No one begins website projects hoping to waste time and money. But in most cases, that’s exactly what happens. Redesigns begin in good faith and with soaring expectations. But after months, sometimes years, of false starts, wheel spinning, and ballooning budgets, the finished product simply doesn’t move the needle.
Building a website that solves problems for your end users and helps your business achieve its goals is well worth the investment. But how can you be sure you’re not wasting time and money building a site that looks pretty but doesn’t work?
Begin with rock solid strategy. Stop guessing. Don’t design based on gut feelings or prevailing industry trends. Instead, build a high-performing site with a proven, strategically sound method backed by data. Sound like a pipe dream? It’s not. Stick with us while we discuss how and why Growth-Driven Design builds websites that work.
What’s Wrong With the Traditional Approach to Building Websites?
Websites are valuable assets that guide your customers as they form first impressions, helping them compare options and simultaneously develop trust in your brand. But the traditional approach employed by most web designers falls short of the mark, creating costly, inefficient, and largely ineffective sites. Let’s talk about why.
Although the traditional approach to building websites feels familiar, it’s also filled with landmines: launching late, over budget and out of scope are just a few of the common pitfalls.Traditional design also requires a hefty up-front retainer ($15-$100 thousand and climbing) along with a plodding timeline (at least 3 to 4 months to launch) and lots of faith: there are few, if any, objective ways to measure the effectiveness of the site you’ve produced before it launches.
Stepping away from the standard web design process allows designers and clients to work towards creating agile websites that respond to the ever-changing marketplace. Rather than building a monolith that takes months to design but often results in questionable performance, Growth-Driven Design is an agile process that launches sites quickly, then focuses on continuous improvement, strategically adding elements that generate the best ROI.
The standard web design process is broken. It’s slow, and swallows up time with tasks that may or may not work, and budgets swell in response., All of this stress and wheel-spinning with no guarantee your website will actually generate and convert qualified leads.
Time to Scrap Traditional Website Design
Website redesigns are often a risky proposition for businesses. Why? Because:
Websites are pricey.
The average website can cost anywhere from $15k to $100k. Those are scary numbers, which become even more frightening when you’re forced to pay upfront, in full before seeing any measurable improvement.
Time is money.
A traditionally-designed website takes, on average, three months to launch. If you have identified pressing issues within your site and need to make those changes yesterday in order to meet or exceed your business, three months is a very long time to wait.
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The Dreaded Scope Creep.
The unfortunate reality is that accurate budget and timeframes are nearly impossible to determine using traditional website design methodology, and this uncertainty leads to ballooning costs with an unknown impact on performance.
Without a well-defined scope or way to determine ROI, designers recommend “one more thing.” As the design process evolves over a long period of time, these additions get expensive. Especially when “one more thing” isn’t included in your up front costs. Continuously adding elements that weren’t in your original scope doesn’t just swell your budget, it often results in time consuming delays and a late launch.
Website redesigns are built on long and intricate to-do lists. The myriad subtasks can overwhelm design teams because the entire project takes so much time to organize. All tasks must be prioritized before the design process even begins, and finishing these tasks within a three-month timeline requires a tremendous amount of resources, time, and energy. Inconsistencies in overall organization and workflow create difficulties in communication, ultimately pushing back deadlines yet again.
Will It Work?
After months of stress and pushed deadlines, the site is finally ready to launch. But now what? A lot of time, energy and money goes into the traditional web design process, but can the success of your project be quantified with real data? All too often, the answer to this very important question is, “Nope.” When no one thinks to ask if the end-result will actually perform, your project is doomed from the start.
Start All Over.
All too often, the hard work of building a website is never even seen by your target audience. And, with the exception of a few small updates and additions, one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal will sit, unchanged, for years after the “big redesign.” But a few small tweaks simply won’t cut it in an increasingly competitive marketplace. End-users’ needs evolve, the market changes, and so should your website! That’s not even the worst of it: because traditional design is a lengthy process beset by frequent delays, by the time you’ve launched, your site is often outdated. So, round robin style, the journey begins again; more time and money for a redesign, anyone?
It’s fair to expect website design projects to be cost-effective and efficient. Above all, they should generate measurable results for your business. But before any of that can occur, the design process needs a major overhaul. Your design process should be agile, cost-effective, and evolve with the ever-changing market. Is that even possible? Yes it is!
Enter Growth-Driven Design: the solution to the costly, inefficient, ineffective practices associated with traditional web design. Growth-Driven Design is an agile approach to web design that relies on data to make measurable improvements to websites. GDD eliminates scope creep while allowing your site to evolve according to constantly changing market conditions.
The three pillars of Growth-Driven Design are:
- Minimize Risks and Launch Quickly With High Value Design Elements
“Web design projects are so much fun!” said no one, ever. The risks of traditional design create stress; huge chunks of your marketing budget go towards a project with little to no assurance the time, energy, and money you’ve invested will move your business forward. Growth-Driven Design minimizes the risks of traditional design, creating an efficient, effective, and far less stressful design process for both agencies and clients. Because it’s focused on developing the highest value elements first, GDD shortens the time to launch, creates clear and measureable impact on business goals, and provides an outlet for constant learning and improvement.
- Learn and Respond to the Market in Real-Time
Growth-Driven Design creates a steady stream of tasks, keeping agencies and clients focused and working on high impact items while avoiding “analysis paralysis.” Constant research of end users’ behavior is an integral part of the GDD process, and relies on a continuous flow of data to inform improvements to the site. This agile approach creates real value and allows your business to reach its goals.
- Aligning Marketing and Sales
Creating a site that meets the needs of your users is an end-goal of the Growth-Driven Design process. The data gathered from users not only improves the website, it focuses your business strategy and facilitates communication between sales and marketing teams. Marketing isn’t left to guess what messages and marketing efforts resonate with target audiences because GDD gives them real and actionable data. Sales departments are informed and empowered by the same data that informs the design process, and can work together with marketing to drive business goals forward.
We’ve explored the differences between traditional and Growth-Driven Design, and we’re confident the GDD process gives you hope. Doesn’t it sound like a better experience than your last web design project? If you’re ready to dig deeper and learn more about Growth-Driven Design, stay tuned for the next blog post in our Growth-Driven Design series.
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