I understand the article's intent, but I much prefer "minimum lovable product" as championed by Cat Noone and others. I'd much rather design an ugly product everybody loves than a beautiful one no one cares about.
Beauty isn't required for product success, in fact, quite the opposite in my experience. The list of failed startups that launched "beautiful" products that no one wanted is a long and depressing list.
Why should ugliness be attached to loveable? I attach ugliness with bad UX, broken visual principles etc. and I can hardly see how anyone can love such product.
In a perfect world you have both. I think that the idea is to focus on the UX rather than the visuals. If you can do both, great. But the point is that people would rather have a somewhat ugly product that they love to use and which solves their problems than one that looks wonderful but isn't nice to use.
Nobody is talking about having a product pushed out that's just wireframes, or that is made to be intentionally ugly. Ugly here is somewhat hyperbolic.
In terms of design, ugliness should never be attached to lovable. But in the real world, it happens. Take Craigslist: one of the most popular classified ad sites in the United States. Beautiful? Nope. Lovable? Yes. At the end of the day, understand what your users want and need, and give it to them. That's a far better metric for success than product beauty, in my opinion.
Completely agree. "Beautiful" makes it sound like just making it pretty makes it a better "MVP", but that is not the right mindset.
I don't think we need to try invent new terms. The one we have works.
Here is how viable is defined:
viable: able to work as intended or able to succeed
Having a viable product means the user experience should be 'viable' as well.
One of the biggest problems for startup teams is that founders or engineers are using the MVP concept as an excuse to write bad software.
If this is anyone's stance on MVP, then they're missing the point entirely
Maybe spending an extra day adding animation and polishing the navigation menu to improve the user experience isn’t such a bad idea after all?
Because of course that stuff can just happen, requires little or no thought and can be implemented… it’s ‘just design and code’ :-/
No amount of polish can hide the fact that something is junk; performance, snappiness and stability are a baseline of any product, be it a native app or web based. It is part of the experience and a roll of glitter won’t help these issues.
Perception is key and the customer will only care about the technology behind a product when their experience is poor.
Edit: I’m down for MVP - something is better than nothing.
Beautiful but not usable. This is why we have UX designers in addition to visual designers.
I agree that MVPs are often too "minimal" — heck, I was part of a startup that basically scaled a series tiny MVPs, duct taped together, until it all fell apart — but making it more "beautiful" really isn't the answer.
Instead, I prefer words like "valuable" and "complete" — maybe Minimum Complete Product. Complete doesn't mean feature-rich, in this case, but rather that it does a job end-to-end (even if that's a small job).
I like it!