Have you invested tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of dollars into a new website design that drives no results? What if I told you that there is a new, smarter way to approach a re-design or building your website?
Well, there is, and it’s called Growth Driven Design (GDD).
Growth Driven Design is a methodology that uses an agile approach to website redesigns, focusing on continuous improvement through data and testing. This means that instead of trying to perfect your website in one go and then forgetting about it, you get a website up fast and continuously improve based on real data.
Growth-Driven Design vs. Traditional Web Design
Traditional web design is broken. If you’ve gone through a website redesign project, chances are that your memories of that process make you cringe. Let’s look at some of the reasons why tradition web design is flawed.
- High Cost: There is a substantial upfront cost. “The average small to medium-sized business (SMB) website costs anywhere between $15,000 – $80,000 up-front.” (Source: Media Junction)”
- Time and Commitment: On average, SMB websites can take anywhere from 3-6 months to complete and require a great deal of energy from you and your team.
- No Updates and Improvement: After the final launch, the website has no major updates for 1.5 -2 year or more.
With that kept in mind, how can we approach the website building or redesign process from a better angle? This is where growth-driven design comes in.
Before we get into the process of how Growth-Driven Design works, it’s important to understand why it works. Let’s take a look at some of the core pillars and benefits of growth-driven design:
- Launch Quickly and Minimize Risks: Avoiding the risks of traditional website design by shortening the launch time. Your website will typically launch within 4-8 weeks instead of 3-6 months.
- Learning and Improvement: Reaching peak performance by “identifying the high-impact actions you can take to grow your business.” (Source: Growth-Driven Design)
- It’s User-Driven: With traditional web design, decisions are based on personal preferences and are not focused on the user. GDD is based on your website user’s experience and engagement.
- Agile Nature: “GDD really follows an iterative, agile methodology. This requires a team that understands the value of simplistic and clear delivery.” (Source: Riafox)
The Phases of Growth-Driven Design
Phase 1: Strategy:
In the first stage of GDD, you build out a solid foundation by analyzing the goals, building a buyer persona, building a buyer journey and…
In this step, it’s important to analyze the ideal metrics that you would like to see improve. Ensure you are setting “specific, measurable goals to help clearly define the results you’re looking for.” (Source: Impact) Focus on the customer’s problem.
“The goal is not to lead with your solution, but to lead them to your solution.” (Source: Growth-Driven Design)
The next step in the strategy process is to start creating the buyer personas.
“A persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. You can create different groups of personas based on common characteristics your audience shares. This could be a point of pain, industry, job title, etc.” (Source: Hubspot)
As mentioned before, GDD centers around the user experience. Therefore, it is critical to developing the personas initially as it will prepare you for future steps.
Check out our article on How to Craft The Perfect Buyer Persona.
Now it’s time to take all the thoughts and ideas gained from the first few steps and incorporate them into the buyer’s journey.
“The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.” (Source: HubSpot)
The buyer journey consists of 3 stages:
- Awareness Stage: This is when the buyer realizes they have a problem. They are doing research to clearly understand their challenge or opportunity.
- Consideration Stage: In the consideration stage, the buyer has clearly defined what they challenge or opportunity is. They are committed to researching the available solutions to their problems or opportunities.
- Decision Stage: In the decision stage, the buyer chooses a solution category on offerings that best meet their needs.
- Website Analytics and Audit (Quantitative Research): If you are working on a website redesign, this is the time to dig into the current data to see how the existing website is performing. Review what’s working well and what isn’t and identify the areas of improvement for your future web work.
- User Research (Qualitative Research): After identifying some areas of improvement through the audit, reach out to your existing users to learn more about them. As you collect this research, you will get a better understanding of who they are and ways to improve. This will also give you insight on the original persona’s you’ve built and given you a chance to add any important findings to your initial research.
Once all the steps above have accomplished, create a wishlist of all the important features you can think of to improve the impact of your website.
Some of the things that this could include are:
- User paths
- Navigation features
- New modules
- Key impactful website sections and page
- Blog layouts
- Mobile experience
- General website updates
- Design elements
After completing your wish list, you may have a list of 50-150+ ideas for the new website. Keep in mind, not all of these items will get implemented right away, but it’s important to flesh this out right off the bat.
A great tip by Impact is to 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?
The wishlist needs to get sorted and boiled down to the 20% that will make an impact and help launch your website quickly.
Phase 2: Launch Pad
Once phase one is complete, it’s time to start developing your website. Keep in mind, this is going to be a website that is built quickly. Although it will look and perform better than what you have right now, it is not the final product.
