what is growth driven design
An Introduction to GDD
So, What is Growth Driven Design?
In short, it’s a new (and better) approach to traditional website design. The Growth Driven Design (GDD) methodology is all about continuous website improvement. Your website should be constantly evolving and growing; month over month, year over year, and improving upon your users’ experience. It’s not just updating content, it’s about knowing your audience and how they want to use your website. You might be asking now: how is GDD going to grow my website and business?
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.
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.
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.