What is Growth Driven Design?

The Growth-Driven Design Methodology in Action

Growth-Driven Design: A Quick Start Guide

Free GDD Dashboard (Excel)



Kaizen (改善)


Meaning "continuous improvement”.

From the factory floor to the boardroom, Kaizen is the driving force of quality, one small step at a time. The Japanese philosophy of continuous, incremental improvement is based on the belief that no process should ever be declared perfect. This belief contributed to Japan’s booming automotive industry in the 1950s, and remains a famously central element of Toyota’s business strategy. Other exponents include BMW, Siemens and Bosch.

Today, the Kaizen philosophy is enriching another industry: website design.

The Growth-Driven Design methodology is a strategic approach to website design, based on making continuous and incremental improvements over time. It rejects the traditional “set it and forget it” process that has plagued businesses with expensive websites built on misguided assumptions, which ultimately deliver substandard results. Alternatively, the Growth-Driven Design (GDD) process is driven by consistent data-driven optimisation over time, resulting in a website that is a conversion powerhouse.

In this eGuide, we unpack the GDD methodology, examine a case study on how it drives revenue, and offer practical tips on how you can incorporate the GDD philosophy into your next website project.



What is Growth-Driven Design?

To understand the GDD methodology, you first need to understand the problems involved in the traditional web design model:

  1. The site is built on assumptions and opinions
  2. There is a large up-front cost
  3. Unexpected hiccups can easily result in budget and time overruns
  4. Once complete, the site isn’t guaranteed to perform as imagined, hoped, or assumed.

Growth-Driven Design is the answer to each of these problems.

Growth Driven Design vs Project Based Design

Instead of releasing a finished product that is based on performance assumptions, with GDD, you release an initial ‘launchpad’ site which is subject to consistent testing and optimisation.

The Continuous Improvement Cycle

The large up-front cost involved in the traditional design model is also alleviated. With a quick-release launchpad site, you spread your investment over the optimisation and improvement period, resulting in better cash flow and a far superior end product.

Businesses who embark on the frustrating, costly and disappointing route of traditional website design fear one thing over all else: an expensive finished product that doesn’t perform nearly as well as hoped. Alternatively, the Growth-Driven Design methodology delivers reliable growth as you measure the site’s performance,optimise its weaknesses and build upon the launchpad functionality.

Remember, the GDD philosophy dictates that nothing should ever be declared perfect. Businesses that adopt the GDD methodology are always seeking incremental improvement, whether that be to the conversion rate of a call-to-action, or their overall time on site. In most cases, they achieve just that through strategic, data-driven optimisation.


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The Growth-Driven Design Methodology in Action

In this chapter, let’s examine a real-life use case for how the GDD methodology drove a 93% increase in monthly lead volume in a period of just 6 months - an achievement that earned Spinfluence the International Impact Award for Growth-Driven Design, presented by HubSpot at their annual INBOUND marketing conference in Boston.

Buildsoft is an Australian technology company that simplifies construction with estimating and takeoff software. They approached us with an unresponsive website that had little to no SEO value, a poor user experience and even poorer conversion rates. Using the GDD methodology, our five primary goals were to:

  1. Improve the user experience
  2. Drive visit-to-lead conversions
  3. Reduce bounce rate
  4. Automate
  5. Set the stage for global expansion

We designed, developed and rolled out a launchpad website, which marked the beginning of our testing and optimisation. Using tools like Hotjar, User Testing and Google Analytics, we developed a systematic review and iteration framework with the goal of making incremental improvements for month-over-month growth.

These iterations ranged from simple copy changes to the development of larger-scale initiatives like product training webinars and integrations with Shopify and Xero to streamline the user experience.

Within five months of using Growth-Driven Design with Buildsoft, we had:

  • Increased monthly lead volume by 93%
  • Increased visit-to-lead conversion rate from 0.6% to 5.07%
  • Increased monthly site visits by 47%
  • Increased monthly page views by 23%

Even more telling, the Buildsoft sales team grew from 2 to 10 staff during this time, to meet the swelling lead volume created by the continuously evolving website.

Remember, the GDD philosophy dictates that nothing should ever be declared perfect.



Growth-Driven Design: A Quick Start Guide

Adopting any new framework or methodology into your own business is challenging, but with the right systems and processes, you can enjoy the profitable strategy of Growth-Driven Design during your next website project.

