About six months ago we upgraded our process to focus on the visual, rather than doing a purely functional “MVP” (Minimum Viable Product) we’re now doing what we call “MVP+” that’s Minimum Viable Product PLUS graphics and branding.
A result of the lean startup process, A Minimum Viable Product has just those features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. The problem we found is that whilst it was functionally correct and actually worked, a business founder found it difficult to sell the product to new users. They would be trying to pitch the business to customers who unfortunately were “eating with their eyes”. Given the whole point of a new business is to get more paying customers (especially when it’s part of our pre-angel growth strategy), something had to be changed. We toyed with the concept of rapid iterations where each new iteration would add further beautification to the project but we found that although the process is adaptive, it did tend to end up with a rather messy set of code and design that wasn’t quite integrated.
Instead we invested heavily in UX and Web Design up-front. We added two new awesome creatives to the production team in Sydney and now the recent projects that are being released are proof of this new change in thinking. We now spend a good four-six weeks on each project working through the brand and the visual impression of the site. We pull in user experience workshops, user testing, market research and this body of knowledge feeds in to the design and into the marketing plan. The end result of MVP+ is a functional web application that “just works” and looks stunning at the same time, empowering the founder to sell the product with confidence and pride.
The next generation of BlueChilli apps are really looking stunning and our recent launch of DigitalSorbet is no exception!