GDD Is the Game-Changing Redesign of the Web Design Model
Traditional web design is to website performance what cold calling is to marketing: inefficient, unprofitable, and time consuming. So, when you walk into a web design or marketing agency looking to give your B2B website a makeover or complete redesign and you do not hear the term growth-driven design—be afraid, very afraid!
Growth-driven design (GDD) is the buzzword everyone is talking about in the realm of digital marketing and website design. What makes GDD unique is that every agency has its version of it based on how it integrates with their inbound marketing efforts. So, while the execution may vary based on the client’s budget and the agency’s framework, GDD’s infallible lead-generation mojo lies in the process.
The many perks of being a Boston-based B2B marketing agency is that we get to hear the GDD story straight from the horse’s mouth—Luke Summerfield, architect of the growth-driven design strategy and partner agency program manager at Cambridge-based HubSpot.
In this GDD blog series, we get Luke’s official word on GDD and its applications within the B2B manufacturing industry.
Where does growth-driven design come from and what spurred you to introduce this concept at HubSpot?
Luke: Before working at HubSpot, I worked at a marketing and web development agency. One year, we decided to slow things down in terms of growth and decided to really focus on optimizing the business, making things more efficient, more profitable by building a better machine. One of our key findings was that we saw a lot of recurring problems with our web clients, a lot of the same challenges in regards to traditional web design. And so, originally the idea for GDD came from just trying to solve our own problems that we were having at the agency. But, just as we were getting started on that, we got acquired by another agency and it all fizzled out during the acquisition process.
Then, when I came to HubSpot, as the program manager for the partner program, I was tasked with finding new programs that would help our agencies grow. And thinking back to the challenges we had as an agency, and what we were trying to solve on the web design side of the business, the problem I was trying to solve for our agency was actually occurring industry-wide. And, that’s how GDD came to be.
GDD is drastically different from traditional web design in terms of the process, but what’s different about the approach and why should B2B manufacturers be wary of the traditional model?
Luke: There are two main differences between the models. The first involves the actual process we apply to the design. The second difference is more philosophical in nature, and is what guides you when building the site.
So, with traditional web design, you still have a strategy and you go through this big long build out process. Typically it’s done in a waterfall fashion, where all the copywriting, wire framing, design, development, and the quality assurance is undertaken in big chunks and the entire site is put together all at once. The problem with this approach is that it all ends up happening when you launch the site, so you basically don’t touch it again until after one or two years. Well, the reality is that there isn’t any such perfect; there’s no way to get to perfect. The only way we can get close to perfect is to build a website quickly, a website that looks better, performs better than what you have today—but may not be the end all, be all. We know we need to keep working on it to get it closer to perfect. And, that’s what we call the Launchpad website in GDD. It’s a site that is launched in 45-60 days, looks better right away—and performs better—but isn’t perfect.
The other difference between the two is that GDD is a user-driven process and not a designer-driven process. In the traditional web design process, a bunch of designers go into the backroom and make a bunch of decisions based on what looks pretty and what the industry trends are. What may have worked well with some other client may not work for others. A vast majority of design preferences are essentially based on assumptions that may work okay for the site. The strength of GDD lies in the users actually dictating how the site is built, based on real visitor usage, and user data. So, instead of depending on an “all-knowing design guru,” who might be guessing at what they think will work, the users will tell us through real data what will work—we’ll build the site around the users.
Continue following this blog series to read more about:
- How GDD could benefit your business
- What GDD offers B2B manufacturers
Have we piqued your curiosity enough about GDD? Download our Intro to Growth-Driven Design eBook that underlines the shift—along with the processes—your company needs to make so you can boost website performance.