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I'm working as a hybrid designer with this company. I do UX/UI/IA/Research etc. Of course, it's too much for one person but they don't need more than one cook at the kitchen while they're setting up the foundations.

tl;dr:

My client is confused what MVP is and doing a full product development. I nNeed to help/steer them to lower the scope of their focus. Thinking to do card sorting workshop but I think it's an old method. Any tips?


Detailed description:

Startup that I'm working is trying to put up a very complex task into a digitised and slightly automated manner. I really dig the idea but I noticed that they're failing to grasp the idea of an MVP. Which I can definitely understand as none of them has a digital product background.

A week ago I've let them know that whenever an engineer is on board they'd might have an heart attack if they see the scope of their 'MVP'. Which exactly what happened yesterday. The guy literally said 'this is a year of development work'.

I'm starting to think it might be a bit my fault that I didn't steer them to more MVP product. I just implemented whatever they've though (that's also because I was trying to understand what their product was about). The stakeholders are more than okay to use any sort of online tools.

So as a brief I might need to come up with something. I was thinking a quick card sorting workshop but I think that's VERY old school way of thinking. The functions or needs are not simple to be written on the cards as well.

Do you have any tips and tricks how and what should I do?

2 Answers 2

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It should be as simple as this. First of all focusing and understanding on what is the hypothesis , the design problem and what pain & needs you are trying to solve for the user. Identify the main user's job to be done and the user flow. That should be non-negotiable.

Let's take as an example an ecommerce platform. The user's job to be done is to add products, set a price, upload description, specifications, select a category. Then some features would be:

  • automatic stock management ( set the stock and have it decrease when an order is placed )
  • integrate a payment method
  • integrate with a courier company service to generate automatically packing slips
  • generate invoice automatically
  • import / export products.

Then add these as post-its and negociate with the team where the feature fits in the prioritisation chart. ( import /export might be low user value and medium difficulty but integrating a payment method might be high user value, medium effort ). Then have the team vote with post'its which features should make it to the MVP.

https://www.nngroup.com/articles/prioritization-matrices/

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It's hard to suggest without detailed specifics, but you do need a hierarchy of needs so that you can decide the priority and features for each release including MVP.

Card sorting will help you group things together, but it will not help you in making an MVP. You might like to use the 80/20 rule, Inverted Pyramid or Hierarchy of needs, or in plain English, make a list of all the features, hold a design session and ask the stakeholders to arrange on the basis of rankings as in what is most important and what is least. and then you should focus based on the findings on what could be a potential MVP.

The idea of MVP is having a workable product but with lesser features, and you keep adding features as and when you go ahead with design and development.

Also you need to clarify to the stakeholders that you are talking about Agile environment and not waterfall

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