Growth-Driven Design: An Introduction

Learn what growth-driven design (GDD) is, become familiar with its benefits and understand how it works.

Picture of Mayur Mistry Mayur Mistry

Published: 19 Feb 2024

12 minutes read

Growth-Driven Design: An Introduction

At one time, websites were static assets, built and left to gather dust. But not anymore.

A stellar user experience (UX) is critical for success. Instead of relying on guesswork, building your website using data-driven insights is the smarter approach. That's why creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) followed by iterative improvements based on your collated data is a smarter strategy.

This approach is called Growth-Driven Design (GDD). It empowers businesses to make well-informed decisions for aspects of their website, from adding new features, changing the design and updating the copy.

In this article, we’ll explain what GDD is, outline its benefits and how it works.


What is Growth–Driven Design?

GDD applies an iterative approach to website design and development. It uses real user data to help you optimise your UX and make informed decisions about your website's improvement and scaling.

With GDD, launching your website is only the beginning. The data you gather becomes your roadmap, suggesting new features and improvements you can build and test. It helps you make decisions based on facts, instead of internal assumptions.

Traditionally, improvements were often based on experts in your industry or competitor trends. However, relying on guesswork can lead you down the wrong path. Just because a competitor consolidates all services under one menu option doesn't guarantee a better UX. It could hinder navigation for your target audience.


Traditional vs. Growth-Driven Web Design

Traditional Web Design Growth-Driven Design

Large upfront costs
The average traditional website can cost anywhere from £30,000.

Better ROI
Since you’re creating an MVP to start with, you can save up to 50% in development costs.
Resource intensive
The average website takes more than 3 months to build, taking up a great deal of resources from your team.
Better resource allocation
The prioritisation of web requirements enables developers to be more focused without feeling overwhelmed.
Potential project delays
Over time, large projects often fluctuate in cost and time, leading to overspending. 
Faster turnaround
A small website build is quicker to build. 
Harder to keep up-to-date
Website information can become outdated over time. Updating it is a lengthy task,  especially for larger websites with substantial content. 
Easier to maintain and update
When starting with an MVP, it takes less time to optimise your content


Traditional website design takes a linear route, meticulously planning, designing, and developing based on well-intentioned assumptions.

This approach tackles all requirements, essential and non-essential, right from the start. However, building a website encompassing every business requirement can stretch the process over several months.

GDD flips the script.

Instead of aiming for a fully-fledged website, it prioritises launching an MVP with core functionalities. Since it’s a smaller website, it’s much quicker to build and allows you to develop it following best practices without feeling rushed.

What’s more, traditionally designed websites quickly become outdated and fall behind ever-changing consumer behaviour and needs.

To maintain a competitive UX, these sites often require complete overhauls every three years, a six-month ordeal in itself. Not to forget, all these improvements are still based on assumptions, not concrete data.

GDD empowers businesses to be more agile. Starting with a smaller website allows for quicker and easier scaling and improvements based on real user data. Additionally, GDD prioritises enhancements incrementally, making resource and budget allocation much easier.

With GDD, you focus on data-driven insights and user feedback to ensure your website continuously evolves alongside your business and your audience.



Benefits of Growth-Driven Design

GDD offers a unique approach to website design and development that revolves around continuous improvement and user-centricity, leading to a multitude of benefits, including:


Faster Launch and Better Return on Investment (ROI)

With GDD's faster development time, you can swiftly implement conversion rate improvements based on data insights, leading to a larger return on investment (ROI) compared to traditional approaches.  

After all, improved conversion rates can directly translate to increased revenue.


Enhanced UX

Regular updates and adaptations to user needs demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction, fostering a positive brand image.

GDD leverages user data to help you deeply understand your target audience's pain points and preferences. It also pinpoints any underperforming conversion points within your website's user journey.

The collected data guides design-based decisions, ensuring your website is continually optimised for the best possible UX. Additionally, A/B testing within GDD lets you actively test different design elements, content variations, and Call-to-Actions (CTAs).


Increased Efficiency and Reduced Risk

GDD aligns your website more efficiently with your core objectives. Prioritisation of web improvements is based on their potential impact on key metrics or conversion rates. This ensures your resources are allocated effectively to maximise your investment.

