How to Prioritize Product Features for Your MVP

“I want it all, and I want it now.”

 

As a startup founder, you have your idea and a million things that you want to build. You want it to be perfect, so you think of all the cool features you can add that would help to achieve this perfection, and so the list keeps growing. You know what they say: the more the merrier, right? Well, no, it’s not.

 

There are features that are certain must-haves but there are some that will be just useless. Instead of implementing every possible suggestion, you need to be focusing on the right time to quality ratio. Prioritizing the features for your minimum viable product is the key.

 

Mvp Features List: Where To Start

 

Defining MVP features by instinct without monitoring the market is like taking a shot in the dark. To make sure your aim is true, you need to conduct a deep analysis of your potential customer, their pain points, and existing solutions they use. You can start by answering several key strategic questions that can significantly simplify this task.

 

  • What problem does my product solve?

 

Answering this question is the first step to understanding your customers. Surprisingly, it is easy to come up with solutions to problems that don’t actually exist. It’s not about what your product does, it’s about the problem it solves.

 

The more efficiently your product can solve problems, the more valuable it is. For example, if your prospects’ pain points are primarily financial, you could highlight the features of your product within the context of a lower monthly subscription plan.

 

  • Who is having this problem?

 

This is another way of asking yourself who your target customer is. Founders are often defensive about their ideas and say things like “Anyone and everyone could use this”. Be as precise as possible by creating user personas based on your target stakeholders’ demographics and interests because in the early stages you’re not going to be able to build a product for everyone.

 

  • How are people solving this problem now?

 

Asking this question will not only give you more insight into how big the problem is, but also more importantly, it will start putting users at the center of your product decisions. Comments on similar products from blogs, support pages, product reviews, and social networks will be a chance to find out what is fascinating for your users and not. You will also get insights into what your users anticipate and how you can beat your competitors.

 

Moreover, this step may help you discover that the product you were going to create already exists and that your idea needs to be optimized to compete in the market. You may also find out that there is actually a bigger problem that your product doesn’t address and it would be better to focus your efforts on solving that problem instead.

 

  • What is my unique value statement?

 

Your product should have something special that will help it stand out from other similar products. Getting clear about why people would choose your product to solve their problem over others will help as you go out and try to sell your idea to customers and investors as well as narrow in on what features should be prioritized to create a one of a kind product. This will give potential customers a reason to use your product specifically.

 

By answering these questions, you will get the vision of future functionality. Now you’re ready to define what features should be woven into your minimal viable product, prioritized in line with your goals, target user group, and user journeys.

 

Visualize Features.

 

Prioritizing features in an MVP is impossible without creating an exhaustive list of features you plan to provide. You should include features that:

 

  • Users need and want according to your target audience analysis.
  • Receive positive reviews and adopt the strengths of your competitors.
  • Make your product stand out from competitors.
  • Form the core of your viable product (your app couldn’t exist without these basic features).
  • Add to your unique value proposition and increase user engagement.
  • Include trends, innovations, and high-tech solutions in your niche.

 

This list will give you a rough idea of all the features your app is supposed to deliver. It’s better to release fewer features and get feedback on what to build next than it is to wait and release a more flushed out product only to realize customers don’t want it. This is the time where you categorize between the features required for your first release and the features which would be a nice add-on to enhance user experience.

 

Distinguish between Must-haves and Nice-to-haves.

 

Wants and needs are two very different things. Remember that now is the time to hone in on what your MVP needs to do. Implementing too many user-requested features too soon can harm the user experience and take away from the overall purpose of the product.

 

Ask yourself: does this feature need to be included to validate your product? Does it align with your value statement? Remember that your goal is to build the absolute minimum needed to validate your product idea while taking on as little risk as possible.

 

Sure, at scale things might break down if you don’t have an efficient system that covers all the needs of your users, but you’re not there yet. You’re still fighting to get your first set of customers. Try to think of other ways to handle specific edge cases rather than building features. This might mean that you have to deal with manual requests but getting to the point where this becomes overwhelming is a good problem to have because it means you are gaining traction. Strip the feature from initial launch and put it on your back burner to revisit it when it becomes necessary.

 

How We Bring Your Ideas To Life.

 

Features prioritization is a key part of Creative Chaos’ product design, development and strategy services. We have witnessed that there is a constant struggle for startup founders in trying to figure out what features to build that; increase engagement, increase revenue, increase stickiness, and bring in more users. It can be quite daunting to figure it out while being constrained by time, money, and resource availability.

 

Our methodology simplifies the process of prioritizing features for the product. Taking the example of a car, there is the basic model – a Honda and there is the upgrade – a Ferrari. Both are means of transportation which perform the function of taking you from point A to point B, the difference being the enhancement in user experience of the upgraded model made possible by the added effort, time, and budget. The same can be said for a software solution. Much like the choice of transportation, the products users interact with are defined by both function and form.

 

We start with building a product by integrating the most basic of its requirements for initial launch. It is only after the basic model gains traction, we enhance the look and feel of the product into a solution that users will love and appreciate. We recommend startup founders to focus on building a Honda that serves the core functions. Once the product gains traction, we add the luxuries with more resources, increased budget, and ample time.

 

If you have questions about what features to add in your MVP, or if you are looking for professional developers for startups, don’t hesitate to contact us.