growth driven design overview

Getting Started With Growth Driven Design

Think back to the last website redesign project you did with your company…how would you describe the overall experience? If you would describe it as stressful, time consuming or expensive, you’re not alone and it may be time to consider a new approach to web design. 

Growth driven design is the smarter way to think about web design, and we’re here to help you get started with it. With this comprehensive package, you will learn all the basics about this modern process, including how to apply it to your own website.

Traditional Website Design

Think back to the last website redesign project your company completed and ask yourself:

  • How would you describe the overall experience?
  • What went right and wrong in the process?
  • How much time, energy and resources did it take to finally go live?
  • Did it get launched on time, and within budget?
  • After the launch, how much continuous improvement has been applied to the website?
  • How excited are you to do another website redesign?

Risks of Traditional Web Design

Large Up-Front Cost: The average small to medium-sized business (SMB) website typically costs anywhere between $15,000 - $80,000, a substantial up-front cost for most businesses. Not only is this cost hard to budget for all at once, but it is also paid in full before even knowing what impact the website will have on your business.

Large Time & Resource Commitment: In addition to the up-front expense, the average SMB website typically takes three months to complete and requires a great deal of time and energy from your team. This amount of resources to invest ,with no business results to show from it until after it launches, is enough to make any boss get a bit uneasy. 

Over Budget, Not on Time and Not Flexible: Even if the budget and time is approved, there are so many moving parts, people and steps involved in a large project, that make it extremely difficult to accurately quote the cost and determine how long a project will take. This makes it extremely common for a website project to be delayed and/or run over budget. This not only stalls out the results from your website, but also reflects poorly on you in the eyes of your boss and other department heads. 

Subjective Designs and No Guarantee It Will Improve Performance: At the end of the day, you are being held accountable by your boss for a measurable increase in results from your website redesign. We’ve all heard of these horror stories of a website being launched and then the website’s performance tanking for one reason or another.

After launch, a website typically sits with no major updates for 1.5 to 2 years.

Whatever the excuse is; “No time”, “We spent all of our budget”, “Other focuses”, etc., We let our website, our #1 marketing asset and best salesperson, sit relatively unchanged for years. This is clearly not an ideal way to maximize website performance, yet we continue to do it. Yes, there may be some small updates or improvements, along with adding blogs or landing pages to the site, but the vast majority of the site remains untouched.

The Shift

We need to find a superior process that avoids all of the risks we outlined in the traditional web design process and produces a peak performing website; A web design process that is quick, agile and produces better results and ROI. 

What is that process? – Growth-Driven Design

 

A Smarter Way to Think About Web Design

Growth-Driven Design is a completely new approach and way of thinking about building and growing your website.

The Three Pillars of Growth-Driven Design

1. Minimize risks associated with traditional web design.
We work to avoid the risks of traditional web design by taking a systematic approach to shorten the time to launch, focusing on real impact and continuous learning and improvement.

2. Continuously learn and improve.
We are constantly researching, testing and learning about our visitors to inform ongoing website improvements. Through continuous improvements, we can reach peak performance. 

3. As you learn about website visitors, inform marketing and sales teams (and vice versa).
Growth-Driven Design is tightly integrated with marketing and sales. What we learn about visitors helps inform and improve marketing and sales strategies and tactics (and vice versa).

The Growth-Driven Design Process

The Growth-Driven Design process is broken up into three major phases:

Phase One: Strategy

Much like the traditional website design process, the first stage of Growth-Driven Design is the strategy stage. This phase begins with a thorough audit of your current site. Make note of what’s working, what’s not working and where significant improvements be made. 

From there the strategy stage of GDD involves the following steps: 

Performing User Experience Research: This takes the initial audit a step further, incorporating user testing, surveys and interviews to deepen and color your understanding of how users interact with your site and how they think it could better meet their needs.

Setting SMART Goals: What are the ideal metrics you’d like to see improved? Organic traffic? Lead conversions? Something else? Set specific, measurable goals to help clearly define the results you’re looking for.

