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13 results returned for "Lizzie Healy"

Tuesday, Jan 24th, 2017

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
It's Hip to Write Script

There are countless design programs available for designers (and non-designers) to learn, each with unique tricks and tips. In my early stages of learning Adobe Photoshop, I spent roughly five hours watching and attempting to create coffee beans. I then Googled "PNG Coffee Beans" and clicked copy and paste. It got the job done.

Creatives express their design chops in many ways, and while they may excel at drawing or calligraphy, they may struggle with adapting to the scores of options available with design programs. You could take the time to watch one of the many video tutorials online walking you through each step, or you could learn a few easy hacks to get you through those beginning stages. Because sometimes you just need to put pen to paper, we're walking you through how to convert your hand drawn sketches, letters, and images into an SVG.

What the heck is an SVG you ask? An SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. Gibberish, I know. Google provides equally gibberish answers. In my own plain language definition, it is an image that does not have a background, enabling you to place it as a layer on top of other images without the lovely white square background. This is helpful for things like logos and icons because they can be placed on a lot of different images without interrupting the design.

So here it is:

Step 1: Sketch It

Draw your design by hand, with pen and paper. It helps to use fat markers like Sharpies to create a starker contrast. Try to use white paper and a black pen because converting an image that uses black vs. white will be much more successful. It also helps to tend towards thicker lines instead of thinner, as the converter will pick these up more easily.

Step 2: Snap It

Take a picture of your sketched image. Avoid shadows on the paper, again think CONTRAST.

Step 3: Upload It

Upload the image to an SVG converter. There are a lot of sites that do this, but we used http://image.online-convert.com/convert-to-svg (because it came up first when we Googled it).

Step 4: Convert It

If you are using a converter that gives you the option to choose color, select grey or monochrome. Click "Convert File".

Step 5: Open It

Save the file and open it in a design program like Adobe Photoshop. It's actually that simple.

Wednesday, Dec 21st, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
8 Reasons Your Business Should Be Going Live On Instagram

Instagram, continuing their march to meticulously rip off the best elements of their competitor's social media platforms, has been rapidly rolling out "new" features that look and feel eerily familiar. As if following a social media recipe for success, they've added a pinch of Snapchat here, a dash of Pinterest there, and a heaping spoonful of Periscope to top it off. The resulting Frankenstein social media platform is actually pretty incredible, and users are eating it up. Last week, Instagram announced that it had crossed over the milestone 600 million users, acquiring 100 million new users in the past month. With new users flocking to the app, and the introduction of features like Instagram Live, businesses have an amazing opportunity to build a closer, more authentic relationship with their followers.


  1. It's Easy to Use

  2. To start using Instagram Live, simply swipe right from your feed to open the camera and tap "Start Live Video" to begin sharing. Instagram sends notifications to specific followers, based on their algorithm for who would be most interested, to alert them that you are going Live. The word LIVE will also appear below your image in stories.

  3. It's Scarce

  4. Because FOMO is real (and effective for marketing), the Live video will only be viewable while streaming is in progress and disappear immediately after. Do. Not. Forget. To. Promote. Drop hints and reminders to followers to let them know when you will be Live, with incentives for them to follow. Think: giveaways, special announcements, relevant and interesting content. Ask users to turn on notifications, which will ensure they are alerted when you go Live, so they Don't Miss Out! Because once the cast is over, it's gone forever. FOMO is a marketer's best friend.

  5. It's Responsive

  6. Have you ever been on a dance floor when a bad song comes on, and everyone decides it's a good time to leave and refill their drinks? This is the same concept as the number on the top right of your screen, which shows how many people are tuning in or tuning out of the broadcast. You can immediately judge which content works and which sends people running for another drink by the number going up or down. This makes catering content to your audience even simpler because you can judge it in real time.

