Website Design Tutorial: Build a Peak-Performing Website With Growth-Driven Design

How does Growth-Driven Design
work? The Growth-Driven Design methodology has three major
stages. The first is the strategy stage. The goal
of the strategy stage is to develop an empathetic
understanding of your audience and how the website can solve
problems along their journey. Try to imagine the world from
your audience’s perspective. Who are they? What challenges
are they facing? What are their goals? And where does the
website fit in as a part of that? There are several steps
you’ll need to take to complete the strategy phase.
First, define the website goals by reverse-engineering the
overall business’ goals and identifying how the website will
influence them. The website goals should be SMART goals-
that’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely
– to help you properly measure the website’s impact on the
business. Next, to understand your audience, you’ll need to
do user experience, or UX, research. The research may be
qualitative, quantitative, observational, or a combination
to uncover user insights that guide you through the rest of
the strategy stage. The next step is called “Jobs-to-
be-Done.” This framework will help you identify the underlying
needs that drive your audience and what it takes for them to
switch to your company’s products and services as a
solution. Following jobs-to- be-done, you’ll refine your
fundamental assumptions. This step involves boiling down what
you already know about your market, your business, and your
website. You’ll refine or create new user problem
statements, unique value propositions, situational
triggers, current user habits, switching anxieties, and more.
Fundamental assumptions are at the core of the success of your
users, business, and website. The next step in the strategy
stage is to develop personas using the deep understanding of
your audience that you’ve gained through the previous
steps. A persona is a fictional
representation of your ideal customer. Then, you’ll need to
do journey mapping where you map
out that persona’s journey of what happens before,
during, and after they interact with your business. By mapping
your persona’s journey, you’ll have a direction of
how to weave your website into that journey and solve
their problems along the way. After that, you’ll develop a
website specific strategy. These are probably what you’re used to
looking at for website redesign. Things like: site
architecture, on-site SEO, key sections and pages,
integrations, technical requirements, and more. The last
step in the strategy stage of GDD is for you to brainstorm an
initial wish list. The wish list will
contain creative and impactful website ideas that aim to solve
your user’s challenges, provide value to the user, and
help your business reach its goals. The website wish list
will have anywhere between 75 and 200 different ideas,
including site elements, sections, pages, specific
features and modules, integrations and more. With a
strong wish list of high-impact ideas, you’ll begin the second
phase of the Growth-Driven Design methodology, which is the
launch pad website. The goal is to quickly build a website that
looks and performs better than what you have today, but isn’t
a final product. Rather, your launch pad is the foundation
you’ll build and optimize upon. The main driver, for
launching quickly and without sacrificing quality, is to
collect data from real users interacting with the site. Then,
you’re equipped to make better, data- driven decisions
on how to improve the website. Launching quickly also creates a
quicker time-to- value versus the six or more months of a
traditional web design project
where you don’t see any value from the business. How can you
quickly build a launch pad? Well, there are a
few key areas you can focus on to accelerate the launch of a
remarkable and effective website. First, find a way to
customize your approach to building the new website that
maximizes acceleration while maintaining quality. There are a
number of ways to make that happen. Each website is uniquely
different and will require a mix of approaches to make sure
it’s a well-performing launch pad. This is why it can be
helpful to work with an experienced HubSpot Partner
agency to guide you on the best approach for your new launch
pad. The second way you can accelerate your launch pad
website is by running design sprints on high-impact pages and
sections. A design sprint is a short, concentrated time period
focused on problem solving, design,
prototyping, and testing. Design sprints help you use the
team’s collectively share their knowledge, generate
ideas, but also come to a high-quality prototype
of your new website in record time. Next, for anyone who’s
built a website in the past, you may know that developing high-
quality content – including text, images, and video – is
one of the most challenging parts of a website build and
often causes huge delays. Having an effective content development
process and great content collaboration tools can
accelerate your content production speed and increase
the quality of the content you produce. The last way you can
accelerate the build of a launch pad website is through investing
in internal efficiencies. Internal efficiencies include
switching from a waterfall process to an Agile or Scrum
process, building an internal library of pre-built templates
and modules that you can reuse, removing developer dependencies
so marketers can make updates on
their own, leveraging collaboration tools, these are
a few way you can invest in
internal effeciencies. Once the strategy stage
has been created and your launch
pad website is live, you’ll move into the continuous improvement
stage of the Growth-Driven Design methodology. The goal of
the continuous improvement stage is to start identifying the
high-impact actions you can take to grow your business based on
real user data. Once you’ve launched the website, it may be
difficult to stay focused on improving the highest impact
items at any given time, so you’ll follow a simple yet
powerful agile process: plan, build, learn, and transfer.
