Published under: Predictive Analytics, Growth Driven Design

So maybe you have heard about this thing called Growth Driven Design or GDD and wondered exactly what it photo-1447752875215-b2761acb3c5dis and how it works…well you have come to the right place.

So what is Growth Driven Design?

GDD can be described as a continuous, iterative approach to site redesign. Combining the very best of agile project management with predictive analytics, sites are redesigned in short sprints (monthly) and all changes are vetted using real data gathered from testing, research derived from visitor behavior and continuous learning.

The simplest way to look at this process is to break it into two phases:

Phase 1: Initial Planning and Launching

Phase 2: Continuous Improvement


Phase 1: Planning and Launching

So what is the best thing about GDD? The substantial cost and disruption of a site redesign that typically happens every two years, well, it becomes a thing of the past. We need a good site to start with. 

But don’t let its size fool you…Phase 1 is a beast and there is a lot to get done. Here’s a quick list to keep things in perspective:

  1. Buyer Personas: Full Disclosure…this is where we live. Developing a robust buyer persona is essential to every marketing decision we make. It allows us to reach specific audiences using targeted messages and to test theories to gather data that leads to defining the most valuable campaigns and outreach pools. The first step of Phase 1 is to use this information to establish your goals for the new site; but don’t get to hung-up on this (the beauty of GDD is that it is agile, remember? So changes are not just expected…they are welcomed!) just choose the goals that make the most sense given the data you have available and move on.
  2. Audit Current Site: Do you know what your visitors are doing? If not, find out. Answer questions like: Why are visitors coming to my site? What are they doing once they get there? Are they receiving value? How are visitors accessing my site? This data will tell you which improvements will get you closest to your goals.
  3. Create the List: Gather all of your ideas; the ones you think are crazy and the ones you think are amazing; the one you thought of while you were at the gym and the one that your CTO came up with on the fly during lunch. With all of this data swirling through your head you are sure to have a massive list that includes new navigation features, exciting downloads, valuable page-adds and fresh integrations. Then take a step back and assess what you have…find the 20% of the items that will drive 80% of the impact – those become the face of Phase 1.
  4. Design and Launch: The final step of Phase 1 is to get your crisp new site out there for the masses; which means that you will go through a high-velocity stage of designing content, establishing an information architecture, programming and simple user-testing.

Phase 2: Continuous Improvement

The next eleven months is where the heart of GDD lies. In addition to integrating the changes that didn’t make it into Phase 1; each sprint provides an opportunity to completely change the direction of the project and provide an immediate response to the data gathered from your audience’s behavior.

At the end of a year-long cycle, your site may not even remotely resemble the site that you would have built in month one…and that is a good thing! It means that instead of muscling through a tough development project only to launch a site that immediately became irrelevant – your site is as dynamic and responsive as your business.

Why should I care about GDD?

Growth Driven Design is simply the best method of developing a site that delivers amazing value to both you and your audience. That’s it. The approach ensures that both the business and the site visitors are getting the best of what they want all the time.

Dynamic, adaptive development of your site allows your business to stay ahead of the curve by optimizing your site every month; something your competitors probably are not doing. The costs are predictable and the results are immediately ready for consumption. It is an approach that allows your business to tap into the right departments for input at just the right time instead of sequestering key players from several departments for months as with traditional site development methods.

Remember the power that an iterative approach brought to software development projects or the massive impact of targeted marketing campaigns…the same benefits now apply when developing a site using GDD. Instead of looking at your website development project as a one-shot-deal, GDD recognizes that a stagnant site leads to a stagnant business while a growth-driven site leads to growth.