  7. It's Direct Access to Consumers

  8. Your Live broadcast can last for up to an hour, during which viewers can heart or comment on the video in real time. Instagram let's you report any internet trolls with just a click, or turn off comments all together (though this would ruin much of the marketing benefits of the broadcast). During the broadcast, businesses can provide details about pricing, availability, special features, and respond to questions as viewers ask them. Live allows businesses to get direct feedback from viewers on products and services, just by swiping and asking.

  9. It's Authentic

  10. You've heard it over and over again. Consumers respond to marketing that is authentic, real, and personable. They can spot a fake from a mile away. With Instagram live being filmed on the fly, it's your opportunity to say f%$k it, do it live! As much as you can and should plan your cast ahead of time, the value in going Live is that it's a genuine, unedited look behind the scenes. Be real, share personal stories, burn food. That's why people tune in to watch.

  11. It's Branded

  12. Going Live on Instagram is an incredible opportunity to showcase your brand. Your brand reflects the core values of your company, and what better way to convey these than through behind the scenes looks at how products are made, introducing team members, and showing off the culture that makes your company so unique. There's a reason research is predicting that 75 percent of all data will be video by 2020. It allows you to go beyond a flat image and convey your message through visual and audio content all at once. Dance to your own jingle, drink from a mug branded with your logo, show off all the benefits of your product or service in real life situations. The possibilities are endless.

  13. It's Engaging

  14. Engage with customers through an interactive Q & A, where you can receive and respond to viewer's questions in real time. Ask questions directly to viewers about what they like, don't like, and want to see more or less of. The ability to pin comments is an amazing hack by Instagram that can be used in a few different ways. Pin questions you ask, questions and comments being posed by viewers, or just add a brief description about what you're doing so viewers just tuning in can be quickly caught up to speed.

  15. It's Fun

  16. The best part about Instagram Live is that it's fun. So your business should be having fun with your Live stream. Show a cooking class. Mix up your favorite drink. Do a cosmetics tutorial. Demo a new product. Teach a fitness class. Preview a new track. Make you video content something that is appealing to your demographics, with tips that benefit viewers and incentivize them to keep tuning in. Rule of thumb: if you're having fun, your viewers will too.

Monday, Nov 28th, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
It's The Most Digital Time of the Year

We're making a list of E-Commerce Holiday Do's and Don'ts and checking it twice. Today marks the official online kick off of holiday shopping season with Cyber Monday, the web equivalent of Black Friday. This year more than ever, customers are avoiding the chaos of shopping in store and opting instead to hunt down bargains from the comfort of their couches. This holiday season, digital sales are expected to increase by a whopping 25%, leaving your brand with one crucial question: is your website ready? Tis the season....to prep your e-commerce site for the holidays.

DO: Be on the lookout for 2016 Marv & Harry's
The characters behind holiday hijinks now operate in a new realm: online. Cyber security needs to be a top priority for any website, but most importantly ones dealing with private consumer data like banking and credit card information.

DO: Complete a security audit.
One customer with a bad experience could destroy you with online reviews. Doing a security audit early on in the holiday shopping season ensures all transactions and access points are secured, and can prevent your customers having an experience that sends them running to Yelp.

DO: Reassure nervous shoppers.
Have yourself a merry little purchase. Include a trust seal for customers so that they can feel confident their online purchases are secure.

DO: Embrace the holidays.
The holidays overflowing with eggnog and themes (as if you couldn't tell from this blog post), and the perfect opportunity for marketers to get creative. Top retailers take advantage with specialty landing pages promoting holiday offers and products, and capitalizing on these easy themes.

DO: Include customer reviews.
The little drummer boy wants to purchase new drum sticks, and heads to two websites to compare products. One website has ample reviews, speaking to the quality of the drumsticks and providing a four-star rating. The other has no testimonials and he has no indication of the quality of said drum sticks. Which ones do you think the little drummer boy is going to purchase?

DON'T: Skimp on descriptions.
Do you hear what I hear? Customers might not understand how a product is described, so make sure there are enough pictures and information included included in every product listed. Providing accurate, informative, extensive information about products is crucial to making online sales.

