In order to design a digital product that performs well, you need to be innovative and above all organize your project clearly, right from the first phases of reflection. A PoC, a prototype or an MVP can help you test your ideas and your project before investing time and money in development. Let's take a look at the differences between a Proof of Concept, a prototype and a Minimum Viable Product to help you figure out which one to choose!
PoC, to make the right decisions at the beginning of your project
PoC (Proof of Concept) is meant to test if an idea is viable, if it will work as expected and its potential to be designed and developed later. Proof of Concept can also be useful to determine the best choice between two solutions. Several PoCs can be prepared before you find the best idea for your project.
The advantages of the Proof of Concept:
- Allows you to decide at the very beginning of the project if it should be launched or not.
- Identify as early as possible the limits and potential problems of your project.
- Identify the best technological choices and the necessary tools or platforms.
- Save time and potential financial loss by avoiding launching a project that would not be viable.
The Proof of Concept is the solution to use if you ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my idea feasible?
- What is the budget for my project?
Prototype, to confirm user needs
Once you have validated that your idea is feasible (with the help of a PoC for example), it is important to start representing it visually. This is where the prototype, the first model of your project, comes into play. The main purpose of the prototype is to confirm the usability of the proposed product. The UX/UI Design team is usually in charge of creating the prototype.
The prototype can take the form of:
- a wireframe, which can be interactive and which allows you to represent the product visually and to concretely test functionalities.
- a model, more or less complex, which can even be made by hand, to represent your different user paths.
The benefits of prototyping:
- Get a first representation of your product, without the need to develop.
- Allows you to test the user experience of your product and thus define user needs.
- Save time by testing your product before having to develop a first version.
The prototype is the solution to use if you ask yourself the following question
- How can you define the best path for your users?
- How can you test and validate the user experience?
MVP, a first version of your product
The MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a version of your product composed of only the essential features. The goal is to have a version that can be used quickly in order to save design efforts and to be able to launch the project on the market.
The advantages of the minimum viable product:
- Have a usable version quickly.
- To be able to collect feedback from users as soon as possible.
- Limit the risks, by getting early feedback from customers you identify the expectations and concrete needs of the market.
The MVP will be the ideal solution for you if:
- You need a version of your product to raise funds, find investors.
- You need to validate your concept with customers and users.
Whether you are looking for investment or need to validate your ideas or test your solution with users a PoC, prototype or MVP can help you. Even before investing in development, these tools are useful to validate your ideas and confirm the stability of your project. It's up to you to choose the one that suits you best, depending on how far along you are in your thinking and your strategy.