Building a High Performing Website With Growth Driven Design

Building a High Performing Website With Growth Driven Design

The first article in our Growth-Driven Design series explains why traditional design is broken, and answers the core whys behind the Growth-Driven Design process:

  • Why does Growth-Driven Design work better than traditional methods?
  • Why does GDD save time, money, and energy over traditional design?

Now, it’s time to dive into the hows of Growth-Driven Design. How can your business make Growth-Driven Design work in practice?

Let’s begin with a bird’s eye view of GDD and its phases:

  • Strategize: Create strategy based on business goals
  • Prioritize: Design high-value elements (don’t just make stuff to make stuff- have a plan and know what works!)
  • Launch: Get your website up and running, then test assumptions and adjust course according to changing market conditions

Ready to start designing? Let’s not get hasty; we know you likely have many questions about Growth Driven Design. We can answer them! Let’s begin by taking a deeper dive into the three phases of GDD, demonstrating how the process works in the real world, for businesses just like yours.

Phase 1: Strategy

Much like traditionally designed sites, Growth-Driven Design begins with the creation of a rock-solid strategy. But rather than relying on guesswork (‘I think our blog resonates with our target audience.”) or over-reliance on design trends (“Our competitor has this widget/content/spinny thing, so we want them too!”), GDD strategy asks (and answers) critical questions about end-users’ needs, then determines what design elements best meet those needs based on data from real-life users.

First, strategy asks:

  • Who visits your site and where do they spend the most time?
  • How does your product or service solve their unique challenges?
  • What makes you better than the competition?

The answers help create detailed, data-informed buyer personas and buyer journeys. Then, GDD audits your current site and plots a design course.

Site audits inform strategy and:

  • Examine how well your site generate qualified leads and conversions
  • Compare your site to your closest competitors
  • Determine which design elements produce the highest ROI
  • Identify non or poorly performing elements
  • Assess content and its effect on brand voice

A clear understanding of both the effective and not-so-effective aspects of your current site helps ensure your new website won’t just look pretty or sound good in the pitch-meeting: it will actually work, generating and converting leads like nobody’s business. That’s why you wanted to embark on the design odyssey in the first place, right?


Check out our introduction article in our Growth Driven Design blog series

Phase 2: Prioritize High-Value Elements

Throwing ideas at the wall and hoping they stick is part of the guesswork and inefficiency of the traditional web design process (and why web design projects often give all involved parties an overwhelming desire to tear out their hair). In contrast, Growth-Driven Design saves businesses time and money, and prevents headaches. Impossible, you say? By no means. One of the many tricks Growth-Driven Design has up its sleeve is the wish list. (No magic wand or ruby slippers required.)

Here’s how to create a wish list of prioritized design elements, helping to eliminate the redundancies and misfires inherent to traditional design.

Create an 80/20 Wish List

If money were no object (turn that frown upside down! We just want you to imagine), and time constraints didn’t exist, what elements would your site include? This is the time to dream big and brainstorm every widget, menu, slider, and video you’d create for your site in an ideal world.

With wish list in hand, your GDD design team will help separate the “wants” from the “must-haves.” Eighty percent of your wish list items are placed in the “someday” column (as in, “We’ll get around to these elements when we’ve made a bazillion dollars.”), while the remaining 20% are placed in the “Let’s do this right now!” column. The 20% elements make the cut because they have the most potential; they’re your highest value, high-impact elements. The wish list method has the added benefit of pushing businesses and designers to think creatively and outside the box, all while paring down design goals into manageable chunks that provide the excellent ROI.

Phase 3: Launch Pad Website

The top 20% of your wish list items forms the basis of your Launch Pad Site. Launch pad sites are your project’s grand debut, and contain only those elements that will move your business forward.

Although a Launch pad site doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of your eventual site, it allows your project to launch quickly. Data gathered from this early, minimalist version of your site is used to tweak and improve core elements while prioritizing what’s next.

The Never Ending Process of Web Design

Don’t let the phrase “never ending” strike fear into your heart; in the case of Growth-Driven web design, never ending simply means always improving (not “never done and always costing you an arm and a leg”).

Contrary to popular belief, websites are never “finished.” The best websites are living projects, continually changing as the market and your client base evolve. Your business isn’t static and neither is the market, so why should your website stay the same? This doesn’t mean massive design bills; the continuous improvement process is built into the Growth-Driven Design mindset.

Your launch pad site is the beginning of an evolving, always progressing site developed to meet your customers’ needs while growing your business. This commitment to continuous improvement is what makes Growth-Driven Design effective, not expensive.

What’s Next?

With a 10,000 foot view of the GDD process, you should have a better understanding of how the magic of Growth-Driven Design informs the theory. In other words, now you know why Growth Driven Design works when other methods fail.


If you’d like to learn more, reach out to one of our friendly Growth-Driven design experts. We’d love to show you how Growth-Driven Design is the gold standard of web design, then get to work growing your brand.

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Posted by Jennifer Cooreman

Jennifer Cooreman

Strategist: Jennifer relies on her background in digital marketing, psychological testing, and education to create content that converts. She enjoys all facets of writing, from research to editing, but especially learning what makes customers happy and companies tick.