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The Journey From MVP to MLP: Crafting Lovable Products
Welcome to the journey from Viable to Lovable.
This significant leap takes us from a product-focused perspective to a user-focused perspective.
It’s a shift from asking, “What’s the minimum we need to make this product work?” To “What’s the minimum we need to make this product delightful?”.
MVP vs MLP: The Shift
In the realm of product development, an MVP is usually built with a problem-solution mindset.
It zooms in on developing the bare minimum features needed to solve a user’s problem, ensuring the product’s viability.
On the other hand, an MLP is designed with a user experience mindset.
It goes beyond addressing the user’s immediate problem and aims to create a product that not only solves the problem at hand but also delivers an experience that’s enjoyable, memorable, and, yes, lovable.
Understanding the MLP Approach
Delving deeper into the MLP approach often involves more extensive user research than developing an MVP.
It’s not just about conducting surveys and interviews.
It’s about immersing oneself in user testing sessions, observation studies, and various other techniques.
All of these methods help to understand the user’s behaviours, preferences, and pain points at a much deeper level. They contribute to crafting an MLP that truly caters to the users’ needs and desires.
User Experience: The Core of MLP
An MLP places a strong emphasis on design.
It focuses on creating a user interface that is not just functional, but also aesthetically pleasing, intuitive, and user-friendly. Every detail of the user’s journey is taken into account, from the moment they first interact with the product to their repeated usage over time.
This approach involves designing seamless transitions, ensuring quick response times, and offering personalization options.
The goal is to create an enjoyable and engaging user experience, one that resonates with the user and makes them fall in love with the product.
From MVP to MLP: The Iterative Journey
The journey from MVP to MLP isn’t a one-step process.
It’s iterative and involves a continuous cycle of development, testing, feedback, and refinement.
Just like the MVP, it’s characterised by a cycle of development, testing, feedback, and refinement.
The difference is that each iteration improves the product’s user experience. This process involves fine-tuning the UI, tweaking features, and refining user flows based on user feedback.
The aim is to make the product more lovable with each iteration.
MLP as a Competitive Strategy
An MLP doesn’t just look at functionality.
In an MLP, a feature’s contribution to the overall user experience holds more weight than its functional aspect.
The features that make the product more engaging, intuitive, and enjoyable get higher priority.
This user-centric approach does more than just fulfil the users’ needs - it makes the product stand out from the crowd.
This makes the MLP a competitive strategy, providing an edge over competitors in an increasingly user-focused market.
Storytelling: Bringing the MLP to life
An integral part of transitioning from an MVP to an MLP is storytelling.
The MLP approach incorporates a stronger storytelling element than its MVP counterpart, aiming to create a narrative that resonates with users on a deeper level.
Storytelling in the context of MLP involves weaving a narrative around the product.
This includes establishing a backstory that sets the stage, a mission that drives the product forward, and a vision that indicates where it’s headed. These elements together build a narrative that is deeply connected to the user experience.
The power of storytelling lies in its ability to evoke emotions.
An MLP strives to connect with users not just on a functional level but also on an emotional one.
Airbnb is an excellent example of a storytelling MLP.
It not only fulfilled the need for affordable accommodation but also evoked emotions through appealing UI design, immersive photography, and user-friendly features.
With a strong backstory, mission, and vision, it connected the users on a deeper level, turning the platform into more than just a tool - an experience that users can relate to, enjoy, and love.
The journey from MVP to MLP signifies a paradigm shift in product development.
It’s about moving from a problem-solution approach to a user-delight approach.
As markets become more saturated and competition intensifies, creating a product that users not only find useful but also love becomes crucial.
It’s about building a product that users don’t just use, but love to use.
In a competitive market, that can make all the difference.
If you haven't checked out the first article of this series, here it is: The Minimum Trifecta of Product Building