What is Growth-Driven Design?

Most businesses redesign their website every 2 or 3 years. For some businesses this project based approach is fine however there is another way which will guarantee your new website performs better than the last one!

Growth Driven Design v Project Based Design

Growth-Driven Design (GDD), or sometimes called “incremental design”, is a change to the traditional “big bang” approach. Instead of attempting to define the entire scope of a project, performing the redesign, then launching and walking away for two or three years, GDD is a continuous cycle of design – research – improve.

The Growth-Driven Design service can stand alone from other services, but it has more impact when delivered as part of a full funnel digital marketing approach.

How Does Growth-Driven Design work?

You can think of GDD as having two phases: the strategy and launch pad phase (lasting one month) and the iterative development and continuous improvement phase (which takes place over the next eleven months).

Growth Driven Design Phases

Phase One: Strategy and Buyer Personas

As with traditional web design, the GDD process begins with strategy and goal formation so you know what you’re trying to accomplish, and buyer personas so we know whom you’re trying to reach, what they’re like, and what they care about.

Phase Two: Launchpad Website

Once we have the wish list, we look to build a launchpad site. A launchpad website has only the core value driving elements in it. The goal is to launch this site quickly, in around 45 days from the start of the project, so that we can start collecting the data that we need to make ongoing improvements. It’s not the finished product, however with growth driven design, the website is never finished, just constantly improving.
To launch quickly, we look at the wish list and take the 20% of elements that will drive 80% of the value to the end user. Then out of that 20% we decide which elements are must-haves and which ones are nice to have, returning the nice-to-haves back to the top of the wish list. We can now concentrate on building out those elements so that the site launches quickly.

Phase Three: Continual Improvement

Once the launchpad website has been built, we start collating real data which can be used to inform our future changes. We can develop the site by iteration, looking to prioritise our wish list by what we learn from that data. However, this causes an issue because there are often so many improvements to be made — from colour schemes, to user experience — that it’s difficult to know where to start.

With this in mind, there’s a specific hierarchy of improvements that we follow:

  • Audience: Does the website have a significant number of visitors to make our decisions based upon statistical certainty.
  • Value: Here we consider the value that the users get from the content on the site.
  • Usability: We need to ensure that once the users are on the site they can find the value easily and quickly.
  • Conversion rate optimisation: The role of your website is to convert visitors to leads or customers. During this stage, we’re looking to reduce the friction that may be stopping them converting, provide further information or improve upon existing conversion funnels.
  • Stickiness: Are users coming back to the site in order to find solutions to their problems? We don’t just want users to visit once.
  • Personalisation: We want to personalise elements of the site based upon what we know about the visitors, their personas and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
  • Assets: A website has assets, such as a blog, calculators, landing pages and so on. So here we’re looking for opportunities to build more assets or improve the existing ones.
  • Promoters: How do we get our visitors telling others about the site and helping us to bring more people to it.

Each of these stages are worked through with continuous improvement in mind. Again, there’s a specific model of improvement which involves the following steps:

  • Plan Step: Review the current performance of the website and contrast that to your goals. This informs you of important opportunities. Identify the most important action items to prioritise and plan to implement the top ones into the current cycle. You will then create a “hypothesis statement” for each one of the action items.
  • Build Step: You will develop and build the actionable items you have created in the plan phase. In this phase you will track the effect this has on your success metric.
  • Learn Step: In this step you will establish what did we learn about the user? Is the hypothesis you made in the plan phase supported or not?
  • Transfer Step: You will share what you’ve learned with your marketing team.

Growth-driven design and Inbound Marketing

Growth-driven design and Inbound Marketing are not mutually exclusive. You probably should, have growth-driven design as part of your inbound marketing engagement.

The iterative nature of growth driven design should be applied to all of your inbound marketing tactics. Social media, email, blogging and even sales processes need to be assessed based on data, and then adjusted every single month until the results are fully optimised.

When you’re talking about optimisation, either within your website project or within your larger inbound program, tracking, testing and experimenting help you define the priorities, and thus contribute to improved results. It’s easy to get distracted with what you think you need instead of what the data tells you you need.

Should you wish to talk to one of our consultants about growth-driven design please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Email hello@creo.co.uk or call us on 02920 653066.

Kathryn Shaw
Project Manager
Date Posted
15th March 2017

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