Here at Grio, we know that there is no better feeling than basking in the glow of 5-star reviews during the public release of a new app. However, we also know that reaching that pinnacle can be challenging. Luckily, we have taken all of the tips and tricks we’ve learned throughout 15 years of app development and created Grio’s ten essential steps for building a killer MVP.
In last week’s post, How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 7: Stabilization Phase- “Breaking” Your App So Your Users Don’t, we examined how a proper test plan can help you find issues in your MVP before your users do.
In this week’s blog post, we cover the eighth step for building a killer MVP: the Release Phase. Releasing your MVP in the stages we discuss below will help you further test and perfect your MVP before its big debut.
An MVP, or minimal viable product, is a bare-bones version of your app. MVPs allow you to save time and money on development while testing the viability of your product, engaging investors and stakeholders, and going to market sooner. You can read all about the benefits of MVPs in our first post, How to Build a Killer MVP: Introduction.
In our previous posts, we have also covered the first two steps to building a killer MVP:
- Step 1: Agile Development Methods and Divergent/Convergent Thinking: Using Agile development methods and divergent and convergent thinking can help your team find and prioritize the best ideas for your MVP.
- Step 2: User Discovery- Letting User Needs Inspire Epics: Building epics based on users and their needs will help you create a viable, successful MVP.
- Step 3: Market Discovery Phase- Using Market Analysis to Gain Leverage Over the Competition: Conducting market analysis to identify the primary market and discover what sets your app apart from the competition.
- Step 4: Planning Phase- Creating a Plan to Successfully Navigate Your Project Milestones: Using user stories, architecture, and conceptual designs to create a robust MVP development plan.
- Step 5: Design Phase- Taking Your Product from Paper to Prototype: Maximizing your UI/UX to create a seamless user experience and polished look for your MVP.
- Step 6: Development Phase- Embracing Less Engineering and More Testing: Avoiding common Development Phase obstacles using Grio’s key strategies for success.
- Step 7: Stabilization Phase- “Breaking” Your App So Your Users Don’t: Utilizing your test plan to find issues with your MVP so that your users don’t.
Below, we introduce Step 8: Release Phase- Making Sure You Practice Before Your Public Performance.
The Release Phase: Your MVP’s Soft Launch
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the Release Phase. This is where you expose your product to people outside the core product team. It is here that you’ll receive feedback that will help you create a successful product offering.
The Release Phase is typically broken into three smaller releases: Alpha testing, beta testing, and, finally, the public release.
The first step in the Release Phase is alpha testing. Though extensive testing was carried out during the Stabilization Phase, it is likely that the app has not been cohesively tested from the user’s standpoint. As a result, there are likely still some bugs present. It’s, therefore, best to start with an alpha release, so that any blatant errors can be caught by your supportive alpha testers.
Alpha testers are typically stakeholders, investors, or people closely aligned with your product who have an existing relationship with the product development team. These testers can give you some candid feedback before exposing your product to a wider audience.
Beta testing, also known as the Beta Release, occurs once the alpha testing updates are completed. Your beta testing can be performed in one of two ways:
- Closed Beta: A closed beta testing group is larger than the alpha testing group, but is still restricted to an inner circle of people vested in the success of the app.
- Open Beta: In an open beta test, your beta testers are members of the general public who are willing to help test your product and provide feedback.
Whether you do a closed beta or an open beta, your beta testers are aware that they might experience bugs or usability issues that are uncovered when more people are using the product. The product is typically offered for free during the Beta testing phase, in exchange for the valuable data collected from users.
Once developers receive feedback from the beta testing, they perform the final round of app updates before the public release.
This is the big moment. The public release of your MVP product is made available to everyone, typically online and in popular app stores, such as the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
If you’ve done your job correctly and successfully incorporated the feedback from the alpha and beta tests, your MVP will be a well-tested product that you are confident works properly and provides a great user experience.
Building a Killer MVP: Next Steps
You may have released your killer MVP, but the work is not over yet. Check out our tips and tricks for successfully measuring your MVP’s performance metrics in our next blog post, How to Build a Killer MVP, Step 9: Measure Phase- Determining Your MVP’s Success Using Key Performance Metrics.
Let’s discuss how we can transform your brilliant idea into a killer app.
Book a free MVP consultation with one of our industry experts today.
Learn more about Grio’s end-to-end app design and delivery plan, the MVP Blueprint.
If you missed other posts in this series, check out:
- How to Build a Killer MVP: Introduction
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 1: Agile Development Methods and Divergent/Convergent Thinking
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 2: User Discovery – Letting User Needs Inspire Epics
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 3: Market Discovery – Using Market Analysis to Gain Leverage Over the Competition
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 4: Planning Phase- Creating a Plan to Successfully Navigate Your Project Milestones
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 5: Design Phase- Taking Your Product from Paper to Prototype
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 6: Development Phase- Embracing Less Engineering and More Testing
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 7: “Breaking” Your App So Your Users Don’t
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 8: Release Phase- Making Sure You Practice Before Your Public Performance
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 9: Measure Phase- Determining Your MVP’s Success Using Key Performance Metrics
- How to Build a Killer MVP App, Step 10: Maintain and Enhance Phase- Valuing the Cycle of Continuous Improvement Throughout Your App’s Lifetime