On today’s web, is a website ever a once-and-done event?
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've 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 when it launches 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 constantly research, test, and learn about our visitors (our buyer personas) to inform ongoing website improvements. It's only 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 designed website; now we talk about how any website should be done according to GDD:
Plan – Create a strategy. 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 their wishes (changes) in a prioritized manner that gets updated and fulfilled regularly.
Develop – as you develop, put the site up on a sturdy platform.
Learn – determine performance changes by researching. Do ongoing research and audit the site regularly.
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'll 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 arise as the market shifts, what a website reflects must also change. You can never get everything right the first time, so don’t try – it’s needlessly wasting your time.
Ultimately, the decision to 1) take the traditional route (and risk that your new website will not perform) or 2) take the GDD route (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 to help your website, try this blog, "8 Reasons Your Website Sucks!"]