“Once live, the Launch Pad site is intended to be tested and modified, quickly and often. It is, quite simply, a starting point from which to develop (and continue to develop) the best possible site and experience for a company’s prospects” (Source: Growth-Driven Design)
Regardless, there’s always a chance that this stage can balloon into a massive project. To avoid this at all costs, follow these best practices to streamline this process.
Focus on high-impact elements
Even though you may have some best practices in mind regarding website development, these are determined by what has worked for another website, not yours.
GDD is based on the idea that you do not know what your users want or how they will interact with your website. With that being said, don’t waste time on building out every single section of your website!
Identify all the high impact, most useful pages and make a list.
“By focusing on developing content for 5-10 top-priority pages (instead of 30-40), you can get your Launch Pad site up and running in a fraction of the time you would have spent using a traditional site approach.” (Source: Growth-Driven Design)
Recycle Existing Content:
Page content, finding the right images, and developing graphics can require a significant amount of work. Using the GDD methodology, you can simple behind with what you have and improve it as you go along. One to keep in mind, however, is that if something out-of-date or inaccurate, ensure you are updating that content right away.
Once you your Launch Pad Site is up, you can go in and start making changes to the content and graphics and perform tests to see what works better!
Use a Template
Using a customizable template for your website design can cut down design time considerably. If you are developing your website from scratch, it will take much longer to get it up. You can use the customizable template to make the website more and more your own as you continuously test and refine.
Use your Old Website as a Starting Point
I know what you’re thinking…can my existing site really be the Launch Pad Site?
To cut down development time even more, you can even start with your existing site being your Launch Pad site. Again, you can start making modifications by prioritizing the key elements and features that you believe will make the most impact.
Phase 3: Ongoing Improvement and Validation
The final phase of the GDD process is ongoing improvement and validation. This phase consists of 4 core continuous improvement cycles:
Cycle 1: Plan:
In this step, you plan out what you are going to accomplish during the monthly sprint cycle by “comparing your site’s current performance against goals for the site redesign.” (Source: Impact Inbound). Identify the current most impactful items and plan to implement those into the cycle.
You may need to do additional research after reviewing your last cycle. This will help clarify the action items that need to be added to your wish list. This is also when you should be taking another look at your wishlist and prioritizing it based on the new data, research, and learnings.
Cycle 2: Develop
After the first step, you should now have an impactful list of action items to start implementing on your website. Some best practices for this step include:
- Consider each action item as an experiment to measure impact is has on your website
- Ensure you are setting up validation tracking around the metrics to measure your experiments
- Develop targeted marketing campaigns to drive traffic to that section of your website
Cycle 3: Learn
Once your experiments have had enough time to collect data, you can review this information collected about your users. Hubspot outlines some great questions you can ask in this step:
- Did your change have the impact you expected and why did or didn’t it?
- Based on the results, what did this teach you about your visitor?
- What did you learn about them that you didn’t know before?
Publish your results and learnings to share them when everyone within the organization. This can also be a great future reference if you ever need to look back at the data for trends or other information.
Cycle 4: Transfer
In this last step, it’s time to share all the impactful information you’ve learned to other parts of your business.
Let’s say, for example, in one of your experiments you performed A/B testing on two different variations of landing pages. Once you review the data, you realize that the page with the social proof was driving in a lot more visitors and conversions.
After learning that social proof is a trigger for your users, you can educate your sales and marketing team about this so that they can start incorporating it into other parts of the business.
Once you’ve completed the cycle, go back to the beginning so the cycle repeats itself over again. The more cycles that you complete, the more you will learn about your visitors and the more impact your website will have.
Growth-Driven Design Pricing
The monthly cost for growth driven design can cost anywhere from $2,000 – $6,000 depending on the package you choose. If you are still having some trouble deciding whether the costs of GDD project outweigh the costs of one tradition website design, here are some points to consider:
- No single, heavy payment: GDD is billed over a timeline instead of having to pay large lump sums as you would with a tradition website build.
- Continuous improvement: As outlined above in the process of GDD, GDD has a continuous impact on your organization and website. With the cycling process, not only does your website grow, you also apply your learnings to other parts of your organization and increase the impact on your market.
- Launch Quickly: Avoid the risks of traditional website design by shortening the launch time. Your website will typically launch within 4-8 weeks instead of 3-6 months.
“Ultimately, any decision must be evaluated from every angle and any decision must align with your strategy and what will help you meet your objectives. Perhaps a traditional website redesign may seem like the most cost-effective decision today, but tomorrow, GDD will prove it’s worth times over!” (Source: Impact Inbound)
If you’ve made it to the end of this blog, you’ve likely experienced the nightmares of a traditional website build. Make the switch to GDD and grow as a marketer with this smarter and more impactful approach to your website. See how Jumpfactor can help. Request a one on one consultation with a strategist to discuss growth driven design pricing how GDD can help your organization grow.