In today’s web, is a website ever a once-and-done event?
The answer is, “No.”
In traditional web design, you start with a website (see chart below) based on the assumption that “it will work” to achieve whatever smart goals you have set. After a year and a half to two years, you see that performance is dwindling and you embark on a 3-month redesign. You gain impact and the site works for another one and a half to two years before performance falls flat again, and you have to repeat the process.
The chart below shows that gains occur abruptly and fall flat quickly.
Enter Growth-Driven Design!
Growth-Driven Design (GDD) is “A web design process that is quick, agile and produces better results and ROI than the traditional web design process. And it produces a peak-performing website.”
Let’s delve into the three stages of GDD that add up to continually high-performing sites.
The Three Growth Steps of GDD:
1. To avoid the risks of traditional web design (high up-front cost with a long wait, so that once it is launched it makes an impact but is already stale) we take a systematic approach to shorten the time to launch, focusing on real impact and continuous learning and improvement.
2. To continuously learn and improve the site we are constantly researching, testing and learning about our visitors (our Buyer Personas) to inform on-going website improvements. It is through continuous improvements that we can reach peak performance.
3. To provide for growth in visitors, leads, contacts, and customers we tightly integrate with marketing & sales. What we learn about visitors helps inform and improve marketing & sales strategies and tactics (and vice versa).
How Should a Website be Done?
We’ve discussed what we do for a growth-driven desgined website; now we talk about how any website should be done according to GDD:
1. Plan – get a sound strategy in place. Execute the plan for the quick launch and keep all the client ideas, wants, and needs recorded in a wish list. Execute changes incrementally based on periodically reviewed prioritization. The wish list is important because it lets the client express his/her wishes (changes) in a prioritized manner that gets updated and fulfilled regularly.
2. Develop – as you develop, put the site up on a sturdy platform.
3. Learn – figure out the performance changes by researching. Do on-going research and audit the site regularly.
4. Transfer the Knowledge – add and change the website as the client needs.
The Product: Performance and Happiness!
Once you adopt this model for your website, you will be impressed with the performance. Remember: you deserve a better website than the website you launched.
Why Once-And-Done Is Not the Way to Go
Once-and-done does not delight. Because new needs always arise as the market shifts, what a website reflects must also change. We can never “get it all right” the first time, so don’t try – it’s needlessly wasting your time that way.
Ultimately the decision whether to 1) take the traditional route (and risk that your new website will not perform) or 2) take the GDD way (and learn from your customer month-to-month, and increase your chances for a great performing website) is up to you.
[For more ideas on how tohelp your website, try this blog, "8 Reasons Your Website Sucks!"]