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Design Thinking, the way to define a viable MVP

For some years now, the term Design Thinking has been heard quite a lot in various fields or sectors such as education, business, technology, advertising, etc. But beyond its use, the main thing is to understand it and what it brings to our day-to-day.


Let’s look at the definition of Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, the studio that founded this methodology:


“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that relies on the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”

In simpler terms, we can say that design thinking is a methodology that uses dynamic, participatory practices to solve problems. Here are some examples of what this methodology is used for:


  • Define MVPs
  • Design and develop products or services
  • Redesigning business processes
  • Entrepreneurship and business creation
  • Create a life Plan B
  • Designing and creating a business presentation
  • Designing virtual or online courses
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At Doctus this is one of the most important methodologies when defining digital products. You start by identifying what the problem is, and what people need, then you come up with an idea, and finally, you test if it works.


That sounds like the most obvious and easiest way to solve problems, yet not all product managers follow this path when creating an MVP. Before we explain how to apply design thinking to MVP, let’s understand what a minimum viable product is.

MVP, or minimum viable product, is a trial version of a product or service with a minimum feature set that brings value to the end consumer.


The key word here is “value”. The vague word “viable” means that the product solves the user’s problem. And if after testing we discover that it is not viable enough, we start it again. That’s why the “minimum” is important: the less investment we make at the beginning, the easier it will be to discard the failed product and build a new one.


All the benefits can be summarized in one phrase: “feedback from the market”. However, here are some of the advantages of choosing to start with an MVP:


  • Understand if there is a market for your idea.
  • Assess the potential of the product.
  • Gather information from customers.
  • Reveal the weak points of a product.
  • Attract investors for future funding.
  • Improve your product to meet market needs.
  • Reduce engineering hours by reducing the feature set.
  • Avoid unnecessary expenses


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Identifying MVP must-haves: the MoSCoW method


Creating an MVP for an e-commerce business can be complex, as the number of features you can implement is limited. 


Let’s see and understand the MoSCoW method, based on a hypothetical case of defining an MVP for an e-commerce website:

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  • Must-Have: For an e-commerce website, it is essential to have basic features such as multiple payment options, intuitive navigation, 24/7 customer service, etc. These features are essential and should be incorporated into the MVP design. All features listed as Must-Haves have the highest priority and will be addressed before the set of elements labeled ‘Should’.
  • Should Have: Includes some features of the e-commerce product that are not available at the current stage. For instance, the password recovery or reset feature using the forgotten password function.

It is important to note that not including such a feature may not hinder the project at this stage, but it will certainly improve the experience offered.


  • Could Have – These are add-on features: Once the core functionality of the application is tested, these features can be added only if the project delivery time is not affected. Skipping the could-have’ will have less impact on the MVP development. You can incorporate features such as sales codes and deals at a later stage.
  • Will not have: the features initially decided to be part of the MVP being discussed, but not yet feasible. For instance, improving the e-commerce website theme, color options, etc. The ‘will not have’ features will not be incorporated into the current version of the MVP. However, they may be considered in the next version.


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