Developing a new software product requires a lot of attention. Your main concern as a developer is providing the best solution to the end-user by eliminating their problems through the new idea.
To ensure potential difficulties are supervised with the correct solutions to fit the product and market, you should develop the software through PoC, prototype, or MVP. But what's PoC vs. MVP vs. Prototype? What are their differences? And which option will work best for you?
All your answers are here, so let's have an in-depth exploration.
What Is PoC?
Proof of Concept, or PoC, is a stage in software development where the product is built to test technical assumptions and confirm if the idea is beneficial and applicable before going for the actual development.
That means you build PoC when you are unsure if the software would work according to the planned idea. PoC is usually a small segment of the entire system, which is unseen to the end-users, as it is just to clarify which way to go before going for the development.
Main features of PoC
If you're looking for an accurate and quick way to endorse or void assumptions about your core audience and software concept, then PoC is what you need. Some of the valuable features of PoC are:
It gives you the knowledge on whether or not your software idea is workable
It allows you to understand how your software can be implemented
It helps you unearth risks and errors at the beginning of software development
You can make quick decisions, as the results are in 'yes' or 'no'
It saves your time and costs, as you can change your strategies rather than starting the entire project again after completing it
How Do You Create a PoC?
We’ve prepared a list of steps on how to create a PoC:
Clarify the product idea and the goals it's trying to achieve, along with the scope of work, objectives, and essential resources
Make the team responsible for product development and decision making, including the stakeholders
Create use cases to measure the success criteria
Implement test cases to examine the product's positivity, negativity, and durability
Gather all the results and compare and discuss them with the stakeholders and the entire team to see whether or not the product is successful
One of the best examples of the PoC approach is when Walmart decided to include Blockchain technology to track products' origins and refine its entire logistics system. To ensure it was the right thing to do and the company wasn't wasting its resources, the Walmart team built a Proof of Concept (PoC).
So your concept is proven now. The question is, how can you confirm whether or not it would work?
Relax! Next comes the prototype phase to ensure your product's viability.
What Is a Prototype?
A prototype is a model or sample of a product developed to test how effectively it works. One of the main reasons for building a prototype is to analyze, test, and rework the product until the expected outcomes are attained. In other words, the prototyping phase is a strategy to examine how a product would look once it's developed and what amendments it requires if the results are not up to the mark.
Building a prototype takes place when the PoC turns out to be positive, and it exposes bugs during the study and designing of the product.
Main features of prototypes
The prototype approach answers how the product will function. For instance, prototyping a mobile app is a type of user research to verify the strategic design of the software. So, the mobile app prototype will be the initial visualization to understand the mobile app's appearance and feel.
Therefore, using a prototype in this scenario is for testing the usability. You will have plenty of time to make amendments to the overall UX design and development to satisfy users in case of any problems or bugs.
A few of the many great features of the prototype include:
It helps to identify mistakes in the design before the start of product development
It saves your precious time, as well as monetary resources in contrast to full-stage development
It permits users to understand your product's workflow
It allows you to enjoy quick feedback before the development process
It represents all complex ideas under a comprehensive format
You can reuse prototypes to develop more complicated projects
You can get a successful product prototype with attractive design and development, which will convince people to invest in the idea
How Do You Create a Prototype?
You can make a prototype of your product by following these steps:
Define the user requirements and make a list of them so you can make the prototype accordingly
Create the initial prototype (prototype I) with all the listed features
Test the initial prototype by presenting it to the target audience, stakeholders, and users
Gather the feedback and discuss it with the team
Revise and repeat the process by following the input until desired results are achieved
The RubyGarage design team made a prototype of an e-commerce store. The store showed different UI element types and their positions to perceive how users would interact with the store when the final version is launched.
Once you know your prototype is successful, it is time to understand how the product would actually work in the real-life market. To do so, you will have to develop the MVP.
So what is that, and how can you create one? Keep on reading to find out the answers.