DON'T: Lose customers at checkout.
I'll be home for Christmas and so will your presents. Many companies lose customers on the checkout page because of lengthy shipping times or high costs. Companies can benefit from charging lower costs for shipping or building that cost into the product. Don't pay the price of losing customers because you didn't want to pay the price of shipping.

DON'T: Forget to take into consideration the type of product your buyers are looking at. According to studies done by the Nielsen Group, shoppers looking at thumbnails of bookcases were studied carefully, while thumbnails of flat-panel TV's were pretty much ignored. The use for the product is different. One was studied for the look and feel, while the other was purely studied for function and the usefulness could be conveyed through text.

DON'T: Forget to provide a clear value proposition on your website.
Shoppers visit countless websites when shopping for holiday gifts. The items that stand out are ones that showcase their value! What can this product do for me? I don't want to purchase speakers, I want to be rocking around the Christmas Tree. I don't want wireless noise canceling headphones, I want a silent night. The crucial elements of a good value proposition are: clear, simple language that showcases the promise of value with a product. Shoppers need to understand the features, advantages, and benefits of the item!

Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
5 Design Disasters & How To Avoid Them

Designers do not get enough credit for their work. It takes research, restraint, and ultimately a good eye. Any average person may look at a website and think, "Hey, I can do that!" Setting to work building your website from a source bursting with templates and options, you end up falling prey to the many pitfalls of poor web design. You don't need to use every plugin option. Trendy isn't always the best answer. And simple elements may get overlooked without planning. Below, we take a closer look at the problems that many DIY web designers encounter and how you can fix them.

Too Many Bells & Whistles
The Problem: You want your users to know what your site offers, what they can find there, create value, direct where to go next, build SEO into your content, reinforce your Adwords, and tell a story about your brand. You want to have it all! Well, you can't. Not on your homepage at least.
The Solution: Less really is more when it comes to your homepage. Slow your roll, and just include the intuitive elements that will lead visitors to the next, more informative sections. Don't get me wrong, its important to do all of these things on your website. But for the homepage, you only have a few lines of text and a simple graphic to do so. Throw the kitchen sink at the visitor and they won't know where to look, rendering all that "useful information" useless.

Not Enough Bells & Whistles
The Problem: In your scramble to spin up a website, you forgot to include some key elements to make your users experience better. No search bar, no call to actions, and an unorganized content layout create a poor experience for visitors.
The Solution: A search bar should be easily found on your web pages. It saves visitors time and simplifies navigation. Keep your pages simple enough to quickly scan, with a clear hierarchy to guide your eyes through the page. Using call to action buttons to direct visitors to the next sections are invaluable. Planning this before starting to design is a key to success.

Endless Scrolling
The Problem: You designed a stunning website...on desktop. You completely forgot that that paragraph of text will extend to the length of two IPhones when viewed on mobile. Who is going to read all that?
The Solution: To create an effective responsive design, or web design that has been optimized for mobile, ensure that the horizontal grids created on your web page can collapse into vertical lists when a user is operating on a mobile device. Grouping or reorganizing content can help prevent the endless scroll that results from poor designs.

Hiding Contact Info
The Problem: Failing to put a phone number, address, email, or contact information in several, easy to find locations. You put all that time and energy into trying to direct users to your website, and then once they got there, you never included how they can actually reach your business!
The Solution: Your business should be everybody's business. Providing multiple ways that users can contact you caters to their specific preferences. Make sure that this information is on every page.

Being Antisocial
The Problem: Forgetting to link your social network sites. This is a HUGE bugaboo for me. I once received an email blast from a company with no Instagram link at the bottom. Curious as to why such an established company didn't have an Instagram page, I went searching for it. It was glorious. And I almost missed out on seeing it because of an oversight! (Yes, I did email them back and tell them it was missing. Marketing looking out for marketing).
The Solution: Many people, like myself, go searching for more than just the basic information listed on a website. We want the story and the background that makes a brand what it is. Forgetting to link your social media is a major fail.

