GDD Cycle

Everything you need to know about the GDD Cycle

Matthew Rockhill Growth Driven Design 2 Comments

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Your launch pad site is up and running and the nuts and bolts of your website are in place. The time has come to begin the continuous development cycle (GDD Cycle). Your Wish List items await their chance to make an impact. All that remains is to experiment, learn and improve on your website.

Your website is designed to offer the best possible user experience. Knowing who you are targeting is vital to keep your users happy. That is why the Growth Driven Design (GDD) Cycle revolves around the personas of your frequent users. At each stage of the cycle you need to know how each action item relates to and impacts each persona.

Related: An Introduction To The Growth Driven Design Launchpad

GDD Cycle Step 1: Plan

Consider for a moment the life of a marathon runner. Consider the careful planning that goes into each event. A good runner ensures they are sufficiently fit, prior to running the race. The only way a runner would know if they are ready is by hitting the road and testing their ability. After each training run they would evaluate their performance and look for areas where they might improve. The GDD cycle takes a similar approach. Data from past user interactions is analyzed to find weaknesses and strengths. Solutions are then found to fix the flaws and leverage the strengths. The planning phase is broken down into four tasks:

1.Performance VS Goals

Your website’s performance must be aligned with your performance goals. Constant review of how items are performing and how they align with your goals is paramount. Each user interaction gives valuable information to help achieve the goals set out in the Launch Pad Phase. Goals can be anything from boosting conversions to improving user experience.

2. Additional Data  or Research

Just like going to your coach and asking for tips on how to improve, Growth Driven Design takes a look at your website’s performance VS goals and clarifies what actions to take to become more aligned with your goals.  It delves deeper into the reasons why certain things are working and others are not.

3. Learning from Marketing and Sales

Learning from the best is the key to constantly improving. If you wanted to run a sub 90 minute marathon, you would seek out the people that do it all the time. Find out their strategies and learn from their insights.  

The Sales and Marketing team are always on the front lines. They deal with the users on a daily basis. Their insights will prove invaluable when designing the cycle.

Here’s an example…

Your marketing team publish an eBook that proved very popular. You now know that your users enjoy this type of content. Now you can focus on the items on your Wish List that will leverage that information.

4. Brainstorm and Prioritize your Wish List

Once all the data has been collected and analyzed, you can plan the action items for the next cycle. Depending on your goals and on the performance of the items in your last cycle you can make decisions that positively impact your website.

Your action Items fall into the following boxes:

GDD Cycle Step 2: Develop

Once the planning has been done the implementation can begin. This is often the hardest part. Ensuring that changes to the website don’t affect the user’s experience. For each action item the impact on the website and the user experience must be determined. Tracking of the metrics set up around each action item must be established and monitored.

Once the new developments go live you need to drive traffic to that section in order to test the effectiveness of the changes. A marketing strategy can be set up to help guide traffic to the site using social media, PPC, or blogging.

GDD Cycle Step 3: Learn

Learning is a critical step in the GDD Cycle. It allows you to test your hypothesis and to evaluate whether or assumptions about your users are correct. From the data you obtain from tracking the users on your site you can learn about your user and how they interact with your brand.

Every website has a unique set of users, with different traits and ways of interacting. The more you learn about your users the better you can understand them. Having a marketing message tailored to your personas is invaluable.

Related: The Biggest Problems With Traditional Web Design

GDD Cycle Step 4: Transfer

The transfer phase gathers all the new information gained from the previous cycles and transfers it to the other members of the team. As in any team, you want everyone to pulling in the same direction. Transferring the knowledge obtained about the users can help nurture leads, close sales and drive more qualified leads to your website.GDD Cycle

Final Thoughts

Remember that your website is your biggest marketing asset and is the centerpiece of all your marketing activities. Its also your hardest working employee, with no days off, vacation time or need to rest. It works for you all day. Your job is to give it the best opportunity to produce results for your business.

By continually monitoring, learning and implementing what you’ve learned on your website, it will become the tool that will drive sales and business growth. Growth driven design is about listening to your users and learning how they interact with your brand. Then leveraging that knowledge to achieve your business goals.

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Matthew Rockhill

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