Why Every UX Designer Needs to Think About Growth Design Right Now

The biggest opportunity in the user experience (UX) industry is going to be growth design. For some, this is old news, but for most designers, the topic of growth design is still a black box. In either case, designers need to educate themselves outside the design field to succeed.

Why growth design is the next phase for product-led companies

High-growth tech companies are focused on growing and scaling their business. Marketing and sales functions spend 100% of their time on growing business revenue, while design teams have traditionally focused on delivering the features and functionality that their product leads and ultimately their customers want.

Product-led growth created the opportunity for revenue generation to exist outside of marketing and sales, putting design teams in the new position of having to understand and practice growth design. When designers think about how to impact revenue through the product, they start to own an actual line of revenue, providing even more value to the company beyond best design practices. For more info about product-led growth, listen to our podcast series here.

How to apply growth design to your product

Designers can start by gaining more understanding of the business model for the company they work for. In short, how does the company make money? Talk to your product managers or your finance director. Get a clear view of your own company’s revenue model and you’ll start to understand how you can impact it through design.

Second, understand users through a buyer’s lens. Are users the buyers of the product, or is it actually their manager who has the buying power? Do they buy out of choice or necessity? What do they perceive as valuable in your product? For every user research study you take part in, get a sense of how they value your product.

Third, swap in a percentage of your design reading with business reading. Start with books profiling famous businesses, then read business model concepts. Follow an investor’s newsletter or even just read Morning Brew’s daily newsletter.

Lastly, watching startups pitch. Your ability to succeed in growth design is tied to your ability to communicate how design work drives the business forward. Find one you can attend virtually and pay attention to how founders sell their stories.

Growth design is fundamentally an easy application for any UX designer to do, but it requires a greater understanding of business, marketing, and sales to succeed at it.

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