Let’s look at each step. In the planning step of the cycle,
you’ll define the most impactful items to build or
optimize at that moment in time to drive toward your goals. This
starts by determining an area of focus that your team can rally
their improvement efforts around. Focus is key, folks. The
challenge is, there are many areas you could work on: things
like messaging to layouts to
building new pages to optimizing existing
ones. The wide range of options can make it overwhelming and
difficult to determine where to best focus your time. To solve
this, you’ll use the website performance roadmap. The
performance roadmap is a framework for you and your team
to ensure you’re spending time and energy on improving the most
impactful areas. The roadmap helps you set clear expectations
with your boss, stakeholders, or clients on exactly what you
should and should not be working on and why. And because there
are specific metrics to measure for each focus area, you can
easily measure and report on your progress building a peak
performing website. What does a performance roadmap look like?
There are three major themes: “establish”, “optimize”,
and “expand”. The “establish” theme revolves
around the core foundational activities you can do when
you”ve built something new. Within this theme, there are
three focus areas. First, you can focus on “harvesting low
hanging fruit” or building high impact items that are easy
or quick to accomplish after you launch the site. Secondly,
there”s building an audience to
collect data and run experiments. And
third, there”s confirming the website is driving value to
those users. The “optimize” theme revolves around on
improving the user experience and business performance of
existing items on the site. The three focus areas under optimize
include improving usability on the site to ensure visitors can
unlock value as quickly as possible. Doing conversion rate
optimization, or CRO, to reduce the friction and steps in your
conversion funnels on your
website. And personalization, to provide a
hyper-relevant experience for each user or user-segment to
ensure they get the perfect experience for their needs.
Lastly, the “expand” theme revolves around building new
items on the website to expand the impact the website has. The
three focus areas within the expand theme include building
new digital products onto the website, such as tools,
directories, digital resources, or interactive experiences. The
second focus area is expand into
developing new items on the website to improve other
areas of the customer journey map, such as a new customer
experience, customer website, or
maybe an advocate program. And the
third focus area in expand is
using the website to help other teams achieve their goals
and help the business grow. This could be building items on the
website to help the sales team prospect, qualify, and close
deals. It could be helping the HR team recruit more quality
candidates and retain current employees, or helping the
customer service team reduce support tickets and inbound
phone calls. There are many ways you can use the website as a
tool to help the entire company grow. The website performance
roadmap is ordered to match the lifecycle of a particular
website. After your launch your
initial launch pad website, you’ll often focus on
the establishing and optimizing themes, and over time you’ll
progress to focusing on the expand step. Every website is
different, and it’s key that you let the performance metrics
and experience guide you on
where your team should focus. Each quarter, you
should reassess how to divide your continuous improvement
efforts between different focus
areas based on performance metrics.
Once your quarterly focus area is set, it’s important not to
shift. Shifting focus can create a lot of motion with little
on individual improvements. Once you’ve determined your focus
area, it’s time to complete user experience research, or UX
research, to understand what challenges or friction points
your website users are running into that’s preventing their
progress. Once you have a good understanding of the challenges,
your team will brainstorm all sorts of new action items to
build. These items will drive user value while improving the
performance metric of the current focus area. All ideas
should relate to your team’s current focus area. With your
list of brilliant ideas, it’s now time to prioritize the list
to identify the highest impact action items you can implement
to boost performance in your focus area. Based on your
workload capacity, you’ll go down the list and select the
high-impact action items until you run out of capacity.
