Design Driven

5/26/2021

What Your Team is Missing About Design Thinking

The design thinking process is well documented and established. In fact, our most recent podcast guest, Wayne Li, was at the famous Stanford d.school when they helped create and document design thinking in the first place.At a high level, design thinking is when a diverse group of people with varying expertise can work harmoniously, steeped in a culture of trust, to make cool things (products, solutions, services) happen.However, even with a solid understanding of design thinking and efficient design practices in general, many businesses still miss the mark. Why? Because they forget two related things:Validation loops are essential to great product outcomesFlexibility in your development process is requiredBy nature, design thinking is cyclical, not linear.The goal is to find the best possible solution or product to solve a problem, right? That requires gathering your diverse thinkers and brainstorming expansively. Then, going back to the ideas raised in your brainstorming session and examining them through a critical, deductive lens.You may need to go back and forth and round and round (hence the validation loops) to land on the best possible solution.See how design thinking needs to be flexible to work effectively? Yes, there are prescribed phases. But ultimately, your team has to be willing to evaluate what’s in front of them at any given time, and even take a step backward before pushing on.And therein lies the problem. It’s hard for people to work in this non-linear way. It goes against our neurological instincts.In our latest podcast, host J Cornelius and guest Wayne Li talk more on optimizing your design processes from a human perspective.Topics Include:How those in academia (which brought us design thinking) approach design challengesWhat football and improv comedy have in common — and what they tell us about how we should handle projectsHow working as a unit — not in departmental silos — leads to innovative ideasAbout Wayne LiWayne Li is a professor of design and engineering at one of the world’s premier design schools, Georgia Tech. There, he leads joint teaching initiatives and advances interdisciplinary collaboration between mechanical engineering and industrial design.Prior to becoming a professor at Georgia Tech, Li worked for Pottery Barn in innovation and market expansion. Impressively, he also taught for Stanford University’s design program — the same school that first ideated design thinking.Overall, Wayne generates significant profits, expands market penetration, and drives innovation in all his roles. His strong brand management, product differentiation, and design strategy experiences are unmatched.Learn more about Wayne Li and connect on LinkedIn.
5/19/2021

How Digital Banks Will Fight Fraud in the Future

When was the last time you visited a physical bank branch and talked to a real live human about your account? It's probably been a while — and that’s the point.The fintech world is becoming more digitized all the time. Eventually, there won’t even be brick-and-mortar banks.That’s all well and good. But, as we innovate the future of banking, we need to consider how to fight fraud online. Unlike in-person banking, digital banking doesn’t allow for a teller to verify someone’s ID with his own two eyes.In reality, it's not as scary as it sounds. Depending on how you think about it, there are more ways to detect fraud online than in person. You can track IP addresses, phone numbers, emails — and you can verify them all instantly.One hold up to fully digital banking (and transactions in general) remains: Your social security number. Those little paper cards with that long-form number have been used for ages as our unique identifiers. But really, SSNs have been breached so many times that they’re not an ideal universal identity option anymore.So, what’s next?In our latest podcast episode, host J Cornelius and guest Heidi Hunter reveal the future of identity verification for fintech companies and users alike.You’ll Also Learn:The importance of detecting fraud while providing a friction-free user experience.A three-tiered approach to innovation for customer-facing fintech companies. Hint: It involves sales, support, and biz collaboration.What tokenized IDs mean for the UX of transactions.About Heidi HunterHeidi Hunter is the Vice President of Product Innovations at IDology. In her nine plus years with the company, she’s steadily (and impressively) moved up the ranks.IDology is a leader in digital identity verification and authentication, and Heidi is a trusted expert on and innovator of ID and fraud prevention solutions.Additionally, Heidi has a proven track record in client consulting, strategic partner management, and data science. She has also developed SaaS and deployed several successful, intricate client applications.
4/27/2021