Data-driven guidance and incremental improvements minimise the risk of going in the wrong direction or adding features that don't benefit your bottom line.


Nurtures a Collaborative Culture

GDD encourages close collaboration between your company’s marketing, sales, services and design teams. Each team will work on their own data set, and since all the data is collated on a single web platform, it eliminates data silos.

When all teams can review and analyse the same data, it’s much easier to reach a mutual agreement on what improvements should be made on the website that’ll benefit your end-user - that’s the key goal of GDD.


How Does Growth-Driven Design Work?

When redesigning a website from scratch, GDD follows a three-step process:


1. Strategy

Before developing a GDD website, you need a solid plan. This includes:


Defining Goals and Metrics

Identify your key business goals to ensure your website's primary function. Choose relevant performance metrics to track, such as leads generated or conversions, ensuring success measurement.


User Research

Gather as much information about your target market as possible using both quantitative and qualitative research methods such as client interviews, surveys and analytics information. This will help you discover various user intents.

You’ll also want to think about relevant keywords for each intent and consider how to accommodate them in your MVP.  


Competitor Analysis

Explore and compare your competitors in your niche. Critically assess how well each website delivers on the user's intended goal.

Look for common features across all competitors and identify opportunities to improve your own on-page SEO and user experience (UX) to stand out.


User Journey Mapping

Leveraging your user research, visualise how your users navigate your website to achieve their goals by developing a detailed user journey map.

Identify the specific needs and requirements for each user intent and determine how to meet them effectively.

Develop a visual sitemap incorporating all the essential pages identified. For each page, create a content map outlining its primary purpose, key content elements, and a clear call to action (CTA) or link to the next step in the user journey.


2. Launchpad

In this stage, you need to develop your MVP, which is known as a launchpad. Compared to traditionally designed websites, a launchpad includes the minimum required business features.

The size of your launchpad will naturally vary depending on your business scope. Companies offering a wider range of services will require a larger MVP compared to those with just one or two core offerings.

Here are some key points to remember when creating your launchpad:



Define the specific tasks that you’d want your users to accomplish on your website. List all of the features and pages that you’d like to have on your website.

To speed up the development, your launch pad must only include the most impactful features.

The MoSCoW analysis helps you to categorise your requirements into the following:

  • Must Have: These design elements and features are mandatory, and must be included in your new MVP website.
  • Should Have: While important, these features are not vital. However, they do add significant value to your website.
  • Could Have: Features that are “nice to have” but not essential. These features will provide little or no impact.
  • Won’t Have: Not a priority for this current development time frame. 


Design, Develop and Test

Once you’ve identified the key pages and features that you’d want to include in your MVP, it’s time to make your launchpad.

When designing and developing your launchpad, you need to create a base set of design elements which are to be reused across your website’s pages. This design approach makes it easier to produce multiple pages within a set style, saving you from developing each page individually.

Your user research will come into use here. Develop your prototypes of your initial web pages and run tests to validate your ideas. You must regularly conduct testing for each element to ensure your website runs smoothly before it’s published.


Set Up Data Collection

Your website must be connected to an analytics platform before launch. This allows you to start collecting user data, and measure its performance.

Make sure the analytics platform that you partner with tracks the key performance metrics you’ve chosen to monitor from the previous stage.


Publish Your Launchpad Site

When you’ve developed your website, set up your data collection and thoroughly tested it to iron out any potential issues, the next stage is to hit the publish button.


3. Continuous Improvement

This final stage is an ongoing process.

It plays a fundamental role in making your website continuously align with the evolving needs of your consumers. Access to data is key here, and it’ll guide how you should scale and improve your website.

As your data begins to filter through, you need to first decide how often you would like to make changes and improve your website.

You can implement changes on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. How often you improve your website will depend on the needs of your business.

Generally, it’s good practice to review your website’s core metrics weekly and then conduct a full analysis to determine if your website meets your set criteria every quarter. This gives you enough time to collate and review your data, decide what needs improving and apply the changes.

Here are the steps you need to take to continually improve your website every quarter:


1. Data Analysis

At the beginning of the sprint, review your website’s data, including user behaviour, engagement metrics and conversions. Your data will inform what areas of your website are performing well and highlight areas that need improvement.

It’s the areas that need improvement that’ll require your immediate attention.


