MVP vs. “Minimal Desirable Product”

Frank Spillers explains that the MVP concept comes from the Lean Startup (2011 book by Eric Ries). Ries emphasized meeting user needs and failing fast. For Ries, this meant quick prototypes and rapid user testing. Unfortunately, Spillers writes, like many Silicon Valley UX teams (and authors), his definition excludes the important user needs discovery process that is part of the ISO and industry-standard Human-centered Design. 

Technically Lean Startup says Build-Measure-Learn. Instead, a good Lean UX approach would start with Learn first (capture user goals, needs, pains etc), then define MVP, then prototype and test and adjust the final MVP candidate based on that failure-protection approach. So the adjusted-for-UX approach would be Learn-Build-Learn-Measure. 

An MVP that misses ‘desirable’ will risk the unintended consequence of poor user adoption. Instead, MVP’s should focus on what constitutes priority, need and desire from an understanding of user context, behavior, and scenario.