Fintech Future Roundtable: Bold Predictions for 2021 and Beyond

2020 brought change to every industry, and fintech is no exception. Thanks in large part to the pandemic, which forced at-home banking, tech adoption skyrocketed. Features that were once thought of as nice to have, or even too difficult to use — QR codes, mobile check cashing, touchless transactions — became expected and mainstream in a matter of weeks.On the coattails of a tech-heavy year, what could possibly be next?Listen as host J Cornelius and guests Mike Dick and Martin Ringlein talk insider perspectives on all things fintech in 2021 and beyond.This hour-long roundtable is packed with bold predictions. We won’t give it all away here, but these experts’ forecasts include:The ability to bring your bank account number with you from provider to provider, nearly eradicating bank switching costs for customers.That financial technology will embed itself in other industries. Think document signing coupled with transactions.An opportunity for niche banks for pet lovers, sports fanatics, nature buffs — you name it.More adaptable UIs for powerful customer-specific experiences.Their take on the future of fintech is not to be missed.Additional Topics IncludeNext steps for challenger banks and neobanks as they look to differentiate themselves in a saturated marketThe impending UI/UX revolution for legacy banks, and what happens to challenger banks when the big-wigs level-up their lookWho’s really behind the apps we love — like PayPal and Chime — and what that says about the value of brand vs. serviceAbout Mike DickMike Dick is the Co-Founder of Gather, a collaborative finance tool for modern couples. At heart, he’s a designer and coder building out his own ideas and helping others with theirs.In addition to his work with Gather, Mike runs a product studio that has an established, repeatable method for creating successful products. He also co-founded two prior startups, nvite and Cage, both acquired by large-scale companies.About Martin RingleinMartin is the Director of Product at Brex, a startup that’s reimagining financial systems for growing companies so they can realize their full potential.He’s known for his role in designing, building, and growing creative teams, products, and companies for some of the industries’ biggest brands. His impressive credentials also include Presidential Innovation Fellow and Twitter Design Manager.
4/21/2021

How J.P.Morgan Runs Cross-Functional Teams Within Legacy Infrastructure

How can companies — especially large companies — achieve that perfect triad of collaboration between the design, business, and technology teams? It’s a perennial question that remains largely unsolved.We’ll tell you what’s decidedly not helping. Those balanced, beautiful Venn diagrams keynote speakers present at industry conferences illustrating the ideal design, business, tech dynamic.Behind the scenes, design teams make fun of these cliched diagrams because they know real-world working relationships are lopsided. Business or tech reign, and design is too often seen as a mere contributing cog instead of an equal leader.Clearly, achieving cross-team balance takes more than sketching circles.To gain respect, designers need to bolster their business IQs. In fintech, that means learning about markets, trading, rates, money movement — all to show the business team that you do get their end-game and you are contributing to their strategy.Even with business-savvy designers in your corner, this kind of collaboration is always hard. And it requires a more modern design mindset. It might seem impossible for large, complex organizations to work together — and work quickly — like startups seem to do.Listen as host J Cornelius and guest Jose Coronado discuss leading efficient, cross-functional teams, even within legacy fintech companies.Topics IncludeWhy your design organization should run like a businessHow to get your teams to stop arguing and complaining, and start articulating needs stakeholders can get behindApplying today’s design thinking to yesterday’s big bank infrastructureAbout Jose CoronadoJose Coronado is the Executive Director, Head of DesignOps at JPMorgan. He helps UX teams amplify their impact, and companies maximize the business value of investing in design.As a design executive and management consultant, Jose’s work includes projects with organizations like McKinsey, Accenture, Aquent, Bain Capital, and AIG. Jose’s impressive career spans leadership roles with Fortune 500 companies ADP, Oracle, and AT&T, among others.He is also the Managing Editor of Design Impact, a digital publication where he shares leadership lessons from emerging and established design leaders around the world. Jose is a sought-after international speaker and workshop facilitator.
3/26/2021

