3 takeaways from Fjord, Monzo and City ID

What could we learn from the design team at Fjord, Monzo and City ID

The myth of all-in-one design solution

After a few years of working in tech startups in Taipei, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Singapore, either clients or stakeholders prefer to have an all-in-one design solution, instead of concentrating on one feature and refining it gradually. That is, when competitors launch new features, clients or stakeholders tend to have all of these functions in one whatever it takes.

From a designer’s perspective, when decision makers mainly buy in an all-in-one solution, can we really design a sought-after product with a seamless user experience? 3 case studies from Design Council’s flagship research in 2018 may explain.

Fjord — increase design impact within the organisations

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

“ To do design is not crafting beautiful visual elements, it’s about scaling design within the organisation and helps people have an advanced understanding of design and create better products accordingly. “ Design director at Fjord, George Mayou implies

Acquired by Accenture Interactive in 2013, Fjord, is responsible for employing its discover-design-deliver design approach to Accenture.

Take Finnair digital customer experience case for instance, instead of improving the user interface for in-flight entertainment, Fjord mapped out all the and physical touch points and redesigned an entire experience on the basis of customers’ pain points.

Accenture, as a technology giant, scale Fjord’s design impacts to worldwide huge firms, such as British Petroleum, Finnair, and more. Fjord, on the other side, equip Accenture consultants visual storytelling and human-centred problem-solving skills. Both firms benefit from each other’s strength and continue to bring design impacts into people’s life.

Employing the design methodology within the organisations is how design consultancy and tech giant teams up for delivering better design outcomes.

Monzo — design good mental health & learn from distinguished digital brands

Photo by Oliur on Unsplash

Monzo is a banking app that offers an entirely contactless bank card that can be topped up from a mobile app. The app provides instant balance updates every single time when users make a purchase. Monzo went through a two-year process of receiving a formal banking license. During the beta period, Monzo compiled 20,000 users and a waitlist of 150,000.

25% of adults in the UK suffer from a mental health challenge every single year. Monzo aims to eliminate the issue of dealing with traditional banks. Monzo bank addresses the connection between mental health and spending behaviours. Real-time updates on users’ money decrease their anxiety and worries of personal finance.

Monzo nailed its value proposition — instant balance updates, which is a unique selling point none of traditional banks can do. The design team didn’t really follow competitors’ pattern but draw the inspiration from these successful brand and digital products- Netflix, Airbnb, Spotify, and Muji, which prioritise design principle and are legible for consumers to navigate.

Monzo joined ranks of Europe’s fintech ‘unicorns and crowdfunded £20m in under three hours in 2018.

City ID- digitalise the public space from Bristol’s city identity

photo credit: MOMENTUM

Started from the notion of a legible city, former Bristol town planner Mike Rawlinson worked on signage system in the city. All the products they design follow one design direction: make it legible. Current City ID, owned by Mike Rawlinson, do a lot of modelings, scenarios, flow and data analysis, such as trying to predict the needs of the user at any point in their journey. The same concept has been widely used and adapted to different cities, such as London, New York, Moscow, and more.

One product, one concept, one time



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