Thursday, Nov 10th, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
Mo'bile Mo' Problems

When creating a website, every aspect is carefully thought through to determine what will yield the most success. Every button, color, and action is analyzed and carefully chosen, but the most irreplaceable element of a website is it's responsiveness. A responsive web design allows a site's layout to change to accommodate the screen it's being viewed on, and without it, your carefully chosen design elements will be useless. The importance of this cannot be understated, as customers are increasingly reaching business websites from mobile and tablet devices in addition to their computers. See for yourself how users are viewing your website with some statistics about mobile in Devshop's Mo'bile Mo' Problems infographic.

Tuesday, Sep 20th, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
Push It To The Limit

Your phone is laying next to you. The screen illuminates. You stop what you're doing and scan the screen for something to peak your interest. Low balance alert, damn it. You go back to what you were doing. Every app is at risk of being forgotten, left sitting on a back screen or in a folder labeled "Uselessness" along with the stocks app. Push notifications can make the difference in your app being one of the forgotten, or making it into someone's daily routine. Last year, users who enabled push notifications launched an app an average of 14.7 times per month versus 5.4 times a month for users who did not enable notifications. 3X more launches? Sign us up.

Come on girls, let's go show the guys that we know how to become number one in a hot party show. NOW PUSH IT.

Yes, driving users to engage with your app is the main goal of push notifications. But like most marketing, there is value to be found in other elements. Is it generating buzz? Is it adding value to your brand? Is it creating awareness or building trust with your users? Your strategy should be less focused on clicks, and more focused on ways to build your brand. The language (or emojis) you choose should be consistent with the messaging you use throughout your marketing.

Turn offs include...

Did you click on this article because it looked boring? No. Something about it was compelling. The content of your push notifications need to be compelling enough that users don't turn to the dreaded "Turn off push notifications" option, and instead are persuaded to open the app. The content should be witty and interesting, and provide them with something worthy of their time. If your users don't find value in receiving notifications from you, they will turn you off quicker than cargo pants.

Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me

I am a vicious online shopper. It's a hobby, it's a sport, it's a passion. And like any good online shopper, I filter my search with precision to find exactly what I'm looking for so I don't have to wade through items I'm not interested. You can apply this same concept to your user's push notifications by allowing them to customize their settings so they choose what notifications they want to see. Rather than turning notifications off completely, allow them the opportunity to decide what's important to them. For instance, ESPN's app prompts you to choose which teams you want to receive updates on, instead of just sending you blanket news about sports. Kayak, a travel app, gives you the option to set notifications based on dates and destinations that alert you when a price has dropped based on your criteria. Users are teeing it up for you by telling you exactly what they want to hear from you.

Push, not shove

You don't want to be the whiney girlfriend complaining that users never pay attention to you anymore. Instead, try to use language that is encouraging. Don't shame users into opening your app or try to preach to them that you know best. We get it Yahoo Fantasy Football, you don't agree with my lineup choices. I read the injury report, and I don't need your judgment.

What's in it for me?

Coupons have been around for decades, but they remain relevant because they offer incentive to customers that drive them to visit. Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks provide value to users by offering them a discount or a coupon at specific times. They make them time sensitive to further drive engagement. There is a 5% higher click through rate with notifications that include the words "off" for discounts and promotions. Success is also seen with words like "come" and "only" that create a sense of urgency.

AWWWW, YEAHHHHH

I can't be the only one who immediately thinks of GrubHub when they see this phrase. In fact, its making me a little hungry to type this. GrubHub speaks to their users in a casual, comfortable manner. In addition to using language that reflects your brand, your language should speak to your demographic in a way they can relate to. Bonus points for using their name, with users being three times more likely to convert from a push notification when its personalized.

Timing is everything

When I was researching the best times to send out a push notification, I found that the strongest open rates are 10AM-1PM, with little variation by day. But I'm going to go out on a limb here with my marketing expertise and say that may not be the best time for you to hit send. I suggest you get to know your audience instead. A/B test until the cows come home. And most importantly, know your product. If you are a language app, your user probably isn't studying on a Saturday night, so hold off on push notifications that night. If you're an EDM show finding app, your user is ready to rage Saturday night and would love a push notification at that time. Know your audience and think about why they downloaded your app in the first place. Ignore best practices.

