Growth Driven Design (GDD) is a new, disruptive approach to web design and development that has gained a decent following in the past few months, and is poised to have an explosive 2017.
You may have heard about GDD, but what, exactly, is it?
It' a complete 180 on the traditional web design process that creates a better experience for the agency, the end users and the client.
What's Wrong with Traditional Web Design?
Web projects developed by traditional methods have a reputation for long design and development timelines and scope-creep, which leads to missed opportunities and a frustrating experience.
Also, they are designer-centered--meaning the website design is based on current industry trends rather than actual user data. This can be extremely problematic, as not all audiences are used to some of these “standards.”
For example, a growing web design trend is the use of mobile-style navigations across screen sizes. This removes the menu navigation from the initial screen, and leads to a more clean and clear design. However, if you audience does not use a mobile device as a web-browsing tool, then they may be confused by this navigation pattern and not be able to locate the menu. This frustration can lead to shorter user sessions, fewer conversions, and finally, less leads. This situation could be resolved by taking the time to test the website with your audience and allow them to weigh in on their preferred navigation.
- GDD focuses on user interviews and testing to make sure that the design of the website is tailored to its audience and creates the most positive experience possible for them.
- Traditional web projects can also be expensive. Some web design projects can cost thousands and thousands of dollars to complete, and that’s if it launches on time. Many agencies will charge additional fees for time that falls outside proposed development windows, leaving customers to pay extra for a delayed launch.
- On top of the cost of a single redesign project, the average website is redesigned AGAIN every three years (and looks bad for 2 of them). If you aren't able to update your site with new information, or users are forced into an outdated navigation style, your website will look old and your brand will not appear trustworthy.
- Finally, one of the biggest flaws with traditional web design projects is that they aren't able to produce a reliable return on investment for your business given longer timelines, unreliable user experiences and short design lifecycles.
These are all the flaws of traditional web design that this new approach looks to solve using modern product development processes and applying them so your website becomes the conversion-driving marketing machine that your business deserves.
Why is a Growth-Focused Approach Better?
A growth-focused web development approach is all about moving quickly with precision. Instead of cranking out a design based on assumptions, additional steps are taken to ensure every aspect of the website is tied back to accomplishing the goals of the organization. In order to stay agile and efficient, the approach is founded on three major phases: Strategy, Build and Continuous Improvement.
- The strategy phase is the most crucial period: before any design or coding happens, website goals need to be clearly laid out.
- Additionally, these goals should be aligned with marketing and business development goals so that all three can effectively contribute to the business's success.
- Important parts of this strategy phase include persona development, the buyer's journey, the user journey or user flow, experience mapping, initial conversion funnel development, and lead scoring just to name a few. All of these different tactics should be based on real user data as much as possible.
- Next, create a practical roadmap for action so that the most important parts of the website are developed first. How do you choose what to do first? Choose the 20% of project tasks that are going to make 80% of the impact. Doing so creates an agile, responsive, impactful starting point that is goal-focused and connects all stakeholders to a transparent and realistic path forward. The resulting list of requirements is defined as the Minimum Viable Product for the Build Phase.
- Build with user needs and company goals top-of-mind. The homepage and other important conversion pages might require full, high fidelity mock-ups, while other pages only require a simple sketch and go straight into development.
- This creates an environment of rapid development that quickly and efficiently creates a platform for conversions, collecting data and learning about users.
- Using testing tools such as heat maps and monitoring applications will help gather real-world data from users in order to better inform your future website strategy.
Improve, Improve, Improve
The big game-changer is the continuous improvement phase.
- After letting the website collect data for a short period of time, revisit the wish list and roadmap as a team in order to begin the next phase of development.
- Each new or refined feature that you decide to implement should tweak or push a key performance indicator in the website hierarchy of needs on each page where it appears.
- These proposed improvements should move from strategy meeting and design to development launch and measurement quickly, thoroughly and accurately.
- Metrics should be clearly defined in order to measure the relative success of each item or feature that is implemented.
- Items up for continuous improvement can range from new features and new pages to navigation tactics and feature placement.
- Targeting items for continuous improvement is best done by balancing potential impact against the time and effort required so that the most impactful, lowest time-consuming features are always being applied first.
So, what does this new approach get you?
A quick and full product launch in a very short amount of time that will produce a platform for continuous improvement and additional development.
The result of implementing a GDD approach is not a demo site or 'coming soon' landing page. Rather, it delivers a performance-driven website capable of collecting valuable data and driving conversions.
This process creates a design backed by user/customer data and helps the owners of the website accomplish their goals.
Because Growth Driven Design employs a staged approach, scope creep is minimized significantly and costs are generally more predictable and manageable for both the developer and the client. What's more, the higher costs associated with redsigning your website from scratch every 3 years is out the door.
Websites developed with a GDD approach are agile enough to evolve with your business and your customer needs while saving significant costs and time along the way.
If your website needs an overhaul, reach out to us. We are Growth Driven Design experts that can deliver the website your business needs to succeed.