The Difference Between Growth Driven Design And Traditional Websites

Posted by John Aikin
on July 16, 2015


The latest buzz in the website development industry completely revolves around growth driven design.

But what is the difference between growth driven design and traditional website design?

What are the factors that make GDD something more appealing or attractive?  

Perhaps GDD is just another fad word used as a gimmick for companies to take your money?

Let’s take a look.

The New Website Project

the difference between growth driven designLet’s say you have recently been assigned the wonderful task of researching companies to work with on your newest endeavor in the office - the new company website.

This is the one your marketing committee meetings have revolved around for the past 6 months.

You know, that ‘all powerful’ website redevelopment that will be the saving grace of the corporation (which, I might add, has been scraping by on low profit margins for the last year and praying for a happy ending to the drought).

You dive deeper and deeper into all of the companies promising the world in SEO and content marketing, tying in social media, email, PPC, keywords, and all the other buzzwords that tend to float around the market today.

Pretty soon, you realize there is a pattern emerging: Every single company is promising the same exact service and the same exact outcome, through the same exact measure with the same exact tools - they are just wording it differently and pricing it differently.

drawing the difference between growth driven design and traditional websitesAt that point you realize you have an ace up the sleeve, because you know your decision is going to boil down to cost, how well you trust the company, cost, cost, and how low they will bring down the cost. Did I mention the cost?

So you put in your professional recommendation to the marketing committee that you should work with FastWebsiteCo Inc, who promised the moon in a professional proposal for about $1,500 lower than everyone else (the proposal, by the way, limited your understanding to only about half of what they mention, primarily because it was just filler fluff language design firms like to include in documents that make their efforts sound way cooler and more intense than what they really are).

You sign a contract. Meetings are held. Your firm feels good about the decision and the direction the company is moving.

Fast forward to five months later: Brand new website is launched! emails are sent out to past clients and prospects. Your LinkedIN profiles are updated. It’s an exciting day for the company.

Related: What Is Growth Driven Design? 

However, within about two weeks after launch, a few bugs start to emerge.  Admittedly, you are a little peeved because the design company has over time become slightly uncomfortable to work with, and now you have to bring up yet another snag in the workflow.

This time it’s after the launch period, which is going to really get on the nerves of your design firm who is happy to get your project off the books and ready to move on to the next company.

On top of that, the content you gave them four months ago when the project kicked off has changed slightly.

upset without growth driven modelYou have user access to change things around, but you aren’t 100% certain getting in and “toying” around is the safest bet at this point because you don’t want to be the one who broke the new website - which costs $150/hour to repair with a 4 hour minimum purchase.

Long story short - it’s not a pretty scenario.  Your designer is upset, you are upset, and now your boss is upset. But what caused this? What could have prevented this?

The reason for these issues revolves around one thing…

poor planning - not on your part, but your design firm’s part.

Website v1.0

growth-driven-designYou see, if more people looked at website design like software design, it would be very evident that website v1.0 is only a preliminary state of existence and should never exist longer than a few weeks or months, depending on the life cycle of the project and the content being delivered.  

There is nothing awesome about v1.0 of anything.  ever.

Do you remember the first generation of iPhone? It was literally the coolest thing since sliced bread… until people started actually using it.

Many software and hardware companies prepare a list of beta testing groups to dive in and rip apart everything there is to rip apart with v1.0 of a brand spankin’ new software because they know one thing is more certain than anything else.

v1.0 sucks tremendously compared to v2.0, v2.5, v3.3, and so on.

Smart Growth In Web Design

driven design - smart growth websitesA smart web developer not only understands this, but utilizes this to their advantage.   There are tons of factors that come in to play in a website development that most people don’t take into account.  Just to name a few:

  • content can become outdated very quickly; pre-launch content might not be valid post-launch
  • platforms, extensions, and plugins to run websites need updated regularly for functionality purposes and security reasons
  • the way users interact with a site might be totally different than how you initially planned
  • a phasing build-out plan might not be effective whatsoever in lead generation because it’s built on nothing more than your company’s desires and a simple guessing game - as opposed to what your clients really want to see.

That’s where growth driven design comes into play.

Growth Driven Design Saves The Day

With a site that is planned properly from the beginning, you are setting yourself up for not only immediate success, but long term growth as well.

It’s not easy to guess how users will like the massive website you are building in 6 months. So why do companies do this on virtually every website they build?  It’s nonsense.

With growth driven design, you focus on building a site specifically for the users who will be interacting with you.

startup growth driven designYou start small, with only the core product visible at launch (which I might add should be no longer than 2-4 weeks from the time you sign a contract). What is essential for a conversion path that still tells the story of what you’re doing?

What do your prospects want to read? What kind of problems do they have? How do you solve those problems? How do you make their life and career easier?

GDD aims to focus on those questions from the start, building a core product website that is launched almost immediately from signing the contract.

I know, it sounds a little strange.  However, building a very small site from the start allows you to focus ONLY on what matters most.  And I promise you - your prospects will appreciate it.

This also allows you to monitor how visitors are interacting with your website and how they are engaging with the information you have made available to them.

Using this information, you are now able to develop a very intelligent conversion path and growth strategy.

My friends, this is the pure amazingness that showcases the difference between growth driven design and traditional websites.

Traditional design focuses on building a site over a long period of time and “hoping” it gets the results.

Regardless if it gets results or not, your designer is walking away with a hefty pay day and will touch base with you periodically if they have something else they can sell you.

GDD focuses on building a root product that really, quite frankly, kicks ass in the effectiveness of website productivity.

the difference between growth design and traditionalYour designer is only focused at that point on whether or not you are getting results, how visitors are interacting with you, and what kind of ways they can help you reach out to new prospects.

Growth Driven Design is in essence, the real deal when it comes to smart growth in website development.

A website that is constantly evolving as your prospects evolve proves ROI and sets you up for tremendous long term growth with a lead generation machine.

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