Unfortunately, the traditional approach to designing and building websites is fundamentally broken—it’s usually a considerable time and resource commitment for clients, designers, and developers. And once the long, arduous redesign process is finally complete, a website usually has no significant updates for 1.5-2 years! Your largest marketing asset and #1 salesperson remaining unchanged for years is not beneficial to optimal website performance.
In the fast-growing, constantly changing marketing environment, we need a process that quickly produces a flexible website. We need Growth-Driven Design.
What is Growth-Driven Design?
Developed by our partners at HubSpot, Growth-Driven Design is a methodology to counter many problems that crop up during website redesigns, resulting in a more productive and efficient process.
The Growth-Driven Design methodology integrates website design and development into functional strategy within your marketing and sales processes. The goal is to create a website capable of growing alongside your business—sturdy enough to communicate your brand identity but flexible enough to evolve in a constant process of optimization and improvement.
There are three pillars to Growth-Driven Design.
Three Pillars of Growth-Driven Design
The systemic approach of Growth-Driven Design works to avoid the risks associated with traditional web design. Time to launch is shortened by focusing on real impact and continuous learning and improvement.
Constant research, testing, and learning about website visitors is incorporated into the marketing process to inform ongoing website improvements. User data is collected at every step of the process.
Agile Team Processes
Teamwork is the center of Growth-Driven Design. Teams are lead in agile strategy sessions, user research processes, and sprint workshops, effectively breaking down silos.
Growth-Driven Design Process
The Growth-Driven Design process solves web design problems by considering prospects and customers and their buying cycle. So, the very first step is to create detailed buyer’s personas. Understanding your prospect’s needs, pain points, and objectives, you can outline an effective roadmap for their journey across the website. Growth-Driven Design is centered around the user, so it’s critical to establish persona profiles at the beginning. Establishing your buyer’s personas also creates a solid foundation for building your website’s SMART goals.
Now it’s time for a quantitative audit of your existing website—delve into the data and analyze your current website to identify where it can improve. Combine your audit, your SMART goals, and your buyer’s personas to develop a strategy for your website holistically, as well as page-by-page.
Using this information, it’s time for a team brainstorming sesh. Think of every possible idea you could implement to create a ‘wish list’ for step 2.
2. Launch Pad
The traditional website design methodology launches a website at the finish line. Growth-Driven Design launches “Launch Pad” websites right away. This Launch Pad is the foundation for continuous design activities and improvements based on user data. Your Launch Pad should contain essential elements based on your audit, SMART goals, and buyer’s personas. Prioritize implementing elements that have the greatest impact on your user.
The ideal timeframe for developing a Launch Pad website is between 30 and 90 days. HubSpot recommends creating your Launch Pad in sprint workshops to eliminate silos. This way, content creation, and wireframe building can happen simultaneously and inform each other, eliminating the long development cycle of traditional website design.
To launch your initial Launch Pad website, perform and 80/20 analysis on your wish list from step one—identify 20% of items that will produce 80% of the impact. What features are a must have and what are nice to have?
3. Improvement Cycle
Now, your Launch Pad website is live and collecting user data. It’s not perfect, but it is the perfect foundation to continuous improvement. As users interact with your website, you’ll learn more about their interests and needs, allowing you to adjust your website to meet those needs more efficiently. This is where the monthly improvement planning begins. Determine monthly action items based on this 4-stage optimization cycle:
Taking the user data from your Launch Pad into account, identify the most impactful items from your wish list you can either optimize or add to your website. Plan to prioritize those items into the current cycle.
Now it’s time for the team to come together to implement your top action items. This is an excellent time for creativity and experimentation. Consider developing a marketing campaign to drive traffic to the new areas of the site so you can capture more data from your users.
Review the data from your development stage. Use this information to reprioritize your wish list and inform the next phase of the optimization cycle.
Use the information from step three and transfer what you’ve learned to other parts of your business. What patterns did you identify from your users? Brainstorm tactical ways to implement this data into your sales and marketing strategies with your team.
The cycle is now complete and ready to begin again! The optimization cycles repeat, again and again, each time creating a better result for you and your users. The more cycles you can complete, the more impactful your website will be.
If you’re looking for a deeper dive into how Growth-Driven Design can improve your website’s impact and increase conversions, our partners at HubSpot have a FREE Growth-Driven Design certification course here.