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MVP vs. MLP: What's Right for You?

Adam Fard
Adam Fard, Co-founder & Head of Design
MVP vs. MLP: What's Right for You?

In this article, we'll explore the concepts of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and Minimum Lovable Product (MLP) in the context of product development. We'll delve into their definitions, and differences, and guide you in deciding which approach aligns best with your project's goals and constraints.

What's MVP?

MVP (Minimum Viable Product), as the name suggests, embodies the idea of creating the most basic version of your product that can still address the core problem or need of your target audience. The primary goal of an MVP is to test your product idea quickly and cost-effectively, gathering valuable user feedback in the process.

What's MLP?

On the other hand, MLP (Minimum Lovable Product) takes a user-centric approach that extends beyond mere functionality. An MLP aims to create a product that not only fulfills user needs but also captivates users emotionally through exceptional design and user experience.

The minimum lovable product is often viewed in opposition to an MVP. The typical infographics look something like this:



It would be best if we summarized the differences in the table here.

Aspect MVP MLP
Definition MVP focuses on essential features MLP prioritizes user experience and design
User Experience Functional but basic Exceptional and emotionally engaging
Design Often minimalistic High attention to aesthetics and usability
Time to Market Quick launch with core features Longer development time for refinement
Market Validation Rapid validation of basic concept Building a loyal user base
Risk Management Mitigates risk through early feedback Higher investment with potentially greater rewards

How to Build an MVP

Here are a few practical steps you can take to develop an MVP.

  1. Identify Your Target Audience: Begin by defining your target audience and creating user personas. Understand their pain points and needs.

  2. Define the Core Problem: Clearly articulate the core problem your product aims to solve. This forms the foundation of your MVP.

  3. Determine Essential Features: Identify the minimal set of features required to address the core problem. Avoid feature bloat.

  4. Build a Functional Prototype: Create a functional prototype or the minimum version of your product that includes these essential features.

  5. User Testing and Iteration: Launch your MVP to a select group of users for testing. Gather feedback and iterate based on their insights.

In our agency, we adhere to the following process:

How to Build an MLP

Practical Steps for Building an MLP:

  1. User Research: Conduct comprehensive user research to understand user preferences, emotions, and aspirations.

  2. Design Prototypes: Develop design prototypes that focus on aesthetics, usability, and an intuitive user experience.

  3. Gather Feedback: Continuously gather user feedback throughout the design and development process.

  4. Emotional Engagement: Create user-centric experiences that evoke positive emotions and foster a deep connection with your product.

How Do You Decide Which?

Choosing between MVP and MLP hinges on several factors:

  • Project Goals: Consider your objectives. Are you looking to quickly validate an idea (MVP) or create a product with a strong emotional connection (MLP)?

  • Target Audience: Understand your audience's expectations. Do they prioritize functionality or are they swayed by aesthetics and user experience?

  • Resources: Assess your available resources in terms of time, budget, and talent. MVPs are typically less labor-intensive than MLPs.

  • Competition: Evaluate the competitive landscape. Will exceptional design and user experience set you apart? If not, an MVP might be a better idea.


In conclusion, the choice between MVP and MLP depends on your project's specific goals, resources, and timelines.

Whether you opt for the pragmatic approach of MVP or the user-centric approach of MLP, the ultimate goal remains consistent: delivering value to your users and achieving success in the market.

By considering the factors discussed in this article, you'll be better prepared to make an informed decision and set your product development journey on the right path.

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