Location, Location, Location

One day I read a review for an app that assured me I would find the best drink deals in town. I downloaded it immediately, ready to start saving/drinking. I promptly forgot about it. A few days later, I was walking to a friend's apartment and ding ding! I received an alert that I was walking near a bar I could be saving/drinking at. The real value in this app was born. It was making my life easier and more convenient. Instead of leaving it to take up storage in my phone, I actually engaged with the app.

Never forget to SQUIRRELL!!

Our attention spans are short. Are you even still reading this article? Have you clicked on three different notifications while you read it? Because our attention spans are so short, we often get distracted and forget that we left an item in our cart instead of actually ordering it. Check in with users to see if they were done with your app to draw some clicks. Remember that your users have a short attention span when writing your notifications and keep the word count low. They should be able to quickly scan to determine if they are interested.

Facebook Birthdays, like, can you not?

I surveyed a few friends about the type of notifications that they liked and disliked. Highest marks go to Poshmark, an app where you can list, sell, and purchase clothing. Poshmark sends out clever notifications multiple times a day that are guaranteed to spark a conversation, a laugh, or a screenshot. As I am sitting here writing this blog post, I received a notification from Poshmark about pumpkin spice. Timely and relevant as always. However, the only thing this notification made me do was get up and get a coffee, not necessarily go sell some clothes. It's not a blatant sales pitch, but they were on my mind.

You gotta pump those numbers up, those are rookie numbers

The other response I received when polling my friends, family, and coworkers was that they have no interest in push notifications, and in fact turn most of them off immediately. A marketer's nightmare. However, a trend did emerge in the select few that made the cut. Most people continue to keep notifications on social apps, like Instagram and Snapchat. The other one was typically a news app, like CNN or New York Times. This is pretty interesting insight into what user's value. First and foremost, they value their friends. They want to stay connected with people. Second, they value the world around them and timely, breaking news. Ultimately, the most important question to consider when you are writing your push notifications is "does this create value for the user?" The ultimate goal should be to make your users life better! Don't be repetitive with your messages. Try to make your user laugh. Is this alert going to help them, or distract them? If you're going to interrupt someone's life, make it a worthwhile message.

Thursday, Aug 18th, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
Best Practices for Collaboration Between Designers and Developers

The design process it absolutely critical to building an application that is both beautiful and functional. These designs serve as a guide for developers, a brand and face for a company, and ensure a clean experience for users. With this all important task, its crucial to remember that no designer is an island. Creating the best designs requires another essential element: collaboration. Poor synergy between designers and development can leads to stress and tension for developers, designers, clients, project managers, and the rest of your team.


Throughout the course of a project, miscommunications between these two parties can occur often. Developers bouncing between projects can mix up where they picked up and left off. Designers can overlook minor styling elements like error messages. Disorganized site maps can lead to confusion, and designers and developers can run into problems when they don't see eye to eye. But many of these issues can be eliminated by simply implementing better practices for communication. Following these simple guidelines can help to ease many of the problems faced throughout the design and development process.

Obsessive Compulsive Design

Organization is absolutely irreplaceable. No matter how amazing designs are, if they are disorganized, they are not useful. Designers- make life easy for your developers by creating the cleanest, most well organized files possible. When labeling layers, include a title, breakdown, and a name that makes sense (to both designers and developers.) Sketch provides the option to annotate your documents, so take advantage of this! Properly labeling requires less clarification later on. Developers- don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you don't understand those labels! There's nothing worse than spending hours coding only to realize you've have been working off of an old mock. No matter what assets are being provided, they need to be on time, detailed, and complete.

Can you hear me now?

Clear communication is the simplest way to ensure that designers and developers are collaborating well. Designers and developers should be encouraged to communicate regularly to gain a better understanding about the status and elements within a project. Benefits go beyond just clear understanding. The extra input leads to more innovative and functional designs for the end user. Every designer has had the experience of staring at a design for a week straight and not noticing a typo, only to be immediately spotted from a fresh set of eyes. Been there, dseigned that.

