The GDD methodology is based on the idea that it’s impossible to build a perfect website from the start. Instead of spending months perfecting every detail before launch, GDD encourages you to launch a minimum viable product (MVP). One with the most important features and then continuously improve based on data.
A growth-driven design agency like us, will work with you through all three phases of the process. Strategy, Launch Pad and continuous improvement.
1. Developing a Buyer Persona
Buyer persona is the first step of your growth driven design checklist. Determining who are you talking to and what their goals are will set the foundation for all other steps.
Your buyer persona should include
- Their goals,
- Challenges they face,
- Their pain points and
- How they behave at what stage of the buyer's journey.
A buyer persona is important because growth driven design is centered around the user.
2. Set Smart Goals
Smart Goals are the goals that you want to achieve, which should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. SMART goals have been around since 1981 when George T. Doran published his article on the topic in Management Review.
For instance: “Our goal is to increase leads by 25% in 12 months.” Identify different marketing channels that will help achieve those goals.
3. Quantitative Website & Analytics Audit
The goal of this step is to gather information about what your company is doing well and what areas need improvement. This will help you identify where to focus your efforts to make the most impact on your website's performance as quickly as possible.
You can use tools like Google Analytics to track and measure your website's performance. These tools provide you with a wealth of information that will help you evaluate your marketing efforts (such as social media, email campaigns, blog posts, etc.).
4. Qualitative User Research
Analytics will give you insight into visitors and leads. You will know what the source of traffic coming to your website is. How many visitors are new versus returning? Is there a specific page where visitors are dropping off?
Knowing how people find your website and how they interact with it can help you better understand their behavior. You can then make changes based on these findings to improve conversion rates.
5. Fundamental Assumptions
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of designing a new website, we need to tackle some fundamental assumptions. This involves setting goals and expectations so that everyone is on the same page.
You make assumptions looking at the core problems users may experience based on your findings from the previous stages. An then the solutions to help your users.
6. Global and Page Strategy
Here you look at what you want to achieve with a specific page, (eg. the home page). The aim is for the pages to drive success for your business. Also, to progress users through your marketing and sales process.
Which elements will you include on every page (header, footer, menu, etc.). These elements should help users navigate your site. As for your brand - to stay consistent with design, branding, messaging, etc.
7. Your Wishlist
What is one thing that can help improve your marketing efforts immediately upon launch, even if it’s not completely finished or perfect? This could be something like a lead magnet, video series or a blog post on a specific topic.
Pro Tip: Use an 80/20 rule to help pare down your wishlist to the essentials. Which 20% of items will produce 80% of the impact for your website users.
8. Launch Pad Website
A Launch Pad website is the starting point from which all Growth-Driven Design activities and improvements originate. It’s a site that you launch in a very short period of time (4-6 weeks) with limited functionality, content and features.
The purpose of the Launch Pad is to avoid getting stuck on analysis, features or content while building and think continuous improvements because your site will never be perfect or finished.
Here are some additional key considerations for your launch pad website:
- Focus on the things that matter most to your visitors.
- Focus on making sure visitors can find you online. SEO best practices, meta descriptions, etc.
- Focus on the core of what you offer – make it clear and concise.
- Prepare a game plan for your continuous improvement cycle. Understand how you will drive improvements to your site.