What is growth-driven design and how to use it for your website

What is growth-driven design and how to use it for your website

Jon BrodyJon Brody

July 15, 2021

Your website is an essential piece in the growth of your business. Yet many times, a company builds a website and then leaves it alone for years at a time. This is equivalent to hiring a new employee, giving them one job, and leaving them alone for years, where they are never allowed to learn anything new. A website is like an employee that needs to continually grow to better serve the needs of the users and the goals of the company. This involves actively intervening in, changing, and improving your website. Growth-Driven Design, or GDD, is a design methodology that does just that. The goal of GDD is to continually raise the bar to provide the best experience to your users. 

How is growth-driven design different?

The traditional approach to websites is simply to put them up like billboards that present a message and nothing more. It’s a stagnant process that doesn’t give users any guidance on what to do next. On the other hand, growth-driven design elicits a user response and uses real user data to evoke changes and continuous improvements. GDD gives you feedback that allows you to continually optimize your site for conversion. The GDD methodology is proven to increase your ROI and customer retention because it’s a data-driven approach. This not only improves the customer experience, but also helps your company grow and achieve your business goals. 

GDD is an efficient, productive, and ever-evolving methodology that uses learning and continuous improvement in the design and development of your website. The data-driven approach not only allows you to build your website faster, but also allows you to build a more powerful one that aligns with user wants and needs. Where traditional website development may combine data and assumptions, the GDD web design methodology is based on data, not assumptions. Additionally, traditional website development is static, maybe only changing every few years as you take down the old one and put up a new one. GDD is dynamic, continually changing, growing, and evolving along with your users. Because the website is delivered faster, this allows you to focus on improving the website based on actual user data. This reduces risk, targets users in a precise manner, and helps you meet your organizational goals faster and more efficiently. 

How does growth-driven design work?

Growth-Driven Design can be broken down into a 3-step process: strategy, launch pad, and continuous improvement. Here is how to implement each stage.


In the strategy stage, you want to gain a solid understanding of your target users. This includes finding out who they are, their likes and dislikes, and more, to better determine how you can deliver a website that appeals to the user and supports them. By developing an empathetic understanding of your customer’s problems, you can then help them solve them. In this stage, you build a clear, user-focused strategy that addresses the needs of your users. Without a good strategy, you have no direction, which can lead to lost revenue, wasted time, and higher costs. Some key elements to building your strategy include defining your company goals, gaining a deep understanding of your customers, and developing solutions to address their needs and wants. 

Every user is on a journey to solve their problems. Growth-driven design identifies which stage a buyer is on in their journey and offers tools and solutions to help them continue. To do this, you use data collected from user interactions with your website. Find out how they are accessing your site, why they are there, and what value they are getting out of it. Use this data to develop a strategy that solves their problems and meets your goals. 

Launch Pad

The launch pad stage is where you build a site that looks and performs better than the site you have today. This is where you improve and expand on your current website faster and more efficiently than you could with traditional web design. This stage uses key elements from the strategy stage and builds on them to continually improve the website over time using real user data. There are typically 4 types of launch pad methods for creating a launch pad website. The one you use will depend on your business and what you want to achieve. The 4 types of launch pad methods are:

  • Refresh – If you have built your current website fairly recently, this is where you develop the existing website into your initial launch pad website by using insights from the strategy stage to make informed improvements.
  • Kick-start – This type of launch pad involves building a new website from an existing template using pre-built assets, including images and content, to accelerate the content creation and design stages.
  • Launch & Expand – This is a phased approach where you break your launch down into phases and implement them one at a time. With data collected from user feedback, you then relaunch your highest-impact pages one by one. This is a continual process until the website is complete.
  • 80/20 – The 80/20 launch type can be looked at in 2 ways:
  • Choose the top 20% of the items from the strategy stage that will make 80% of the impact. These items are then used to create the launch pad website. 
  • Choose the 20% critical items on your wish list to launch now and develop the other 80% over time.

Continuous Improvement

After you’ve used the appropriate launch pad method for your business, and your website is live, it’s time to move into the third step, which is continuous improvement. At this step in the GDD methodology, you have actual users interacting on your website who can provide you with the feedback you need to make adjustments that will improve the website. The data tells you what users are interested in and what they aren’t. This means you can focus on what interests them and cut what isn’t working. You then provide more value for your customers and better work toward meeting your organizational goals. The continuous improvement stage is typically divided into quarterly themes where you focus on a specific area to address the goals of your organization. 

The continuous improvement stage is designed to be repeatable, where you continue to collect and evaluate real user data to make high-impact improvements to your website. This cycle serves to drive company growth, allowing you to find new opportunities and new growth potential. By incorporating an evolving website that is always working to optimize results, you effectively reduce risk, eliminate waste, and maximize customer value

Why you should be using growth-driven design

The Growth-Driven Design methodology is a data-driven approach that continuously focuses on the ever-changing wants and needs of your users in developing your website. It uses real user data to continually improve your website to help you achieve your company goals. If you’re ready to implement growth-driven design, but you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help. Contact us today to speak to a strategist at Ladder.

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