came into being in 2005 after Google’s acquisition of Urchin. Analytics offers premium web analytics services that include web data tracking and analytics. It automatically sorts important analytics data first and identifies your most successful campaigns. It offers a lot of visual data to help users identify content users click the most and also the worst performing pages.

Localytics: Localytics is a cloud-based solution that offers a closed-loop platform for MVP developers. It enables you to use in-app activity as a metric to segment your users and deliver predictive and targeted campaigns. Localytics offers contextual data on your customer base. It integrates with your marketing channels to offer quality solutions for your future marketing needs.

Project Management

Every project is 50% development and 50% management. Proper project management tools can help you accelerate MVP development and hence reduce the time to market. Here are two most used project management tools used globally-

GitHub: GitHub, started as Git hosting service for decentraized code repositories, has now become a global phenomenon with its set of tools for project management too. It provides Kanban boards, issues and code reviews for high performance teams. GitHub also houses most of the open-source code repos, which means that you can learn from other’s code too while contributing to them at the same time.

Slack: Slack has changed the way teams communicate. With a beautiful UI and a charming UX, it compels the users to communicate more effectively. Slack offers direct chats, channels and chat-bots to integrate external services like GitHub, CirclCI etc. Some of the users of Slack are Oracle, Target and Autodesk which tells a lot about the product itself.

Conclusion

While we strongly believe that MVPs are a must for any startups to validate their idea, we also believe that we they should be of high quality.  We also use almost all of them for our clients’ projects at various stages. For example, we use Google Analytics by default in all of our projects without mentioning. Moreover, these tools are mostly free or relatively inexpensive. Thus, you not only save time, but money too.

Got an idea? Increase your chances of success. Get an MVP built. Contact us now.