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How to develop your growth-driven design strategy

You might have heard the phrase, “traditional web design is broken," in tech circles, and you may be keen to know why. For starters, traditional web design is often rigid, time-consuming, and expensive. In addition, updates and performance improvements typically come in the shape of a major website overhaul, while small incremental changes take the back-seat.

The solution to the challenges of traditional web design is adopting a growth-driven design, which focuses on understanding and solving for users, and continually monitoring and reworking the website to deliver better results.


Developing Your Growth-Driven Design Strategy

In a recent survey, web design agencies reported seeing a 14% increase in traffic over six months after adopting growth-driven design as their core website strategy. These statistics make a good case for adopting a growth-driven design approach to better serve your prospects and increase conversion.

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To get you started on your GDD (growth-driven design) strategy, here are some foundational components you can use:


1. Know what you want your website to do

Start by having a clear understanding of your company's objective and the goals you want to achieve in the short- and long-term. Consider the mission of your business and the impact you wish to make.

Now look for ways your website can get you closer to that mission. You can start with high-level goals, such as the revenue you aim to generate with the help of your website. Those can then be broken down into sub-goals looking at lead generation, conversion rates, organic visibility, and so on.


2. Revisit Your Buyer Persona’s

Who are you building and optimizing your website for? Most likely, it’s your current and potential customers. GDD is focused on the user, and as such, you should spend time revisiting your buyer personas when outlining your website strategy. After all, if you don’t know who your customers are, its difficult to create a website that focuses on being helpful to them.

A few questions to ask yourself:

  • Who are your (best) customers?
  • What products/services are they typically buying, and in what order?
  • What key information do they need them when making a purchasing decision? (hint: your customers and your sales team knows)
  • Is the site structured in a way that makes sense for them, and are the key information easily accessible?


3. Conduct Research

Now that you have up-to-date buyer persona details, it's time to do some research.

  • Quantitative Research:You can use tools such as HubSpot and Google Analytics tools to analyse your current website from a data standpoint. The focus here is to understand what’s working on your site, and what’s not. It will also help you track your progress, and measure the results of your efforts.
  • Qualitative Research: In addition to reviewing the changes you need to make from a data-standpoint, be sure to check in with your clients' for some face-to-face feedback. You can use different channels such as chat, user testing, surveys, and interviews. It's an excellent opportunity to see things from the viewpoint of the user, and you will most likely get feedback and information from them that you would not have otherwise considered.
  • Observational Research: You can obtain observational data through user recordings and heat maps. It gives you insights into how your site visitors interact with your website, the specific areas they look at, how they navigate, and elements that cause frictions or frustrate them.


4. Global and Page Strategy

The next stage is to put together your strategy into two parts, as follows:

Your global page strategy looking at the site as a whole. It should be tied to your overall strategy as a business.

In addition to your global page strategy, you should map out high-impact pages and create page-level goals and strategies for them. It does not have to be very extensive, but spending a few minutes thinking about what you’re looking to do with your key pages is time well spent. We promise...


5. Fundamental Assumptions

At this point, you have extensive knowledge of your users. You now need to syntethize this information and develop fundamental assumptions using your buyer persona as the base. It will help you sculpt your site redesign with high-value aspects that will positively impact the user experience on your site.

Some of the assumptions could be:

  • What are the most important pages build for the launchpad website?
  • What pages are non-critical at the launch (or at all)?
  • What key-pieces of information will they be looking for on each page?
  • What are the most critical elements of those pages?
  • In what order should those elements be structured?
  • What’s the most logical way to structure the website as a whole with the user and those pages in mind?

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6. Develop Your Wishlist

The growth-driven design wishlist is a critical part of the overall strategy. It’s not a set and forget list, but rather one you’ll be revisiting and updating on an ongoing basis. From the get-go, the list will be full of ideas for your website revamp. You should not spend time thinking about your current site, or the effort needed to do something here. It’s really about getting your ideas down on a list, so list all the items that will help attain your website's set goals without any regard to time constraints, costs, and developments.

The brainstorming session may take some hours for you and your team to develop all the ideas. Some things you can think about include:

  • Features and functionality
  • Core pages and section of the website
  • Design elements of the site
  • Marketing resources, tools, and assets


7. Use the 80/20 Rule to Decide What to Focus On

Once your initial wish list is done, it’s time to ruthlessly clean it out using the 80/20 principle. What are nice-to-haves and what are need-to-haves? What are the pages and elements that will carry the bulk of the weight? Are there some pages that will also solve additional concurrent things, allowing you to reduce the total number of pages and elements?

Do this exercise on an ongoing basis. I recommend that you make it an ongoing recurrence that’s scheduled in the calendar to make sure it’s top of mind. It could be once a week, once a month, or once per quarter (or some other time frame) but really depends on your resources, goals, website traffic, and so on.

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