The traditional web design model is totally broken. Traditional web design approaches are plagued with a great deal of systemic risk and wasted opportunity. Considering the cost of a website and its potential as a powerful marketing tool, you want to ensure that it will deliver the best return on investment. However, with traditional web design methods, this is inherently impossible.
Traditional web design follows a typical path built as a set project that ends with the launch of a complete website, which is often neglected for years before another website redesign isundertaken. Redesigns are incredibly stressful, costly, and time-consuming, so mitigating the need for a complete redesign is an advantage.
The problem with traditional web design is:
- The website is built with features based on assumptions that have no base in reality
- Too much focus on design and not function
- High upfront website design costs
- The design process cannot deliver a truly sales-optimized website
- Large time and resource commitment
- Impossible to estimate accurately
- No prototype
- After launching, a website often has no major updates for 1.5 to 2 years
An alternative method is Growth Driven Web Design (GDD), which adopts the basic principles of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). MVP products are designed for growth. An MVP is a lean version of what you think the final product will be. The MVP is released into the hands of customers who provide valuable feedback that drives the development of the next version. MVPs are cost efficient because you’re not paying for all the bells and whistles upfront (which were largely based on assumptions anyways), avoiding overspending on unneeded features. Furthermore, you get a product up and running quicker than traditional methods, which in the case of an MVP, can attract investors moving forward.
Growth Driven Web Design follows a similar tenet. A leaner version of the website is developed and released. Data is gathered on how users actually use the site and this data drives the design decisions of the next iteration (ok I know, we’re basically talking about agile development for web here). From a marketing and sales perspective, this is fantastic since what is learned about actual visitors helps to inform and improve marketing & sales strategies. The result: a continuously sales-optimized website.
Web site visitors today are not the same visitors you had a few years ago, making traditional web design models antiquated. People aren't coming to your website to learn more about you. They are looking to see if you have the solution to their problem and it is no longer good enough to guess what they’re looking for and make assumptions on how they’re going to get that information from your website. GDD design succeeds in minimizing the risks of traditional web design through a systematic approach that shortens the time to launch by focusing on real data, continuous learning, and improvement.