What’s the Minimum Viable Product to Design for Success?

Jared Spool

September 23rd, 2015

Lean UX focuses on research and the minimum viable product. Getting your product in front of customers early in the process lets you test any hypotheses you have about both the product and your customer base. Uncovering misconceptions up front allows you to iterate and pivot to arrive not just at the best design, but the right one.

Recently, I interviewed one of the folks on the forefront of Lean UX, Jeff Gothelf. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation:

If I had to list one of the biggest challenges in winning teams over, and providing concrete insight about how to make this work with everybody on the team, visual design is, by far, the biggest obstacle. There’s a subjectivity there to the level of fidelity that’s necessary to learn what you need to learn.

I think that [the definition of MVP] has been where some of the biggest challenges have been. One of my favorite exercises to do in workshops is to go around the room, and have half a dozen people define “MVP.” You’ll get half a dozen definitions. I always come back with, “It’s the smallest thing that you need to make or do to learn the next most important thing.”

Listen to the podcast interview or read the transcript.

Jeff Gothelf has conducted dozens of workshops all around Lean UX. In his workshop at UI20, Lean UX: Agility Through Cross-functional Collaboration, you’ll learn how to deconstruct business problems into assumptions that drive product direction. You’ll then understand how to prioritize the best product ideas and test these assumptions so that you’re building the right product.

Enjoy the podcast and we hope to see you at UI20.

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