Startup Series #20 – MVP (Minimum Viable Product) Tools

Startup Series, Startups | 0 comments | by Erin Quilliam

A Minimum Viable Product, known as MVP for short, is the minimum features and functionality needed to create a working product.

In terms of software development, this means it is a piece of software with the minimum necessary features and functionality to create a working product for market.

While the minimum viable product can be part of a finished product, it also can be used in software prototyping to create a limited prototype to be used in order to test functionality, user experience, and gain feedback before the product is put into development.

We’ve written a blog post all about what an MVP is, and its benefits here.

But what MVP tools are available for you to use?

Your MVP is dependant upon the kind of service you are creating. We’re going to run down some of the best tools available to help create a clickable prototype or wireframe mockup.

 

Features

What We Like

Pricing

InVision

Simple click and drag system to add hotspots, turning designs into clickable prototypes.
Choice of click or hover hotspots to demonstrate user flow.
Add gestures and animations from double-taps to swipes to demonstrate user interactions.
Add links for almost anything. From other pages of your prototype, external URLs, anchor points, and more.
Create hotspot templates to easily replicate recurring items in your prototype, and apply them across all pages in one click.
Share through browser or mobile, or in real-time with LiveShare to collaborators, with features like live sketching and labelled pointers.
The free version of InVision lets you create one active prototype and keep it for as long as you need it. So if you’re not planning on making a host of products, this might be all you need.
InVision lets you upload JPG, PNG, PDF, and GIF files, making it compatible enough to let you work and design in whatever app you prefer.
The ability to add gestures, animations, and define click and hover hotspots make it easy to demonstrate how a user would navigate and use your product.
Conversing and commenting about the design is all done in the app. You can leave comments directly on an element of the prototype, and comments are threaded. Making it easy to know what people are talking about.
All plans, even the free ones,  feature 128 bit SSL encryption and daily backups. So no matter what you’re making, it’s secure and safe.
Free – Free trial.
Free – Free account. 1 prototype.
$15 per month – Starter plan. 3 Prototypes.
$25 per month – Professional plan. Unlimited prototypes.
$99 per month – Team Plan. Unlimited prototypes and up to 5 team members.
Contact for pricing – Enterprise plan, with unlimited prototypes and advanced features.

JustinMind

There are more features than we could hope to fit in this space, from the design tools to requirements management.

Create unlimited prototypes and have unlimited reviewers and developers.

Templates, pre-loaded UI kits and access and use of 4000 UI elements.

Include hotspots links, and effects like parallax scrolling to create highly interactive prototypes.
Choose from a wide variety of triggers, gestures and transitions to reproduce user experiences.
User management tools to let you keep control of users, permissions and roles when building your prototype.
The enterprise plan has everything in the pro plan, and a whole lot more. As far as MVP tools go, this app comes fully loaded.

JustinMind has a whole host of master templates, programmable actions, and assets to create prototypes and explore possible user flow and interactions.

The drag and drop interface makes it simple and quick to create a prototype. And means you don’t need to do any coding. Letting anyone create a simple prototype with interactions and effects even without coding knowledge.

Given the tools available, if you are only making the occasional, simple MVP prototype, you might be able to work exclusively from the free version.
You can share and test your prototype in any browser individually or collaboratively. You can also comment directly on the prototype so it’s clear what is being discussed.
Free – Free limited feature account.
$19 per user/month – Professional plan.
$39 per user/month – Enterprise plan.

Mockingbird

All plans have access for unlimited collaborators and full support for all wireframing features.
Drag and drop interface and snap-to-grid widgets make it easy to design a layout.
Many UI features available to resize and use. Even text inside elements can be resized.
Tab system to create multiple pages and easily navigate them.
Link mockups together, letting you preview interactively and understand the flow.
Link sharing to allow live collaboration.
It may not be the most sophisticated of MVP tools, Mockingbird is a firm favourite. It’s one of the best tools around to let you create a wireframe mockup quickly and easily.

 

Mockingbird also makes use of the open-source framework  Cappuccino, rather than Java or Flash. Meaning it can be more stable for working in the web-based app.

Being entirely web-based also means that Mockingbird requires no download or installation to use, and is easy to share and collaborate with. Great for working quickly or remotely.
Mockingbird is a very simplistic wireframe mockup tool, but it is also incredibly easy to use and creates clean, sleek designs that are easy to understand.

Free – Free trial.
$12 per month – 3 projects.
$20 per month – 10 projects.
$40 per month – 25 projects.
$85 per month – Unlimited projects.

Moqups

All plans have the following features.
Unlimited projects, objects, and image storage.
Drag and drop interface with a huge library of stencils, widgets, smart-shapes, and popular icons. It also works with imported images and text.
Intelligent drag and drop lets you replace icons whilst preserving the size, position and style.
Tools to help edit, from snap-to-grid, ability to bulk edit, and toggle visibility of elements.
Unlimited comments and feedback, and design annotation.
Moqups is another online tool built to allow teams to collaborate and easily create wireframe mockups.
The grids and snap features make it easy to create a clean layout when designing a mock-up. And the outline tab makes it incredibly easy to navigate the different elements on a page.
This is another app that is easy to use and can be used with little to no coding, making it a good option for people just wanting to create a simple but sleek mockup.
You can import your own designs from other apps and quickly turn them into interactive prototypes.
Free – Free trial version.
€13 per month – Personal plan.
€19+ per month – Creative team plan.
Prices start at €19 per month for 3 users and increase with user numbers.
Contact for pricing – Enterprise plan.

 

There are a wide variety of MVP tools available to use to create a prototype for whatever software you’re building. From simple clickable wireframes to intelligent mockups that mimic user interaction, there is something to suit the needs you have.

If you have no coding experience, you might be limited to the more simplistic tools and apps.

If you don’t feel experienced enough to create your own prototype using MVP tools, or simply don’t have the time, you can also enlist the help of software developers. Like those of us here at IT Enterprise!

IT Enterprise specialises in creating bespoke software for clients, so creating working prototypes – MVP or otherwise, – is nothing new to us. We don’t just stop at the prototype either. We can develop your prototype into a fully featured, functional piece of software.

If you’d like to learn more about MVPs, you can read our blog post here. Or, contact us today to discuss how we can help you create the perfect software solution for you!

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