While website design can be a long, laborious process that we'd prefer to just sweep under the rug, it is a necessary evil when it comes to business. Think about it - if you run a company, big or small, your website is the number one thing you need to get your name out there - because we can only shout so loudly.
Necessity aside though, you and I can agree that designing a website is not exactly a walk in the park - depending on the approach you take, it can be more like the longest walk of your life, where your parents have dragged you away from the telly to 'exercise', so they can lecture you about the number of shoes and candles you've bought recently. It basically sucks.
Website design is also extra spenny in the time and money department. If you're anything like me, you're not going to spend your precious coin willy nilly, without peace of mind that it's a valuable investment (unless you're buying shoes or candles, obviously...).
If you're worried about its value though, I can assure you that investing in your website will be one of the most valuable contributions you will make to your customer's experience with your brand. A website's quality is of serious importance to consumers - with 40% of potential leads abandoning a website if the images don't load or if the layout is too long or unattractive. Super harsh but super true.
But hold the bus, what is the difference between Traditional Web Design and Growth Driven Design and which offers the greatest ROI? I'm glad you asked! Let's start with that of Traditional, because hey! That's how we've been making websites for centuries (right...?)
Traditional Web Design
If your company has never created a website before, or you just need a reminder of why you're considering GDD, let's walk through the steps of what typically happens in a Traditional Web Design Process. It goes something like this:
1. Your company has a service you want to market online
2. Brainstorming happens over the website design, and what you want your customers to see
3. The website is designed
4. The website is tested and troubleshooting occurs
5. When ready, the website is launched
6. Re-designs or updates occur every few years post launch, in an attempt to remain market-current
It seems pretty straightforward to the uninitiated right? It is logical. However, what isn't so hot is the ambiguity of the frequency of re-designs, as there is no concrete rule - updates occur when you have something new to offer.
Another downer, is that redesigning takes a long time, especially if you've launched a shoddily designed site to begin with. 90% of customers feel brand distrust solely based on whether or not a site looks amateur - I mean I'd believe you if you said that your site is just rocking a 1996 vibe, but potential customer's aren't so easily convinced.
So how do you ensure you're publishing something shiny and perfect with Traditional Web Design?
Well friends, when deciding on images, layout, colour scheme and content as part of a Traditional Design strategy, you'll be taking a stab in the dark to guess what your ideal customer wants to experience. Sounds hard right? That's because it is.
Traditionally, buyer personas are imagined, based simply upon your product and who you had in mind to purchase it. You then design your website around these imaginary friends, leave it be, hope for the best and then redesign it years later in an effort to stay relevant. Yikes - kind of a gamble, no?
That was the old-fashioned, dated, traditional approach to web design. So let's get back to the comfort of 2019 and say a big hello to our hover-boards and avocado lattes, and uncover the secrets of Growth Driven Design and whether it is better or not for your company's purposes.
Growth Driven Design
The main difference between Traditional Web Design and Growth Driven Design is that GDD emphasises that an effective website comes from continually learning, adapting and catering to your target audience by identifying what they like. Rather than guessing who your buyer personas are, you can mitigate the risk of missing the mark (and avoid some pitying chuckles) by analysing what works, what doesn't and modify your site to include features that buyers want and need, and include only what proves to convert visitors into leads and customers.
Now I know what you're thinking, and no I don't just have a personal vendetta towards traditional web design, I swear. Here, let me show you what makes a GDD process so effective. A GDD website approach is:
Unlike a traditional process in which the plan, develop, launch and watch cycle can last for up to several years, the GDD process is a continuous cycle of sprints. Sprints are definitive time periods (2 weeks is recommended) during which a company's marketing team will work on improvements to the site.
2. Focused on the user
The improvements suggested during these sprints are not simply made on a whim, they are well-informed changes based on how prospects are using / not using the website. So essentially, you will always be improving based on customer-centric data.
Importantly, a GDD site is in a continual state of optimisation - meaning, it is always delivering what prospects are looking for!
Because you are constantly updating the website with GDD, you can be highly flexible to changes in trends.
Instead of praying to some Digital Marketing Deity, with GDD you can concentrate on the hard user data to keep improving your website and get better results each month.
6. Informing your marketing and sales strategies
As your GDD website provides you with invaluable data on how users behave, including what resonates with them and what doesn't, this can work to guide your overall marketing and sales strategy.
7. Ahead of the competition
Your website will progress in leaps and bounds compared to the tosh sites of your competitors, framing you as the obvious pick for industry leader.
8. Quickly implemented
Gone are the days of obsessing over whether Calls-to-Action are better off on the left or right hand side of the layout. With GDD you can just make a quick decision, test it, and change it later if your hypothesis was wrong. Fool-proof.
9. Cost Effective
Rather than a colossal upfront cost that has some rather sobering effects on your bottom line, with GDD, the cost is paid in much more manageable monthly increments.
By no means is traditional web design the absolute pits, but I can guarantee that you, like me, will take great satisfaction in bidding farewell to tradition in order to make way for an amazing website that is most effective in attracting and engaging the right prospects. You do the maths.