2. Generate Hypotheses

On reviewing your data, develop several hypotheses to outline how specific changes might improve your website performance.

Some of these suggestions may be as simple as changing the colour or text of a Call-to-Action (CTA). But in other instances, improvement might involve changing the layout of a website.


3. A/B Testing

Conduct A/B tests to compare different versions of design elements or content to see which one performs better.

Since you’re testing specific areas of your website, the turnaround will be much faster.


4. Prioritise and Implement

Based on test results and impact potential, prioritise and implement the most promising improvements.


5. Rinse and Repeat

Once you’ve applied the changes, start the sprint cycle again. Remember, GDD is an iterative approach. This’ll help your online web presence adapt to changing user needs and market conditions so that it continues to remain relevant and effective over time.


What tools do you need for Growth-Driven Design?

Choosing the right tools for your GDD website makes a huge difference in running efficient sprint cycles.

While finding individual tools for managing and tracking your GDD website is possible, opting for an all-in-one suite, like HubSpot,  offers greater efficiency and makes it easier to achieve your GDD goals.

An all-in-one solution combines website building and performance tracking capabilities under one roof, simplifying your workflow. Notably, HubSpot offers seamless integration with other popular tools like Hotjar and Slack and features a CRM for effectively storing your data. 

If you use a solution like HubSpot, you’ll access the following tools:


Analytics and Data Visualisation

  • Website Analytics: Gain insights into user behaviour, traffic sources and conversion rates.
  • Heatmaps and Scrollmaps: By using HotJar, you’ll be able to access heatmaps show where users click and scroll maps to illustrate how far users scroll down the page. This helps you identify content engagement and potential drop-off points.
  • Session Recording: Obtain recordings of the user sessions to help you visualise how users interact with your website, uncovering usability issues and conversion bottlenecks by using HotJar.
  • Form Analytics: Most CTAs will lead to a form. With form analytics, you’ll access completion rates, abandoned fields and user errors; assisting in optimising forms for better conversion.


A/B Testing and Experimentation

  • A/B Testing Tools: For testing different versions of website elements like headlines, CTAs and layouts to determine which version performs better.
  • Multivariate Testing: Enables testing of several variables at the same time, providing deeper insights into user preferences and interactions.
  • SEO Analytics: Using a tool like SEMRush will enable you to identify the best keywords to match your user intent in what your prospects are looking for. SEO performance should be reviewed regularly to help you optimise your content.


Project Management and Collaboration

  • Project Management Tools: Task management systems like Productive or Trello can help organise projects, prioritise improvements and track progress through all stages of the GDD process.
  • Collaboration Tools: Slack and Google Workspace help to facilitate communication and knowledge sharing between your team members involved in design, marketing and development.


Web Design and Development

  • Flexible CMS: Having access to the platform HubSpot lets you create, add and remove web pages and landing pages as and when. The drag-and-drop capability of HubSpot makes it easier to create new page templates, banners and CTAs. The premium version of HubSpot also comes with a host of AI tools to assist with content creation.
  • Visual Design and Prototyping Tools: The web development feature of HubSpot makes it easier for you to create a range of design elements and mockups for A/B testing.


Key Point to Remember:

Only pick the tools that align with your specific GDD needs and goals. If your tech stack is filled with too many tools, it can lead to data overload and inefficiencies.

Ideally, you should collaborate and review all the options available and invest in solutions that meet your requirements. But more importantly, take time out to train your team on your chosen tool for optimal adoption.


Growth-Driven Design Helps Your Website Hit The Mark

The market is constantly changing, and it’s vital to keep your web presence relevant to maintain a healthy conversion rate.

GDD offers an alternative approach to website design and development as it focuses on conducting regular data analysis to find areas for improvement. Crucially, once these opportunities are identified, they are prioritised based on ROI, ensuring a more efficient allocation of resources.

This approach not only reduces upfront cost and development time, it makes your website more agile and adapts to user needs and market trends.

GDD represents a true evolution of web design, placing user data at the forefront and underscoring continuous enhancement for sustained success.

Take Your First Step To Switch to Growth-Driven Design

Our expertise in Growth-Driven Design here at Axon Garside has helped one of our clients, Winnow, evolve their simple launchpad into a sophisticated, data-driven website.

To see how we can evolve your website, get in touch with us today so we can discuss your initial requirements.

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