Inspired by this I wanted to reflect on what I’m currently doing as it will be useful for me to look back on, and might be interesting for others.
Location: South London (Penge!)
Current Gig: Design lead and product owner at Lloyds Banking Group
Current mobile device: Pixel 4, terrible battery
Current computer: Macbook pro and a HP surface book (surprisingly good)
One word that best describes how you work: happy; cheesy I know but I appreciate how fortunate I am and try and face every work challenge with optimism.
I’m often asked about my career path through Lloyds Banking Group, by colleagues within the bank and friends outside. This is a series of reflections that might be interesting or useful for others.
I joined LBG in November 2016; after a fairly heavy interview process I landed and was the second service design person in after my boss Alberta. At least I thought I was the second; as it quickly transpired there were several great service design brains already within the bank, and the early days involved a lot of coffee and a lot of “so what do you do?” …
Last Friday I ran a pub quiz with a load of friends and it was ace, so I wanted to write up the basics in case others found it useful. I’ve added loads of quiz content below as many people have asked me to share.
What you need
I planned five rounds and this took about 90 minutes. Beforehand I setup a whatsapp group to ensure everyone was still up for it, and during the quiz I used this to share the emoji round (below). My wife and I hosted from our lounge and kept a running score of all groups. …
I’m almost three years with Lloyds Banking Group, in which I’ve helped to establish a thriving service design team (now 34) and more recently helped shape and lead a broader retail design team of 112. I’ve made mistakes but am also proud of some great achievements and where we’ve gotten to, so I’m writing this as a chance to reflect and also making it public as I hope others can relate.
I know this is obvious but I so often forget it. Whenever I feel stressed or out of control, it’s because I’ve not been paying attention to people. Whether it’s my immediate leadership team, the amazing cast of people that make things like recruitment or risk work, or even just myself, when I prioritise things (packs, emails etc) and events (meetings, workshops, etc) over people, stuff falls over. …
Through 2018 we’ve developed Lloyds banking group service design capability to a team of 24. I’ve written before about the realities of service design within a large bank, and wanted to share something we’ve been using to assess skills within the team.
Initially team growth was brilliantly chaotic. We hired (mostly) design veterans from places like IDEO and Vodafone, confident they could mold their skills to fit the problems they were thrown into. This worked well for a time but some in the team felt we needed more structure and agreement about what it meant to be a service designer. …
A few weeks back I saw a tweet from Olivier Huntington linking to an easy-to-follow guide to build a budgeting widget using the newly released Monzo/IFTTT integration. I followed the guide, but quickly lost interest in the widget as it didn’t fill any unmet need I had.
I wanted a daily spend counter so did some clumsy hacking in Olivier’s original spreadsheet and worked out a simple way of collecting a given days spend:
=SUMIF(G2:G999, TODAY(), H2:H999)
2. Then use this cell rather than the B7 cell mentioned in Olivier’s guide (step 6), to populate your widget. I gave mine a heading to make it more prominent, and placed it on my daughters forehead to make it extra judgemental. …
To celebrate service design day I thought I’d share some insight into what doing service design in a large service provider is like on a day-to-day basis. I’m head of service design at Lloyds Banking Group and have been since November 2016.
In mid-2016 Alberta Soranzo was hired to build the team, and today we’re 16 strong. We have a mostly senior team with backgrounds from IDEO, Ministry of Justice, Tesco, Vodafone and many others. The majority of the them work in specific journeys (mortgages, retail banking etc), delivering work that I’ll talk about below. …
Since joining Lloyds Banking Group I’ve been really fortunate to work alongside a brilliant systems thinking team, along the way learning stuff that now informs every conversation I have. I’ve found it incredibly useful as a designer and so wanted to share three things:
The performance of anyone is governed largely by the system that he works in, the responsibility of management.— W. Edwards Demming
Above all, systems thinking has given me tools and language to express what I’ve always known intuitively as empathy. Person X is not necessarily a bad person for blocking my project, and Person Y is not a dinosaur for not seeing my perspective, they are simply the product of their environment. As a designer the ability to see the world from another perspective is critical, it’s what separates us from artists. …
I’m coaching someone to run a series of design sprints so making these notes for my own reference, but figured some others might find them useful.
Facilitation is one of the most useful skills a designer can have, especially as more and more people get involved in the design process. Without it design sprints can descend into a mess of conflicting personalities and agendas, or simply grind to a directionless halt.
Sweat the basics — don’t assume anyone else has sorted a decent venue, sent out meeting invites or bought a load of post-its. …