Building or Revising Buyer Personas and Journeys: If you’ve done any inbound marketing at all, then you already have personas in place and buyers’ journeys mapped out. But these should be revisited and revised regularly. The strategy phase of GDD presents the perfect opportunity to do so.

Once all this has been accomplished, you can create a wishlist of the most important features you’d like your new site to have. Your wishlist could include bolder calls-to-action, content that’s more acutely aligned with your buyer’s journey or more intuitive navigation. Whatever you think can’t wait for later should be on your wishlist.

Tip: Use an 80/20 rule to help pare down your wishlist to the essentials - what’s the 20% of items that will produce 80% of the impact for your site’s users?

 

Phase Two: Launch Pad

A “launch pad” website will build with your wishlist in mind and should be launched quickly. It will not be perfect. We want to avoid getting stuck on analysis, features or content while building our launchpad website. 

Once your launch pad website is live you can then start tracking user behavior and begin the next phase of continuous improvement.

 

Phase Three: Continuous Improvement

Once you have launched your launchpad website, it will be time to start your ongoing cycles to continuously experiment, learn and improve on your website. 

The process has four basic steps that repeat continuously, building on past improvements and lessons for steady growth: 

Plan: Measure your site’s effectiveness and decide what changes can have the most immediate impact on your long-term goals. 

Develop: Implement the changes that you outlined in the plan step. 

Learn: Review the effectiveness of your past changes to learn what works and to help guide the next iteration of the improvement process. 

Improve: Take what you’ve learned and share it with the rest of your team - marketing, sales, service and others.

Growth-Driven Design Checklist

Traditional web design is dead. Large up-front costs, lots of time and resource commitment, no goals set in stone, no mock-up. With our Growth-Driven Design Checklist, you can get started with building and growing your website in a different, better way.

 

Persona.

Growth-Driven Design centers on the user, so it is critically important to fully research and develop your persona profiles in the beginning, as they will set the stage for all future activities.
  

SMART goals.

SMART is a methodology that helps you establish concrete and achievable goals. For example: How have we historically performed, where would we like to improve and how will this impact the overall marketing department’s goal?
  

Quantitative Website & Analytics Audit.

Time to start digging into the data. Analyze the current website’s performance and perform a quantitative audit of the good and the bad. As you do this, identify where the website can improve.
  

Qualitative Research - User Research.

Use data to better understand who your users are and find ways to observe user behavior, goals, motivations and pain points.
  

Fundamental Assumptions.

Core problems and solutions for users. Based on what you’ve learned in all of the previous steps, you can start forming some fundamental assumptions about your users.
  

Global & Page Strategy.

Both the global and individual page strategies should incorporate all of the previous steps. Also, they should lay out a detailed strategy of exactly how to best engage and influence the user to best attain your goals.
  

Wishlist.

Your wishlist determines both the initial action items to implement on the new site, and the agile and flexible list that continuously changes. Use the 80/20 rule to determine the top 20% action items, that will have 80% of the impact.
  

Launch Pad Website.

Starting point on which all GDD activities and improvements start from. Launch quickly and know it won’t be perfect. Avoid getting stuck on analysis, features or content while building and think continuous improvements.

Putting It All Together

We’ve taken a hard look at traditional web design, explored the shift to the Growth-Driven Design model and even provided a helpful checklist to refer to as your business gets started with GDD. Our hope is that this guide has been helpful in demonstrating why now is the time to think of redesigning your website differently.

GDD is the simpler, more streamlined approach to web design that gives you time back on your calendar for your core job responsibilities, rather than blocking off months on end to focus on your website.

Get in touch with us for any questions you have about this process, or if you’re ready to take the next step and work with us here at DuBose Web on your next website project. We can’t wait to hear from you.

so what’s next?

Ready to start a project or really curious about our process? Drop us a note or give us a call; we’re happy to answer all your questions.

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