Expectations vs Reality

Or, “What I ordered vs what arrived”

Over the past several weeks, as I’ve been working on a side project that involves actual developer involvement, and it’s not as easy as handing off a prototype and annotated wireframes.

As a group of 4 designers, we brought a LOT of ideas to the table, and thought through multiple user stories and features. For a product that didn’t even have a landing page yet, our designs included the flows for different user personas, multiple tasks, and even a settings page.

When our developers took a look at the mockups, there was definitely a *record scratch* moment. In order to ship a minimum viable product, we had to scale the features way down. From multiple user personas and several pages, we stripped the features down to about 3 pages, and 2 real tasks that users can perform.

Was this process disheartening? Not entirely. It was more like a much needed reality check. Outside the world of Material Design UI kits and pretty Figma mocks, coding an actual product takes considerable time and effort — hence, the minimum viable product. What is the simplest way to allow users to accomplish a single task that is at the core of the product?

Our team of designers had jumped the gun a little — we had designed for much more than just a MVP. Back to the drawing board we went, taking features out and reconfiguring a simpler layout. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean all our work upfront was for nothing — as our MVP is coded and shipped, we’ll have a version 2, 3, and 4 ready to go!

As we gather feedback from users, we can integrate features and pages as needed, as they make sense for the product. We might still need to make tweaks, but a bulk of the work is already done. We won’t need to scramble to design pages that will eventually be needed and are essential, like settings or user profiles — we already have a blueprint for those.

Overall, did we go a little overboard for an MVP? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

UX Designer, eater, thinker