Nashville HUG Blog

Why every software engineer needs to understand growth-driven design

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 9, 2016 12:20:27 PM / by Geoff Daigle

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If you don’t want to build products that make a real and lasting impact, you can stop reading here.
 
In every corner of the business ecosystem are idea people: they imagine what customers want, find people who follow their vision, and then get that vision built into a physical product. This vision is grand, and so is the process to build the vision into reality. 
 
But what happens when that vision isn’t quite right? You spend hundreds of hours on software projects that totally redesign the product or overhaul a major feature, and six months later, you find out that all those hours of work yielded little or no improvement over the previous version. Customers convert at the same rate, retain at the same rate, and give the same type of barely-positive feedback. This is incredibly frustrating for the teams who poured their time into the work, so why does it keep happening?
 
Luckily, there is a better way to approach such important website updates and product changes:growth-driven design. Here’s how it works:
 

Get into a “growth” mindset

The first step to making truly high-impact modifications is to shift your mindset about what it means to redesign. Do your best to move away from the traditional process of creating something perfect, and instead assume that every website or product is always a work in progress. By doing this, you will be more open to making smaller changes at a faster pace. 
 

Find your baseline

How is your website or product doing right now? Gather your current metrics, or start tracking them. This will give you a baseline to work with for the next point...
 

Follow a cycle of continuous improvement

This is the magic behind growth-driven design. Once you have a set of baseline metrics and are able to make small, multi-day updates instead of big, multi-month ones, you can prioritize individual tasks by how much potential impact they will have. Build the updates quickly and watch how they perform in comparison to the previous version. You can get so much amazing, actionable data in only one week. What did you learn in one week while working on a six-month redesign? This cycle yields faster, more genuine performance improvements than a massive overhaul ever could. 
 
There is a lot more that goes into growth-driven design than the brief points above, but consider this: teams are already seeing huge improvements to their websites, products, and businesses after adopting the principles of GDD.
 
I am sharing all of the science-y details at the Nashville HUG growth-driven design workshop on June 16th. If you want to spend more of your time building things that look great and perform even better, I highly recommend that you come!
 
Come to our June Meetup on Growth Driven Design!
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Topics: Growth Driven Design

Geoff Daigle

Written by Geoff Daigle

Geoff Daigle is a Senior Software Engineer at HubSpot, based out of Boston. He speaks and writes about UX design, experimentation, and strategies for smart and sustainable growth. Geoff is also a co-host the UX and Growth Podcast. Before HubSpot, he worked entirely in the world of early-stage tech startups and learned most lessons the hard way. You can find him on twitter at @dailydaigle.