Begin your project. Then add some new components, move something, test and tinker around a bit. When are you finished with it? When is it complete? When it comes to designing and developing websites for inbound marketing performance, the best answer is “never.”
What Is Growth Driven Design?
Traditional web design processes involve colossal but finite phases for specs, mockups, content production, development, testing and the like. With Growth Driven Design (GDD), on the other hand, your business website is managed like the living product that it deserves to be. You can launch as soon as essential components are functional after which point iterative, agile rollouts are executed in bursts according to your latest plans, performance measurements, and priorities.
When you are never finished with your web design, you are letting your company’s needs and its development over time drive your design, rather than establishing a presence on the web and sticking to it without much leeway for modification. Instead, by engaging in an ongoing, incremental process, you ensure that you can respond to your company’s needs – and your customers’ needs – as things evolve and progress. You can build on what you’ve learned over time and improve your site accordingly.
Why Growth Driven Design?
Keeping your site updated according to your most burning objectives is just the beginning. Scaffolding your web design, building it up and experimenting with it over time comes with many other advantages. Consider these.
GDD lets you approach adjustments as calibrations.
Rather than needing to take on a complete overhaul every time you improve your site, with GDD, you can work section by section and avoid being overwhelmed by project scope. This also allows you to avoid the risk of changing things that don’t pressingly need to be improved or neglecting components that urgently require attention.
Update your site in (nearly) real-time.
By revising sections of your site in a piecemeal fashion, you can showcase the latest to your audience as soon as it’s ready, without having to wait for the entire rest of the site to be ready for them.
GDD enables a holistic perspective.
When small projects – or, for that matter, large ones that encompass proportionately smaller aspects of your site as a whole – are completed, you can test their functionality and business performance not only independently, but also how they work together with the rest of the website. In the event of any need for debugging or conversion optimization, the section currently undergoing revision can be improved until it integrates and converts well without worrying that your entire site will go down for repairs.
Ongoing optimization in bite sizes.
In some ways, it’s a challenge to always have some portion of your site under construction. In other ways, however, GDD allows site maintenance to be simply part of the regular work you do, and you end up maintaining your site far more sustainably.
Site Elements Included in Growth Driven Design
Growth Driven Design is also great for making sure that your attention to site performance goes where it needs to be. When you regularly evaluate your most pressing update needs, you won’t find yourself limited by traditional silos that differentiate between sub-disciplines like branding, conversion optimization, functionality development, content publishing and user experience measurement. DGG takes it all into account.
Drawing from audience feedback via minimally intrusive user feedback requests.
Once you have established a performance metrics baseline with the site you already have, it becomes much easier to see where you have the most significant opportunities for improvement – slowly, and in stages, for maximum efficacy and continual functionality, even during “construction” phases.
Optimizing through Growth Driven Design
A constant striving to improve is essential to business excellence. When you optimize your site for performance each time you revise even a portion of it, you advance your brand experience.
There are many factors to consider as you aim for ongoing optimization. Are you facilitating conversion by your website’s visitors who aren’t already customers? Is your site intuitive, and do your prospects, sales reps, and other stakeholders feel that they are well served by it? Is the site’s navigation easy to use? Are the web pages clear, simple, and visually pleasing?
If you have a mobile site, does it meet the needs of mobile users well? If you do not have a mobile site, well, why not?
Does your site support a personalized experience in accord with your audience profiling, effectively serving up content to suit the interests of different types of visitors?
Winning With Growth Driven Design
Perhaps the best part of Growth Driven Design is that you can refine the site to drive business in the direction you want to see it go, rather than developing your business and implementing the necessary changes to your website years later. With GDD, you can evolve and progress on both fronts simultaneously.
By leveraging GDD, you can refine, revisit and revamp, examining your options in a methodical yet sustainable manner. An idea that you aren’t ready for one day may suddenly reveal itself to be the perfect thing for you down the road. Similarly, the fresh design that was exciting for your products previous version may need sprucing up as you move forward. With GDD, making these types of changes on the fly is not only possible – it’s what’s expected.
A content and social media marketing specialist, Ben Jacobson joined the Lean Labs team in the summer of 2014. Ben has been active as a digital branding professional since the early days of social media, having overseen projects for brands including MTV, National Geographic, Zagat and Wix. His writing has appeared in Social Media Explorer, Search Engine Journal, Techwyse and the Mad Mimi Blog. Ben resides just south of the Carmel Mountain ridge in Israel with his dashing wife and two sprightly descendants.