What Is MVP?
The "Minimum Viable Product" or "MVP" is what you call a testing version of the product with limited but sufficient features, making it workable. In simple words, in MVP development, the product doesn’t include a variety of cool features but only those traits that reveal the core functionality.
The reason why you build an MVP is to introduce the narrow version of the product to the market. In that way, you can understand whether or not the product is valuable. And in case the product emerges to be beneficial, bingo! You can start making money instantly from your initial customers and early users. And with this good news, you will be loaded with confidence and funds to include additional features on your MVP.
Main features of MVP
If you're implementing the MVP approach, it will help you develop a nominal and operational version of your product to kick off and test in the real market. The method will permit your team to grasp targeted users' experiences and their responses to your product. And learning from the real users' insights, you will be able to allot effort, time, and budget to all the essential areas to ensure the product satisfies your business objectives.
Creating an MVP is a repetitive process that helps reveal users' pain points and defines the correct functionality to overcome those problems over time. The MVP development comes with numerous features, like:
It helps you develop the product with useful features to tackle users' requirements
Uncovers the right direction for advanced development
Provides knowledge about the product's ease of use and market demand
You can verify the assumptions related to the product and its workability
Reduces the product risks
It helps save money and time for development and allows you to plan a correct development path
A fully developed MVP can help you gain greater user feedback to show as proof to investors
How Do You Create an MVP?
This is how you can build an MVP for your product:
Understand market demand to enhance the product idea
Focus on the value addition
Make a user-friendly design of your product for user flow
Add the most beneficial features to the MVP by questioning users, like what they want and how this product can ease their lives
Upon deciding the design and main features according to market needs, launch the MVP
It all started when an MVP successfully became the famous marketplace you know as Amazon.
When the initial version of Amazon was launched, the platform grew, and the founder, Jeff Bezos, started the expansion by widening the best-selling products on the website. He further improved the site's design to enhance user experience as customers were increasing on Amazon.
It was all possible because of user feedback, which allowed the gradual development of this global marketplace. And that made Amazon one of the biggest retailers in the entire world
Now that you're aware of what PoC, prototype, and MVP are, let’s see a table with the main differences between them.
Comparison of PoC vs. Prototype vs. MVP
Identification of the technical viability of the product idea.
Provides product's overview to the stakeholders.
Offers the shorter version of all the features to be launched in the market.
Is the ideal technically workable?
How would the product look and be used?
Is the product going to be achievable?
User Interaction and Targeted Audience
Developed for internal use.
Stakeholders are the target audience. Tell users how the product will appear.
Allow users to experience the product. A target audience is a predetermined group of potential customers.
Technical Resources Investment
Initial investment required.
Requires monetary investment, as well as technical resources.
Requires high investment and technical resources.
Internal funding needed for a small budget.
Has small development costs.
Proper budget estimation is required from an investor.
Reduces risks at the development stage.
Reduces risks related to user dissatisfaction through product workflow.
Reduces risks of losing resources, such as time and money, to launch the final product.
Which Approach Should You Choose?
We’ve prepared some tips for you to use when deciding which path to choose:
When Should You Use Proof of Concept (PoC)?
To show customers a working model of the app
To earn through your product (app)
To have an error-free application ready for use by customers
To understand the market demand to improve the application
When Should You Use a Prototype?
To have an early-stage funding
To verify if the idea is technically workable
To share internal knowledge with the team
To evaluate the success rate of the project or product traits
When Should You Use Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
To have a complete visualization of the app’s functions
To bring the app into the stakeholders' knowledge but have limited resources
When the technical resources are limited
To have an immediate appearance of the application
Knowing the importance, features, and pros of PoC vs. MVP vs. Prototype and selecting the correct strategy saves not only your time and money but also mitigates the risks of failures.
So, if you're unsure where to begin, our Geniusee specialists are always prepared to provide remarkable guidance. Contact us now, and let's turn your dream product into reality.