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Growth-Driven Design: Agile for Web

Daniel Kelly

Daniel Kelly

Web Design & Digital Growth Specialist

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What comes to your mind when you think of a website design? Is it the look of the pages? The images that come with the content? A lot of people tend to think of these things but it’s all wrong. Majority of businesses find themselves blowing their budget on a website which turns out to be futile. It simply doesn’t deliver. This is because most websites are designed to be pretty. They aren’t designed to perform. Wouldn’t it be nice if your website is not just pretty but is also designed with more important things in mind such as strategy, lead generation, goal attainment, and keeping your customers happy?

Design is the most important part of a strong marketing platform. It impacts a lot of key assets that are used to attract, convert, and please potential leads and customers. These include the brand logo, websites, social media platforms, paid ads, and physical materials. A superb and consistent design identifies your company and can make or break it.

This is where agile development comes in. Agile development is used in reference to start-up companies, especially in the software space. It divides tasks into short phases of work, with constant reassessment and adaptation of plans.

Web design should take the agile development approach with a focus on the frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans. It is an iterative development process that
focuses on your key analytics and data, surely not on a pretty front page.

Your Website: To DIY or Not

A Shift to Agile

With a Growth-Driven Design (GDD), you build and optimize your website so that it can achieve your goals. The key elements involved here are analytics, buyer personas, and data, aligning the design elements with conversion funnels, content, and structure.

Growth-driven design websites are often optimized for performance. You don’t stop looking for the best ways to connect with your audience. It’s not a new concept but traditional agency approaches to digital design are outdated and must, therefore, be challenged.

So what makes GDD different from traditional web design? If you have ever seen a building blueprint, you’ll know that everything is decided upon prior to construction. This is comparable to traditional web design. With GDD, it starts with a smart and agile process based on what you believe will work and then implemented quickly. This includes a framework and relevant content to connect with your main personas. Once it goes live, you take the actual data to make decisions and changes, applying quantitative and qualitative research strategies to identify and build the next feature or iteration of your website.

Once you find what has the most impact on the results and goals such as traffic or conversion percentages, you repeat the process, keeping the website components that work and optimizing what doesn’t. Now, let’s take a look at the three main pillars of GDD:

  1. Fewer risks compared to traditional website design – GDD’s shorter process allows you to focus on real impact and continuous learning.
  2. Continuous learning and improvements – WIth regular testing, analyzing, and learning about visitors, you will be able to reach peak performance.
  3. Closed-loop reporting – Other departments such as the marketing and sales team will also learn about visitor behaviour, helping them improve marketing and sales tactics.

Growth-Driven Design: The Works

Traditional web design often talks about the company whereas growth-driven design focuses on solving the problems of potential customers. You should keep in mind that your website should be about your customers, not you. This is why it is important to have a well-oiled marketing machine that not only delivers content but also solves problems. Now let’s take a look at how we can develop a strategic plan for your website design project.

The first phase of any website design project is to develop a comprehensive strategy, whether it’s for a traditional or growth-driven design. These key points will help you create the perfect strategy.

Your Wish List

In this stage, you should come up with ideas on what to add, remove, or edit on your site. You and your team should look at the data you have gathered so you can decide what kind of pages or content can support potential visitors. What should your list include?

After The Launch

Once you’ve got your website up and running, you should then shift your efforts to continuous improvement, the next growth iterations, and tests to run. You can accomplish this through an ongoing cycle.

  1. Planning – Look at the changes you’ve implemented and analyze the results. Then, refer to your wish list and decide on what you would implement next based on the following:
  1. Developing – With your new list of changes or additions, implement and develop them on your website.
  1. Learning – Growth-driven design lets you learn from every change you make. You can always go back through them and learn from your edits and additions.
  1. Transferring – Record everything you’ve learned so you can transfer it to other parts of your website which can effectively magnify success in future iterations. Remember, the growth-driven design process is a continuous cycle and there is always going to be something you can improve on. Make sure you’re taking the time to repeat the process.

Implementation Tools

You need to look for ways to measure your initial website performance and the results you get from the growth-driven design changes. You can use inbound marketing tools such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, or other customer relationship management (CRM) for this.

  1. Drivers – Drivers bring users to your website and will help you analyze and understand your visitors’ purpose. You can use tools such as feedback polls, surveys, and user tests to determine your drivers. SurveyMonkey is a popular tool for surveys.
  2. Barriers – Barriers could cause users to leave your website because of the things your site does or does not have. These could be pricing issues, lack of trust, confusing or missing calls to action, bad user experience, and so on.

    To rectify this, you can use tools such as heatmaps, feedback polls, conversion funnels, surveys, and recruiting user testers like HotJar.
  3. Calls-to-Action – Calls-to-Action (CTAs) are specific pieces of your website that promote conversions which can take the form of offers to a valuable piece of content or other information. With a CTA, you can convert first-time visitors to view your latest blog post or offer someone who is in the decision-making stage a demo of your product.

    CTAs can easily be managed by HubSpot. They often point to e-books, webinars, and other premium content.

Cost-Benefit of GDD

The goal of growth-driven design is to preserve resources and time as well as eliminate wasteful changes through continuous user-driven improvements. How does it differ from traditional web design?

Characteristics of traditional website design:

Characteristics of growth-driven design:

Effect of GDD on Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing and growth-driven design are both about testing, working together to produce results. As an example, let’s say you have a landing page that doesn’t perform well. You can see that there is traffic but most of the visitors are not converting. This is where the analytics come in. From here, if you see that the users who fail to convert are coming from mobile devices, you can hypothesize that they don’t want to fill out the long-form that you have on the landing page.

Your next step would be to test out a smart form that only asks for the name and email when a mobile user lands on the page. Run the campaign for a month and if you discover that the landing page has increased conversion rate by let’s say 20 per cent, you can then transfer this information to all of your landing pages and implement smart forms for mobile
users site-wide.

What to Look for in a Growth-Driven Design Partner

With millions of web designers out there, your next design partner should possess these qualities:

Conclusion

The growth-driven design puts the customers first by looking at the analytics and
assessing their behaviour. Figuring out how your potential customers are behaving on a website can help you provide them with the information they need. SEO should be a standard part of every website to position it for success. It should be integrated and handled internally.

Finally, make sure you apply the growth-driven design concept of “plan, develop, learn, and transfer” to your business strategy from conception to completion, and you’ll be happy with the results.

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