In the 1987 classic "Predator" Arnold Schwarzenegger is famously remembered for his quote "Get to the chopperrrrrr!" Which he screams in agonising pain to the heroine who desperately tries to escape the grip of, well The Predator. He is lying there on the ground probably mortally injured, before coming face to face with the predator himself. This scene is just like most websites in the modern marketplace, often outdated, injured and unable to keep up with the vigour of its competitors.
Broken assets, poorly maintained blogs, lack of video content, no mobile version... I mean, I made every one of these mistakes even while developing this site. But worse yet there still businesses out there that don't own a website. New businesses often struggle to justify allocating funds to building and maintaining a website, and that cost is just a reality of traditional website design. Let's face the facts, it can be expensive. Not only in upfront costs, but also in lost potential. Extended meetings and development time is all time spent not gathering leads and new contacts, not delighting customers and not delivering new content and offers.
What's the alternative though? The alternative is just getting to the chopper asap, or in marketing lingo, Growth-Driven Design. It's about releasing a cut down version of the website as fast as possible with as many essential features as you need to run a successful site. The traditional method builds a website in 6-12 months and once it is completed it usually doesn't see changes past the initial testing period. However using growth-driven design, a website usually takes at most 3 months to release and enables its owners to immediately reap the rewards of having a website. Using growth-driven design most importantly allows you to build your website up, based on the real measured metrics provided by its users, not just based on the guesswork.
Consumer Based Approach
This means that going forth from the initial development of your website, continued development can be based around the consumer and their needs and expectations. You can have confidence that your web analytics from your existing site is aligning design decisions around results, well before you ever need to invest significant resources in your marketing.
In this new Consumer Based Approach of web design also known as Growth-Driven Design; there is still a place for fancy features and beautiful web elements. But the difference is in their implementation. Instead of being delivered with the end product, these design elements are added with each iteration and at each design step. And instead of adding random features based on a framework of "guessing", each feature is based on user metrics from the existing website. This means greater cost-efficiency and better results faster. It also means a substantially better website versus the alternative of pumping large cheques into what is ultimately an unknown design result. You will instead have a better user-designed website with predictable results.
This method of Web Design is not just better for the owner after what would normally be the full design period, usually 6-12 months; But its also better for the owner at conception. The cost of producing the same results using the growth-driven design is far smaller as far less design time is wasted building redundant features. Additional benefit also comes just from your website being up, every moment you have an online presence is a potential moment to create revenue. Often, even in the time it takes to complete a traditional development cycle, a website created using GDD might have already recuperated the cost of development
Some common questions
Is this kind of design still the best option for me if I am looking to upgrade an existing website?
Having a pre-existing website only adds to its effectiveness. Just like any website redesign project, old content and assets aren't lost while existing analytics can provide a powerful launchpad for your new site. The biggest difference is that instead of piling on more features, you instead are optimizing for the features that are producing the most results. GDD then becomes an opportunity to remove features that might be pitfalls or distractions; which can derail customers from your conversion funnel or consume more resources than they are worth. All this while giving you a brand new slate to experiment with new features and new design options.
How is GDD still good if I want to make a 1-off website, or a single web page for a promotion or event?
GDD encompasses even special event web pages. Rarely are these "pop-up" pages 1-offs, many companies who have success with special event web pages seek to reapply the strategy in later reiterations for future products. In this way, the Development Cycle remains while building on established results exactly as you would in the full scope of a Growth Driven Design website. Even in the scenario where a business wouldn't look to re-create their results in the future, the benefits of being able to A/B test your designs early can have a very significant effect on the result of your campaign/event.
I can't speak highly enough of the GDD philosophy myself, its something I've been putting in to practice on this very website over the last few months to some considerable result. But if you're looking to save even money on your next website redesign, or for your new web project, consider hiring a hard-working student like myself.