Growth-driven design

How to develop a growth-driven design mindset

The traditional website design process brings with it many challenges that your business must deal with every time you want to embark on a website redesign. Each website design project has risks, requires an expert team, a budget and restrictive timeline that can compromise the success of the project. Once the new website is live, do these stressors disappear? Unfortunately not.

Businesses can often shy away from updating the new website once it’s live to save themselves the risk and frustration experienced in the new design process. With this traditional mindset, your website can quickly become outdated and fail to give your audience the experience they need. Growth-driven design (GDD) reduces these challenges with its progressive approach to website design, development and optimisation.

What is growth-driven design?

Growth-driven design is a smarter approach to web design that reduces risk and frustration experienced in the traditional process, produces optimal results driven by user data, and supports your business’ bottom line. Growth-driven design works on the principle that your website is never finished. There are always impactful improvements that can be made to improve the customer experience and deliver optimal performance. Website design isn’t a one and done project, there is always work to be done to get the most return from your efforts.

With growth-driven design, the launch process is quicker. There isn’t a need to get every page of your website designed, developed and launched all at once. You start with the core pages of your website and put them live. Once live and generating visitors and results, you can start to build your website out with the other pages that support your offering. While the launch is quicker, the overall design and development process is longer, but the results are better. 

How does growth-driven design work?

Growth-driven design can be split into three phases: strategy, launchpad and continuous improvement.

1. Strategy

Strategy is the first stage of the GDD process. It involves setting goals and objectives for what your website will deliver. You should develop an understanding of your audience’s needs, pain points and behaviours to plan a website that will solve their challenges throughout the entire customer journey. Having as much information about your audience at the strategy phase is crucial to developing an ineffective plan.

Use your buyer personas and map your ideal customer experience that attracts, engages and delights your audience at every touchpoint they experience with your business. Knowledge of the data and tactics you must implement at every stage of the customer experience enables you to create a detailed action plan that you can begin working on.

2. Launchpad

The launchpad phase involves designing a website based on the fundamentals you identified in the strategy phase. Your launchpad website is a set of core pages that enable you to launch your website much sooner than if you were to design and develop a full website. Your launchpad is optimised and can start generating results quickly, rather than being out of date between the design, development and launch stages as in the traditional design process. 

The launchpad website isn’t just quicker, it’s also more cost-effective. Rather than a six month design and development process, you can launch within three months having spent less money, with the budget to invest in making continuous improvements and optimisations after launch.

3. Continuous improvement

The final stage of the growth-driven design process, and arguably the most important, is continuous improvement. Once your launchpad website is live and collecting user data, you can begin making continuous improvements based on the information you’re gathering. Use these invaluable insights into your audience and how they’re experiencing your website to make optimisations that solve their needs and support them through the customer journey.

The best thing about GDD is that you’re always learning. You use the data you’re generating to learn what works and what doesn’t for your audience. You can test functionalities, creative and content to see which is the most engaging for your customers. Your website should be tweaked regularly so it never falls behind your audience’s needs and continues to provide an exceptional customer experience.

Why growth-driven design should be applied business-wide

GDD can’t work without the buy-in of your whole business. To ensure your growth-driven design process is as effective as it can be, the principles and actions must be implemented business-wide. Here are some ways to implement growth-driven design into your whole business:

Become growth-driven design certified

Encouraging your team to become GDD certified ensures they have an in-depth understanding of why the methodology is so effective and how it works in practice. Work with your account management, sales and marketing teams to develop buyer personas that are the basis of your strategy and improvements. HubSpot’s free growth-driven design certification course provides everything your team needs to know about the methodology. 

Create quality content to drive website traffic

Your GDD process can’t work without driving traffic to your website to start producing user data. Your marketing and creative teams should create engaging and valuable content that generates brand awareness, engages audiences and encourages them to click through to your website. The more traffic you have on your website, the more data you gather and the more optimisations you can make to generate results and growth.

Develop your growth-driven design toolkit

You need a GDD toolkit to ensure you have all the systems in place to plan and execute your GDD operations. Your GDD toolkit should include a team collaboration platform for your employees to discuss the data, content, learnings, improvements and optimisations that are being produced. A project management system will ensure your strategy can be broken down into action points for your employees to pick up. Assign deadlines and timelines to these sprints to ensure you can work efficiently and cost-effectively towards your goals. A CRM system should store all of your customer data and integrate your marketing, sales and service pipelines to maintain a consistent and engaging customer experience.

Developing a growth-driven design mindset is an ongoing process that won’t happen overnight. You need buy-in from your whole business to ensure the strategy, launchpad and continuous improvement stages can be implemented effectively. Becoming GDD certified will help your team gain an in-depth understanding of the methodology. Creating relevant and valuable content will drive traffic to your website and start gathering user data. With this data, you can make continuous, high-impact improvements to your website that drives the growth of your business. 

Written by: Laura Greenhalgh
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