What has many people excited to start, in tears by the end, and is not a Tom Hanks drama? Your website redesign! People start out with such high hopes that they’ll have an amazing new website with lots of new features and a seamless user experience. Then with the blink of an eye the project is two weeks past due, at 180% of the original budget, and the vendor is requesting approval for ANOTHER change order. Now, before you start hyperventilating, let me hand you a figurative paper bag and tell you there is another way. Redesigning your website does not have to become a monstrosity of a project. Instead, your organization should consider using the minimum viable product strategy when developing your website.
What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
A minimum viable product (MVP) is the simplest version of your website you are able to create that still has all the necessary features for you to continue to do business. For associations, this might mean that the site allows customer to purchase memberships online, to register for events, and to access any members-only benefits that your organization has promised. The site will have a new design, there will be a fully functional menu, and business can continue. At the same time, an MVP may not have every single widget built out. Some of the functionality may be fairly simple, and there won’t be every single feature that everyone has ever wanted. You basically ask the question, “Will not having this feature prevent me from performing business critical tasks?” If the answer is no, then you probably don’t need it initially to launch your MVP site.
What is the advantage of a MVP?
An MVP site allows your organization to make decisions based on information instead of speculation. You have a plethora of problems with your current site – the site is not mobile friendly, it lacks new functionality, it does not integrate with your other system, and the navigation is poorly thought out. To address these issues, your organization has compiled a lengthy list of necessary requirements. But are they all truly necessary? Probably not. With a MVP site you’re better able to test out functionality without committing to the feature, and without giving up a great deal of capitol up front.