You may have wondered why we sometimes release half complete tools and build them piece by piece. Why not sit back, design the ‘perfect’ SEO site or feature, build it exactly as we envision it, and then sit back and watch you enjoy it?
It’s because we want to give you value as soon as possible and we want to make sure you get a tool you love. This is why we start by releasing an MVP and use iterative development to collaborate with you and build it.
What is MVP?
MVP stands for “minimum viable product” and it is the first version we can give to you that will provide some value. It’s all about giving you the tool as soon as possible and then using your feedback to determine how it should be improved. After doing this a number of times, we’ll eventually end up with a better product because you’ve been involved in planning and you will already love it because you told us what you wanted throughout the development.
This is why we have Experimental (formerly Toybox). We look at what is wanted and then we can place the feature in Experimental. Here we get feedback and learn which tools you love, what improvements are needed, and which ones aren’t used. Then we can choose to promote it to the main suite of tools, improve it based on your feedback, or remove it if you would rather we worked on other tools you prefer.
How Does MVP Work?
The first step is starting work on a new product – in our case it will most likely be a new tool. This could be determined by listening to what you have requested or by looking at a gap in the market that could be filled by a tool related to what we do.
We start working on this, with the target of something that is testable but, not more than is required to start providing value. This could be a concept that you can provide feedback on or a developed feature that you can actually use and test. This is the minimum viable product. Remember, the aim is to provide value at the earliest opportunity.
The next step is for you, the user, to give feedback. Maybe the buttons were confusing but, the functionality is perfect, or maybe it looks really pretty but, it doesn’t actually do what was expected. It’s much better to learn this earlier on so that it can be changed sooner and more easily.
Using this feedback, we then improve the product, addressing the highlighted concerns and making sure to keep the bits that got good feedback.
Finally, it loops back around to sharing the new version of the product with the user who can provide feedback so that we can improve the product and so on… This is the iterative part.
After all this, you should have a product you love because you helped build it. It’ll be closer to what you want than we could have imagined at the start and the time saved by not developing the wrong thing can now be invested into a new product for you.
Hopefully this shows you how and why Majestic works using MVP and iterative development. We love to receive feedback as it enables us to improve our products and better serve you.
So that’s our brief walkthrough of MVP and iterative development to show you what we’re up to but, if you do want to learn more about it in general, go and check out Henrik Kniberg’s blog post, Making Sense of MVP.
We look forward to your feedback!