What is Growth Driven Design?

What is Growth Driven Design?

Maybe you see yourself as a modern day Tevye embracing “tradition” as enthusiastically as he does to begin Fiddler on the Roof. Yet, a thoughtful comparison of traditional web design to growth driven design may be compelling enough to have you change your tune.

Before you take the mic to persuade your colleagues to try this new web development approach, you’ll need to be able to answer the first question: What is Growth Driven Design?

Growth Driven Design (GDD) is agile development or redesign of a website in intentional increments. Making continuous, adaptations based on data, this is not laboring to make every element of your site perfect before leaving it to sit static online for a few years.

Instead, you minimize risk by focusing on a data- and audience-analysis driven site launch or re-design intending to make changes based on your ongoing analysis of visitors’ needs and your lead conversions.

GDD’s two major phases of development

Phase 1: Strategy/Wish list/Launch Pad Website

  • Begin with strategic thinking to evaluate your fundamental assumptions about site users (what their needs and goals are).
  • Research whether your assumptions are valid.
  • Having determined where your buyers’ are in their journey and their points of pain, brainstorm a wish list of website wants. What are all of the things you want on your site? OK, now what are the top 20% that will have an actual, immediate impact?
  • After determining your priorities, develop and launch a website with those core features. You’ll do this quickly, without sacrificing quality (of course). Nevertheless, your goal is to get the site live for an audience to give you the feedback needed to make smarter choices in moving into Phase II.

Phase II: The Growth Driven Design Cycle

The fundamental principle of Growth Driven Design is continuously experimenting, learning (from analysis) and improving your website. In designing the content and messaging, consider site usefulness, user experience, conversion rate optimization, stickiness and how to best tailor the site to the targeted persona.

Once you have the information architecture in place, you’ll move into wireframing and design, then program and development. Yet the need to continue testing for user experience and your goal achievement remains. After all, GDD is closely related to lean marketing principles and shares the “learn quickly what works and discard what doesn’t” mentality.

Essentially, GDD is non-linear. You start out with planning and developing, then quickly move into a stage where you are analyzing data to inform your continuous learning. A final key aspect is transferring that learning to other departments (and listening to them) to better apply the lessons gained from the GDD experience for users and your internal teams.

Still wondering why it’s called Growth Driven Design? That’s because at the pinnacle of the website hierarchy of needs is Growth. Having taken the time to develop a sound foundation and get the most value out of an optimized, predictable site, it’s time to grow!

What is Growth Driven Design?

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Related reading:

Common KPIs and Metrics for analyzing website performance

What is Agile Marketing?




Ironpaper is a results-driven digital marketing agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.