Meet and Greet

Don't just meet a little, meet a lot. Meet to review the wireframes before designs begin to get made. Meet before a designer presents mock ups to a client to make sure they are realistic for development. From kickoff to presentation, someone from development should join in all design meetings with clients. The extra time spent is essential in preventing miscommunications and misunderstandings that lead to the dreaded response from clients that the finished product doesn't look like the mock ups.

Como Se Dice...Language

Use language that is constructive, descriptive, and detailed. People typically don't see things the same way based on their tastes, preferences, or past experiences. Avoid words like "trendy" or "chic", and instead opt for clearer terminology that describes more literally what you are looking for. Don't leave room for misinterpretation. Designers should have a firm understanding of the lingo used for development as well.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

It's important that both designers and developers approach the project with respect everyone's opinion. Designers, put yourself in the developer's shoes and think how a developer would and vice versa. Be open minded and consider all ideas, even if they aren't yours. Both designers and developers are experts in their field, but that doesn't necessarily make them the authority with the final say. Sometimes a tie breaker vote from an outside party may be in order, but as long as the situation is handled respectfully a lot of problems can be avoided.

Tuesday, Aug 2nd, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
Homepage, Sweet, Homepage

10 seconds. That's all the time you have to make a great first impression when a user visits your website. 10 seconds to let them know who you are, what you're about, how you can make their life better, and why they should keep clicking. It's a tall order for just a few seconds, but is a crucial element to the success of your website and your business. This time is a brief chance for you to connect emotionally with visitors and show them, through a combination of a few critical elements, what you can do for them (without overwhelming them).

Relevant Images

Using images or videos on the homepage of a website is the standard for web design, but as with anything else, the quality of these images is ultimately the most important. When choosing an image or video, make sure that it is high quality and up to date. It's 2016, so don't choose a large image of someone holding a landline phone to represent your company (unless you sell landline phones). Avoid cheesy stock photos. Visitors pick up on it immediately if the images don't feel authentic and genuine. They should instead highlight what you offer, and reflect your businesses branding. This image or video is a terrific opportunity for you to convey what you offer without overwhelming your user with text. Take advantage of it.

Headline

In 6-12 words, your headline should let the visitor know exactly what your website or business has to offer. The headline is probably the trickiest element of your home page, because it needs to clearly and concisely convey why your business is unique, and why visitors can benefit from being there. It's important to remember that this headline should be about your visitor, not about you. They want to know what you can do for them, not the other way around. This is an easy element to change and update. You don't have to be married to it, so don't hesitate to keep working to make it better and more compelling.

Subheadline

The subheadline, which appears just below your headline but above the fold on your homepage, should compel users to dig deeper. In 1-2 sentences, your subheadline should spark the interest of a reader, showing clear value, and showcasing what you do. They don't have to be there, so don't waste their time. Keep the copy for your subheadline lightweight and easy to read, while positioning yourself as an authority on the topic that they can trust. It's a fine line to walk, and will also require a few tweaks before you hit a home(page) run.

Call to Action
Along with the subheadline, your homepage should include a call to action. When a visitor first clicks on to your homepage, it should be immediately clear what action they should take next. Should they find out more? Should they sign up now? Make their journey through your website as simple as possible, providing an obvious route to the next step they should take. This call to action should be clear, leaving no question as to where it would lead. It should also be compelling. Again, they don't have to be there. Make it worth their while.

Contact Information

Drake said it best, "you know when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing: more qualified business leads generated." Pretty sure that's how the song goes. In order to connect with these qualified business leads, you need to provide easily accessible and up to date contact information on your home page. If you have a brick and mortar business, make sure you not only provide the address, but include a map so that patrons can easily find your business. In addition to being able to easily find your business, providing contact information adds credibility. People want to work with real people, in a real office, who they can really speak to! Don't make it hard for them to find you.

