Designing User Experience for Minimum Viable Product

For some people, the first version of the product doesn’t need to be nice and perfect. Just go ugly early with one killer single-feature, so you can test your concept and find out what market actually really want before you spend more money on it. Yes, we know this as minimum viable product or MVP.

Technically, I agree with the MVP concept regarding the minimum effort and time to test our product in the market rather than waiting for one to two years building the product with the complete features.

But that doesn’t mean your product literally ugly or minimum. It means you have to deliver qualities along with your one killer single-feature. The qualities include how the users will feel and experience the product. The goal is to play the emotion of the users. Yes, it’s a good first impression that we want to create. Here are some tips that you might consider.

#1 Nice and simple visual design

Your design doesn’t need to be cutting-edge with stunning visual effect. However, it’s should be nice regarding the principles of visual design such as unity, balance, hierarchy, proportion, emphasis, and contrast. On each principle, there are elements, like line, shape, text, color that we should play it right.

By playing it right, it helps your user to understand the product. It will also build a good first impression that furthermore build the trust.

Postmate, Reserve, and Pinterest

#2 Use onboarding screen to show your unique value

Onboarding screen is a sequential screen that appears when we open the mobile app for the first time. The screen usually consists of 3 to 4 screens that explain about your product, how your product can solve their problem.

Onboarding Screen — Evernote

But, as most of the users quickly skip these screens, put only simple text that easily scannable and wrap it together with a good visual.

Use illustrations/photos to engage emotionally with the users rather than just showing app screenshots. Well, a picture can speak a thousand words. So, even our users only spend 3 to 5 seconds, at least, they can grasp the vibe.

Onboarding screens — Airbnb

Airbnb has a good example here, they use very nice and appropriate pictures to convey the homelike and pleasant feeling. Again, it’s about creating the first impression.

#3 Welcome your users and walk them

When users reach the home screen, simply welcome them and ask whether they need a short tour.

Welcome screen — Paper and Pinterest

If your product is a new and unique concept, make sure you walk the user through the process. The goal is to give them a feeling that they have succeeded to manage and understand the concept.

You can use coach marks to provide a quick explanation how is the concept.

Coachmark screen — Operator, Uber and Great Big Story

You can also utilize the empty state screen to engage and educate the users.

Empty state screens — Operator, Airbnb and Le Tote

Prepare also a page for FAQs that accommodates questions that may arise from the user side.

#4 Manage a Micro feedback

It is really good to know what your users say after they use your product especially if it is a service. You can quickly ask a simple question like, “how do you want to rate our service from 1–5.” Something simple, not a long and horrible survey that scare off users.

It’s called micro feedback, collecting only a bit of information from users right after they use your app or service. For example, Uber asks you to rate and comment the driver right after you rode the car.

Micro feedback screens — Grabtaxi and Uber

By collecting bits of information from users who actually engage with your product. You can use this data to improve the product in the next iteration.

Besides, if someone gives a bad rating and complaint, then we can track it. If something goes wrong from our side, we can approach and delight the user back.

Remember, it’s only minimum viable product (MVP). Don’t take too much effort and time to craft it. But, you can’t just simply go ugly.

- app screenshots from
- Get better qualitative data on your user experience with microfeedback