How to create an MVP with no-code and low-code? Benefits and use cases
How to create an MVP with no-code and low-code? Benefits and use cases
If you set out to create an MVP, speed is probably your first priority. You want to roll out the minimum viable version of your product and start gathering the valuable feedback from your users as soon as possible. In this light, no-code and low-code solutions will deliver a huge value, since you'll be able to launch the app much faster compared to using the custom code.
In this article, we'll share the basics of MVPs, explain the main differences between no-code and low-code, and see how your MVP process can benefit from going the low-code route. We’ll also share how our no-code development agency Xmethod fits in.
What is an MVP?
In the past, businesses would spend several years developing a product and launch it only after it's been polished completely. This philosophy can be described as "build it, and they will come".
Currently, tech startups aren't able to leverage this strategy due to the fast-changing nature of the tech industry and a need to gather the feedback from their users. In this light, the MVP (minimum viable product) has taken the center stage.
Your MVP is a rough first version of your SaaS.
The MVP should already have a number of the core features that are the heart of the value proposition you're seeking to drive. Shipping a partly completed core functionality isn’t an option.
Don't chase perfection with this version of your product.
Your MVP is a minimal version of the app as opposed to the full-fledged alpha build that you'll eventually roll out on the market.
What are the benefits of an MVP?
Teams win from using MVPs, as they deliver a number of major benefits to their overall development cycle:
- Validate your hypothesis: At the core of any product is an assumption that it solves a problem that the target audience has. In some cases, this hypothesis might not pan out and in other cases it might be valid only in part.
- Shorten your Go-To-Market path: Developing an MVP is always faster than building a full-fledged app. This helps you move faster and start collecting the feedback from users much earlier.
- Implementing pivots: When you start interacting with the real-life users, you'll keep learning about the pain points you haven't considered before. Pivot your app based on these valuable learnings and resonate with a highly specific cohort of your target audience that nobody caters to as effectively as you do.
- Avoid the analysis paralysis: Sharing the app with the public will push your team into "the wild" with valuable insights being captured to help shape your trajectory. The key point here is that the users themselves can't always vocalize their pain points and forecast their interaction patterns. You can discover how your app will be received only by launching prototypes and MVP versions of your SaaS. Grab the insights and build another iteration - this is much more effective than dealing with a significant case of analysis paralysis in your pipeline.
Now that we've covered the basics of MVPs and the lean philosophy overall, let's see how you can use the low-code to drive more value for your target audience and your team.
What's no-code / low-code?
No-code and low-code platforms allow users to build apps with a visual builder in place. The actual lines of code run behind the scenes, and there's no need for you to deal with them.
Just like MVPs, no-code helps reduce the time to market and empowers anybody to create the first marketable version of an app. The goal is usually about seeing how the market receives that product and defining the product-market fit.
What's the difference between no-code / low-code?
No-code is focused on those users that have absolutely no skills in coding or development - non-programmers and citizen developers are highly welcome here. You'll enjoy a minor learning curve in this niche, but your team will eventually bump into significant limitations as to what the platform can do for you.
Low-code combines both the visual-driven approach and custom coding. Users build visually most of the UI and backend functionalities. But whenever it's not feasible, they can quickly open the custom-coding console and code specific features manually.
Our no-code development agency Xmethod helps teams quickly build prototypes and MVPs, cutting down the development cycle to weeks. We highly favor the low-code platforms because here we can always swoop in and custom-code any advanced features you wish to see in your MVP. This ability to shift between the visual-builder and custom-code facets is a key advantage that we bring forward to help you improve your development pipeline.
Are you interested in the low-code capabilities for your project? Read on and find out how your MVP will benefit from this approach.
Step-by-step guide to building MVP in no-code / low-code
As you know by now, no-code / low-code is a cluster of technologies where you can build apps visually. Now we can go granular and define a detailed step-by-step path that you can take.
#1. Create the proof of concept and prototype
Don't rush into building an MVP at first. Instead, create a quick-and-dirty proof of concept or prototype to gather feedback from potential early adopters.
This will take some time, but it'll also allow your team to gauge the interest within your ecosystem and identify potential vectors for a pivot.
#2. Identify your business objectives and align MVP with them
At the second step, you'll need to figure out what your business objectives are.
PoC and prototypes are the super early versions of your product. If a particular PoC doesn’t align well with your long-term vision, you can suspend this vector for a time.
Remember that you need to both deliver value for your users and set up the sturdy foundation of the money-making SaaS business model that will keep on feeding your team for years to come.
Don't be afraid to think hard about the potential ROI that this specific MVP will bring, or how popular it'll get. At the same time, give yourself enough leeway to allow low-certainty projects to potentially blow up with a huge attention spike from users.
Even though you decide to use the light-speed-fast tech like low-code, don't overextend your team by going after a number of divergent business objectives at the same time.
#3. List a number of the core problems that you want to solve with your MVP
Delineate various clusters of value and features within the overall app's scope. Without breaking them into the lower-order units, first compare them based on how much value they can potentially bring to your target audience.
After you've determined a specific cluster that you want to go after as your priority #1, it's time to break it down to get a more crystallized vision on what your actual action plan should look like.
We can - and should - use the best practices that come from the world of custom-coding and agile development. Don’t throw them overboard. Determine a clear hierarchy of themes, epics and stories to easily manage your task flows within the app development pipeline.
#4. Get down to building the MVP version in low-code
After you've determined the focal point for your MVP, pick the best-fitting platforms that the low-code offers.
For example, Bubble.io allows you to easily build a PWA that's ready to be shipped for commercial use. You'll be able to quickly create the UI of your dream, completely responsive and customized just the way you want.
Connecting the backend is a breeze too. Just identify the sequences of actions that you want to run and connect them to the UI elements.
Bubble.io allows you to effectively manage the database for building both CRUD-level MVPs, as well as wading into much more complicated pipelines.
#5. Run BML (Build > Measure > Learn) approach to iterate
After you've launched the product, it's paramount for you to keep measuring how well the target audience receives your offerings.
Keep setting up versatile KPIs and measure performance against them.
The BLM cycle has been popularized over the recent years, and it's highly beneficial to your app development journey, no matter what kind of tech you use under the hood.
It's easy to connect your app built in low-code to various analytics systems so that you can gather the valuable insights.The constant inflow of insights will empower you to run an effective BLM process.
A good strategy is to keep your processes highly agile. Consider implementing Scrum (here’s a good learning series on what Scrum is all about), and set up the monthly sprints to deliver the usable portions of the app. Keep users happy with a continuous roll-out of new features that improve the value proposition you bring to your user base.
A great thing about building your MVP in low-code is that you can actively engage the citizen developers across your organization to take part in generating new ideas for improvements and converting feedback from the end users. Working together as a team, you can look for ways to implement these new updates completely done in no-code / low-code.
Whenever you need more help with your processes, consider hiring a consultative agency in no-code like Xmethod. We'll help you determine the best route to your business objectives, improve your monetization metrics and keep you in sync with MVP-driven strategy.
Building your MVP in no-code helps you reduce the development cycle. You'll be able to gather valuable feedback from the early adopters faster. All you need to do is learn the basics of the no-code platforms and start building away. At the same time, you’ll win from running a well-structured process for your MVP production process, as we've described above.
At some point, you are going to bump into the implementation of the specific features that is hard to flesh out in no-code.
This is where our no-code agency Xmethod will come to the rescue. We are fully equipped to help you implement any kind of advanced solutions with the low-code and no-code tech. Reach out to us right now, and let us show you how we can help you build an awesome MVP completely in no-code and in no-time.