There are four core pillars of the ‘GDD mindset’, which should be familiar to every stakeholder involved in the website redesign before embarking on the project:

  1. Focus on the user
  2. Unbound creativity
  3. Get stuff done
  4. Always be learning

Growth Driven Design Dashboard:
Free spreadsheet that we use internally for our Inbound and GDD client base.


1. Focussing on the user will engage your inbound marketing fundamentals, like persona documents, to unearth the challenges unique to your audience. These challenges should be top of mind throughout your website project, which should aim to alleviate them through strategic design that aligns with your business objectives. Before making any design decisions, get into the habit of asking yourself, “what would the user do.” Better yet, qualify this with data.

2. In “unbounding" your creativity, you encourage yourself to think beyond the traditional process of website design and muster unique solutions to your buyer’s problems. Growth-Driven Design may deliver real revenue growth for your business, but it’s also a personally enriching and enjoyable experience.

3. Getting stuff done is the answer to “paralysis by analysis.” GDD depends on change, because without it, there is no improvement. Let the data do the talking and act on it strategically. Remember, “failure" is encouraged in Growth-Driven Design, but it’s a methodology that doesn’t encourage failing the same way twice.

4. Which is where it’s important to always be learning. Ensure you have a system that supports consistent documentation of your findings, so the data you act on is up-to-date and correct.

New Call-to-action

A Growth-Driven Design Spreadsheet

Every aspect of your website should be tested, optimised and iterated, which can be overwhelming to document. The following is a simple Google spreadsheet template that segments action items by priority, their perceived impact, their target metric, funnel focus, and effort required from delivery teams. Download the template here.

Other spreadsheets should serve as a centralised location for analytics data, down to individual call-to-action performance and conversion data, you can request a copy of our custom CTA analytics spreadsheet that we use internally for our Inbound and GDD client base by emailing us here.

5 Elements of Your Website to Analyse

The GDD Methodology should be applied to improving your existing website, even without a redesign project underway. The following are five elements of your website to test and optimise to drive revenue performance and with any luck, reduce the cost of acquisition in the process.

1. CTAs
Calls-to-action are often the first place marketers look when their visit-to-lead conversion rates are disappointing. Placement, copy, colour, design, size, frequency and prominence all impact the performance of your calls-to-action, and should each be tested individually. A few general best practices include using actionable language, designing your button to appear clickable, using contrasting colours, using personalisation based on your audience’s lifecycle stage and removing extraneous distraction surrounding the button.

Don’t underestimate the impact of minor changes. In the case of our Growth-Driven Design work with Buildsoft, we found that a call-to-action urging visitors to “Talk to Sales” was underperforming. Using the same design and placement, we changed this to “Request a Quote.” This copy change alone resulted in a 400% increase in CTA click-through-rate.

2. Copy
Your messaging, your unique value proposition and your tone of voice should each be put under the microscope. Copy that doesn’t speak the language of your prospects, that doesn’t speak to their challenges and aspirations, and that doesn’t compel them into action can have detrimental effects on the performance of your site.

Your landing pages are a great place to conduct copy tests. Play with length and tone, and zero in on the challenges these prospects may be facing (and how your content offer solves them).

3. Imagery
The images you include throughout your site are an often-overlooked testing focus. Poor resolution, irrelevant, distracting, confusing, insulting and confronting images can result in high bounce rates and poor conversion, just like great images can be a game-changer for time on site.

4. Architecture
What do you currently include beneath the fold on your homepage? A list of services, followed by a testimonial, then another list of features and a pricing table? The architecture of your homepage (which information goes where) should also be tested and optimised. You may find that including testimonials before features distracts your visitors, or that they’re unsuitable for the homepage altogether.

Growth Driven Design Agency Sydney

5. Blog
As a powerful tool to engage your visitors, boost overall time-on-site, drive organic traffic and generate leads with relevant calls-to-action, your blog should also be subjected to ongoing analysis and optimisation. This may be in identifying the topics that resonate best with your target audience, analysing the individual blog posts that receive the most organic traffic, determining the ideal length and structure of posts, or experimenting with the design of the blog itself.

For example, we have improved blog performance for a number of clients by creating a design that emulates a social news feed. By making simple changes to the user experience, we have kept visitors engaged for longer, attracted more eyes to our landing pages, and generated more leads because of it.

The traditional website design model is frustrating, inefficient and in many cases ineffective. The Growth-Driven Design methodology is a strategic answer to what was a hair-pulling process in the past. If you’d like to discuss growing your business through GDD with Spinfluence, get in touch with us today.


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