The MVP that met the market fit

Carolina Turino
5 min readMar 1, 2024

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The digital products market is highly competitive, with new venture ideas emerging all the time. These ideas can succeed, but they can also fail. That’s why MVPs, Minimum Viable Products, are created.

The idea behind a MVP is to develop a test version of your project with the lower possible investment, but still capable of delivering the same value as the finished product. This way, the idea can be tested, and if approved, new resources are invested to evolve the product.

Startups often use the concept of MVP since they have little investment and a central idea of innovation to the market. Those in charge need to be quick in developing and implementing the project, efficiently gathering resources and directing them to the right areas.

Creating the MVP with a strategy to support its maturation in the market is essential to maintain its relevance in the long term. However, to define a strategy, resources such as time, research, and development are needed. We know that this may not be the reality for many startups; however, the lack of resources should not create a barrier to test a project that aims to be very useful to people. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider that in the product lifecycle, there will be a moment when the transformation of the MVP into a finished product, will be necessary.

Challenges of Redesign

People are resistant to change; changing means creating a new attitude. To change, intention is needed, and there will be a learning curve. Learning something new requires effort, some tasks require more than others. With digital products, it’s no different; users learn the visual architecture the first time they use the product.

The moment the product transitions from MVP to finished product is challenging. Users are used to the visual structure of the MVP; they know how to work around usability issues and take advantage of current functionalities. When a deep structural change is made, as in the case of a redesign, the product that once represented ease, now presents challenges to relearn the same functions in a new interface.

Regardless of the justifications that consolidate the need for redesign, old users already know the current product; so the change can create thoughts like “I will have to make an effort to relearn how to use what already met my needs.”

Redesigning digital products is a complex process that involves not only changes in user experience but also transformations in the internal operations of the company. Redesign challenges the users, the development teams and the customer support teams.

One of the challenges that may arise is that, despite maintaining the same functionalities, the new interface requires a learning curve. This transition can result in increased interactions with customer support, as users seek guidance to perform familiar tasks in the new interface.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that not all users will receive the redesign positively; some may express frustration and dissatisfaction with the change. Therefore, there are launch strategies that can smooth the transition between MVP and finished product.

Continuous Delivery with Feature Flags

When considering the redesign of a digital product, an effective strategy is to launch changes in a beta version, using feature flags so that users have the option to switch between viewing the previous version and the new one.

The feature flag is a code implementation method that allows a quick and simple activation and deactivation of functionalities. It enables the continuous implementation of new features into the code, even if they are not completely finalized. In case of issues, the feature flag can be immediately deactivated, keeping the new code turned off in the application.

Furthermore, the feature flag offers the flexibility of a customized rollout plan, where new features can be activated for specific user groups before being made available to the entire user base.

In my experience as a product owner, the beta version remained available for a maximum of two months in each section of the product. We provided an online form to direct users with improvement suggestions for the platform, aiming to reduce the demand on customer support during the transitioning period.

This process generated suggestions that exceeded our expectations, showing that many users want to contribute to the future of the product by sharing their needs that can become a competitive advantage for the company.

We conducted the redesign in phases. The first stage involved discovery, followed by the design critique, interviews, and usability testing with active users. After internal validation, we moved on to the first development phase, considering the release of the beta version with feature flag control available on the front end of the users.

The section redesign remained in beta while we began redesigning another section. We utilized this cycle to collect data and map suggestions received in the beta version. After analysis, the final version of the interface was designed, considering usability improvements and user experience in the navigation of the current version.

With the interface design finalized, a new development phase begins. This phase aims to remove the feature flag, eliminating the old version and updating the code to ensure the product performance.

In summary, the combination of MVP, beta version, and feature flags offers a structured and efficient approach to the launch of features and redesigning digital products. These strategies, not only allow for the controlled introduction of new functionalities, but also ensure a smooth transition for the users and an enhanced product experience overall.

Products that Delight

People are demanding when it comes to quality and seek the value that the product has to offer. In Aaron Walter’s book, “Designing for Emotion,” the author proposes an innovative approach to product design, aligning user needs with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Instead of developing products horizontally, focusing solely on the functional level, the author advocates for a vertical approach. Where each release incorporates elements from all levels.

The product is functional, reliable, usable, and emotional.

This mindset shift, known as the Minimum Lovable Product (MLP), prioritizes function, usability, performance, and an engaging aesthetics, even with limited resources. This approach not only strengthens the impact of the product with each user interaction but can also avoid the need for future structural changes, saving time and resources.

By adopting the MLP mindset, products can maintain a steady upward trajectory, captivating users from the first contact, even with an initial set of reduced functionalities.

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Carolina Turino

Product designer passionate about problems to solve and create an useful digital product carolinaturino.work