Traditional Web Design vs Growth-Driven Design

The average website redesign project takes around 3 months of work and produces a website that stays largely unchanged for the next two years.

After two years, the website is redesigned again using the same pattern!

A different approach, named Growth-Driven Design, is to use the same techniques used by startups for new product development, and apply them to a website redesign project.

This approach is based on three main core concepts:

  1. Minimising the risks of traditional web redesign.
  2. Producing better results through learning of the costumer and continuous development.
  3. Sharing the learning of the customer to and from the organisation.

We expand on each of these concepts below:

Minimising the risks of traditional web redesign

The traditional web redesign has very high up-front costs, it is a slow process, it is built on assumptions of best practice and often don’t deliver the expected outcome.

The Growth-driven design starts with a small launch of the site that focuses on identifying the 20% of the items that produce 80% of the business results.

Producing better results through learning of the costumer and continuous development

Growth-driven design starts by launching the site quickly so that we can get feedback from the real customer and learn what works and what does not.

This process is guided by a hierarchy of priorities which are addressed by one by one and scored by metrics.

The top three priorities are:

  • Audience: Make sure to have a fresh flow of new visitors.
  • Utility: Make sure each page is solving a point of pain for the customer.
  • Usability: Make sure there is a high task completion rate that measure the ease of use of the site.

Sharing the learning of the customer to and from the organisation

The company’s website should be the top selling asset for most companies and as such the learning of the customer needs to be shared with other part of the businesses.

At the same time, other parts of the business should engage in the continuous development of the site to improve its business performance.

Growth-Driven Design allows to setup a learning process throughout the organisation when other units are involved in the continuous development process.

The following diagram compares the risks and results of the traditional web design versus the Growth-Driven Design.

HubSpot has created an online community and a free course around this topic with very good information on the different steps of the process. You can reach this here.

Michael Seibel, from Y Combinator, writes about Product Development Cycle Fundamentals and his writing brings to life this type of dynamic.

The key is in the continuous development cycle where the team cooperates to come up with the next improvement/addition to the site and there is a clear measure of success for their effort.

If you are redesigning a website or digital product and need some support in making this dynamic work please feel free to get in touch!

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