Side Projects

Pushing beyond the MVP

Should you be defining a minimum viable product, or a minimum viable experience?

I did some volunteering here and there for one of my favourite organisations Open Australia. This included occasionally managing the twitter handle for their project “Election Leaflets“. My job was to tweet and answer questions. I began noticing some patterns and then dug a little deeper to see what it all meant. I wrote up my research in an article: Scrutinising the Audience Experience of Election Leaflets.

Towards the end I made an observation about MVPs — minimum viable products, that distinguishes them from minimum viable experiences.

“Election Leaflets was a minimum viable product that successfully made election ephemera easily accessible online. Its future may be at a cross roads – the National Library also archives election pamphlets although it doesn’t yet publish content live for either enjoyment or scrutiny. The next step should its evolution continue will be for us to create a minimum viable experience for both familiar and new users to meet the needs of the community as a whole.”

In this case the MVP certainly proved the capability of the product and found a product market fit for those already familiar with Open Australia. The next step was to evolve the product into an experience that would see it expand to serve a new “market”, of politically engaged people unfamiliar with Open Australia and make the usability of the publishing flow more transparent.

Read the article for the full context but in the meantime consider whether your MVP caters to the needs of your audience across their end-to-end journey.

Election Leaflets Twitter User Journey revealed some break points in the experience with the product
Election Leaflets Twitter User Journey revealed some break points in the experience with the product where how to contribute was not clear for unfamiliar but engaged users.

By Erietta Sapounakis

Design manager & human centred designer. I write about design practice and report back on agile, UX, digital, service design and other meet-ups that I go to in Sydney.

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