Social Media
Your marketing team spent 2 hours' yesterday lining up a keyboard with a notepad and pencil for the perfect flatlay picture (or wait, was that me?). Don't let those hours of effort go to waste. Get social by promoting your social media pages on your homepage. Use icons, and make sure that your links are all working properly. Just like providing accurate contact information, including social media posts and links helps to build trust with potential customers. It's no longer a value added, its an essential.

Subscribe
Keep it short, keep it simple.

Your website's homepage is your first chance to capture a potential customer and show them how you can make their life better with your product or service. With every element, its important to remember that a little can go a long way. Don't overwhelm your visitors with an overload of information and pictures. Every item that you do choose to include, remember: Branding, Branding, Branding. You have worked hard to carefully craft a voice, don't miss the opportunity to show visitors who you are and what you represent.

Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
Benefits To Building A MVP

Are you jumping in head first or biting off more than you can chew? At Devshop, we work with all levels of business, from startup to enterprise level, and everything in between. Sometimes we are tasked with building an application for an existing business, but often the application is the business. In these cases, where the platform is so heavily intertwined with the business itself, the importance of a successful, streamlined application with the cleanest functionality out of the gate becomes even more relevant.
When we are approached by businesses in the idea formulation phase of development, we find that many platforms stand to benefit from building a MVP up front. We often recommend the MVP, or minimum viable product, route because it helps in determining the practicality of an idea is at its core. Creating an initial MVP does not mean releasing an unfinished product. Your MVP should still accomplish your main goals, but save the bells and whistles for V2. Coming from a non-tech background, one of the first things I learned working at a development shop was that a website or application is never really done. It's constantly evolving, developing, and pivoting based on the needs of the user and the goals of the business. Focusing on the main functions of your application as a starting point comes with a long list of benefits.


  1. Getting To Market Sooner

    Competition is constantly present, so a business stands to benefit from any advantages possible. Being the first to market provides a leg up on the competition, gaining valuable recognition before similar apps are on the scene.

  2. Avoiding Overwhelming Users
    A major hurdle in acquiring or converting users lies in their ability to grasp the concept of an app. Beyond designing UX with the user in mind, building an initial product that is simple enough for a user to easily understand can aid in overcoming this barrier.

  3. Getting Real User Feedback Before Adding Features
    User feedback gets watered down when too many features are introduced, making it harder to draw conclusions about the core functionality of the application. Streamlining what components users are interacting with allows them to provide deeper insight into the overall concept, rather than being bogged down insignificant details.

  4. Avoids Wasted Time And Resources
    A client who approaches us with an extensive list of features for their initial product will often be met with a longer timeline and a higher estimate to build it. Whether you're a startup or an enterprise level client, no one benefits by wasting time and money. Creating an initial MVP accomplishes the ultimate goal while saving man hours and cutting down on costs.

  5. No Product Is Ever Finished
    We know you don't want to release an unfinished product to market, and neither do we. We would never recommend that. What we would advise is that no product is ever really complete, so if you are waiting until your application is finished you will never launch. Leaving room to grow once your application is in the hands of users ensures that you're are growing in the right direction.

  6. Lessens Chances For Bugs
    Have you ever opened an application that unexpectedly quit on you in the middle of an action? Frustrating. We want to avoid that. Throwing everything but the kitchen sink in means less time devoted to core functions and a greater likelihood of having bugs within the application.

  7. Makes Implementing Changes As Simply As Possible
    Venmo didn't start out seeking to be Venmo, and Uber offered a fraction of the benefits it does today. Features can always be added on, but changes can occur more quickly when you begin with a less complex product. You may be one easy pivot away from the next best thing, but going too far down a specific path with your initial product can deter any simple adjustments.

Building an MVP allows for easier analysis and adjustments, which will ultimately result in the best possible product. A MVP is a way to test a platforms business model with the least amount of complex features. While this is not a one size fits all method, considering creating an MVP initially has clear benefits that could ultimately mean the success of an application in the long run.