As long as a digital product is considered active and part of the business strategy of an organization, it should be nourished and well-maintained, just like a living being.
When it comes to technological development, digital products must be in continuous evolution and improvement, so that first, they continue to attract and retain users; second, they are used more often and for longer (which means being more useful); and third, they offer a great experience.
It is not enough for a product team to develop a digital product according to their insights or based on rigid growth plans. They need a methodology that allows for scalability, taking into account the user’s needs and the benefits for the business. That is where Growth-Driven Design comes in.
Following the product launch, the user’s interactions can be measured by collecting and analyzing data, experimenting, and understanding their behaviors. The results are insights that can improve several aspects. The main objective is to gradually refine the user experience to allow them to evaluate the product better, leveraging the indicators.
In practice, if a user has issues registering, the data must show what the problems are. The Growth, in this case, concerns the activation indicator. Retention, engagement, and success rate are other common examples of KPIs (key performance indicators) which, along with the collected data, develop an evolution strategy for the product.
Although it is similar to Growth Hacking, the Marketing Team is not responsible for this methodology alone. The perspective of the Development Team is also considered. In essence, a multidisciplinary team thinks about the development in shorter cycles to leverage the digital product and business indicators.
How Growth works
A team dedicated to writing the evolution strategy of a digital product has three well-established roles. The first one is the product manager, which is responsible for the product’s features and how much they adhere to the business objectives. The second one is a data scientist (or a team of them), which establishes metrics and builds dashboards from the data collected. Finally, there is a specialist in UX (User Experience), who carries out interviews and exercises about the user journey.
The last two roles together provide the product manager with all the information necessary to formulate hypotheses for improvement and an opportunity roadmap. The data analysis process should create hypotheses to be tested in controlled experiments, that is, only by a small part of the product users.
The validation of these hypotheses may or may not occur. In a negative case, new hypotheses and experiments should be elaborated. In positive cases, the reworked product is distributed to all users. If the desired indicator improves, it means everything went fine.
The foundation of Growth is experimentation and the development of a culture around it. The freedom to quickly experiment with new strategies makes all the difference to a company that intends to innovate.
Scaling is always possible
It is never too late to apply a Growth-Driven Design strategy to digital products. However, it is important to think about the strategy from the beginning of the project by defining the business indicators and metrics linked to the product to facilitate interaction tagging and data collection.
After all, the agile development methods always start the digital product lifecycle with an MVP (minimum viable product) and then collect data. If that information is generated incorrectly from the beginning of the project, it is impossible to understand if the product is working as expected and much less fix deviations.
Any application with a large number of users and aligned with the business objectives can have further planning. However, it is important to be aware that crucial information may be lost when the Growth strategy is applied late, impairing its evolution.
Since 2019, we have been offering Growth-Driven Design. The projects began to yield results for both new and old clients. Our main goal is to spread its advantages to the market, especially to those organizations that were not born within an agile culture.
Many speak of collecting their products’ data but are still several steps behind in the implementation of a proper strategy. Finding new ways to speed up the digital product evolution can make a difference to companies that need to innovate and stay competitive in a digitally transformed world.