Optimize Your Team by Applying Brain Science

About This EpisodeThe tech industry is full of stereotypes. The business exec who only talks in MBA acronyms and spreadsheets. The developer who’d rather code alone in a dark room than attend a co-worker's birthday lunch. The diva designer who always insists on more whitespace and is overly-concerned with font choices.In reality, these stereotypes are dated. Worse, they’re impeding great teamwork. When designers, developers, and business people work in siloed teams, and only come together in progress report meetings, they are pitted against each other because that's how their departments are structured. Too many companies think different skills should be independent, to think on their own to create the best thinking. The reality is we need teams to be interdependent so they can collectively create better outcomes. When we seek to understand the individual people in these roles, we can map out how to use their natural skills in more effective ways. How do you understand individuals? You need a handle on the principles of neuroscience and how the human brain actually works. Then, you can structure your teams not by departmental silo — but by personality, motivations, and natural talent. This creates a culture of truth seeking, progress, and true innovation. And isn't that what we all want?Listen as host J Cornelius and guest Evan LaPointe explain how neuroscience helps you understand the people on your team and, ultimately, streamline design and development.Topics IncludeHow to align team members’ personalities with strategic business goals to get things doneWhy asking, “What am I missing?” is your most potent tool to expand your team’s collective intelligenceHow to get your entire company to embrace the power of brain science to apply its principles to customer behaviorAbout Evan LaPointeEvan LaPointe has a proven track record of founding, growing, and selling top-tier businesses. This includes: Satellite, acquired by Adobe Systems and now one of the largest analytics-based technologies available; and Search Discovery, the most prominent independently-held analytics and business intelligence consultancy in the United States. And that’s just the start.In sum, Evan’s products and services have helped thousands of brands better their products, cultures, processes, client success and value assurance programs, and so much more.Learn more about Evan and connect on LinkedIn.
3/17/2021

Designing for Efficiency

About This EpisodeSpeed is a key ingredient in a successful product design process. After all, if you can’t iterate fast enough, you risk losing the market for your product. Not to mention that a poor design process drains your resources.But, when a project stalls, too many companies focus on optimizing the process itself, neglecting the people who make that process possible to begin with.Have you considered that team efficiency might be more of a cultural and emotional challenge than a technical one?Try fostering empathy across teams for each other's objectives, goals, and even life circumstances. Empathy can get your people through the long days of product design knowing everyone’s pushing towards the same end result.Listen as host J Cornelius and guest Candice Faul discuss human-first strategies to better your team and, ultimately, your products.Topics IncludeBringing together each person’s ‘hacks’ to uncover fresh product solutionsEmbracing occasional silliness to build cross-team empathyTranslating internal empathy into empathy for your customers to create user-centric productsBuilding scalable and repeatable processes to drive efficiency through teamworkAbout Candice FaulCandice Faul is the Program Director of Digital and UX at Glen Dimplex Americas. She works across digital and physical products and consumer packaged goods. Candice also has deep experience in the fintech industry as well as digital product design.She specializes in user experience and human centered design. In her daily life, this manifests as constant curiosity about how people feel as they complete their tasks and what influences their actions.
3/2/2021

Jacob Glenn of M Genio: How to Scope Innovation Projects

Because of today’s advanced technology and malleable software, there’s almost no product idea that’s too outlandish to create in some form. While it’s exciting to have seemingly endless possibilities, actually ideating and making truly new, innovative products is a huge undertaking. Add the need to ensure that these products are user-friendly and simple, yet groundbreaking and fresh, and the challenge becomes almost insurmountable.How do you define the scope of a new product? Who is going to design it? How do you get multiple teams aligned around the same idea for the project’s duration? Who’s the leader when several stakeholders are involved? How do you design with users in mind when users have never seen anything like what you’re proposing?In this episode, host J Cornelius and guest Jacob Glenn address these questions and more. They illuminate how to take an innovative idea and turn it into a marketable, desirable product.Topics IncludeHow staying true to your core promise will lead to a more intuitive productWhy products demand cross-discipline teams to bring them to fruitionHow to work well across team lines, and resolve difficulties when they do ariseHow to take cues from successful products to inform unprecedented ideasAbout Jacob GlennJacob Glenn is the Founder and President of M Genio, a boutique software development and consulting firm offering strategy, execution, and support for industry leading companies. They specialize in mobile solutions, Internet of Things, and Salesforce automation.Throughout his more than two decades of experience, Jacob has maintained a consistent track record of success leading complex engagements focused on strategy, process, and emerging technologies. The projects he spearheads create value at the unique intersection of business and technology.