Anything after will be re-considered in the planning
step of the next cycle. With those high-impact action items
in hand for the current sprint, you’ll write out action item
cards with four key elements. One, an outline of the specific
customer scenario in the form of a “job statement.” Two, a
hypothesis statement about your proposed change and the impact
it will have. Three, any research or data that will back
up your hypothesis. And four, an experimental design for how you
plan on testing the hypothesis. Now that you have a focus and
prioritized action items to implement, you can move to the
second step in the continuous improvement cycle: build. The
goal of the build step is to host a working sprint with a
cross-functional team to complete all the high-impact
action items. Just like a sports team, your team will swarm on
the action items to collaboratively tackle them
with aggression. With these action items as their
focus, they’ll sync schedules, meetings, and work times. In
addition to building the action items, the team also needs to
set up the experiments as outlined in the experimental
design in order to properly measure the impact the action
item has and validate or invalidate the original
hypothesis. You’ll launch what you’ve built and let your
audience interact with your experiments. After a period of
time, which will be different for every experiment, you’ll
then move on to the learn step of the cycle. In the learn step,
you’ll take a step back to review the experiments you’re
running to extract learnings about what you see your users
interacting with. Was your
original hypothesis correct or did you prove it wrong? If it
was proven wrong, this is okay and fairly common, especially
when first starting out and trying bold ideas. It’s
critical to assess the outcomes to learn more about your
audience. What did their actions and behaviors tell you about
them, and how could you incorporate these learnings into
future action items? This is such a critical step because the
more you repeat the cycle, the more you learn about your
audience. The more you learn about your audience, the more
likely you’ll have success in providing value and hitting your
goal metrics. The final step of the continuous improvement cycle
is the transfer step. The goal of the transfer step is to share
your learnings and exchange ideas throughout the entire
company to improve the entire business, not just one of the
parts. Between internal communications and meetings,
you’ll share your user learnings from the experiments
you performed the previous month. You can make
recommendations based on the learnings of how other
departments could improve. You can ask questions to other
departments to pull insights and fill gaps in your user research.
You can also use this time to a consistent user experience
during all interactions with your company. You’ll look for
possible collaboration opportunities with other
departments and teams. This a cycle because you’ll
continually repeat the steps, building momentum each time you
repeat them. Generally, the cycle is repeated every two
weeks, with new action items being built to impact the
current focus for the quarter. Eventually, you learn and
improve enough on that focus area and meetat specific goal.
Then you’ll move to a new theme or focus on the
website performance roadmap to start the cycle again. To recap,
the Growth-Driven Design methodology starts with planning
and research in the strategy phase, which concludes with the
creation of a solid wishlist. The wish list is built into the
launch pad website. In this stage, you’re building a
website that looks and performs better than today but is a
starting point for your website success. Then you’ll start the
continuous improvement stage where month-over- month your
improving based over real user
data. This process is a great alternative to the
existing nightmare of a launch, with the “set-it- and-forget-
it” process in traditional web design. Now you’re
continuously improving, using the website to help all aspects
of the business grow and seeing results each month. Of course,
marketing and sales are layers that live on top of
Growth-Driven Design. Think of Growth-Driven Design like a
sports car, but you still need gas for that sports car to go,
and that’s what marketing and
sales are. To develop a peak-performing growth business,
you need all three working together, as they’re all
interconnected and they all
feed off each other. All of the
challenges associated with the broken traditional web design
process are now solved with the new playbook, Growth-Driven
Design. This is the future of web design and the playbook for
building a peak-performing website. Hopefully you’re
feeling inspired to grow as an marketer, to grow as a web
designer, to grow out of the broken, traditional web design
process and to start building peak- performing websites using
Growth-Driven Design. Let’s transform the world of web
design together.

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3 thoughts on “Website Design Tutorial: Build a Peak-Performing Website With Growth-Driven Design

  1. I would love the opportunity to actually do this entire method but the reality is that most companies don't care or have the time to spend on a web design process such as this.

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