A lot of this comes down to coming up with ideas fast, rapidly designing and prototyping them and then using them to sell the concepts back into the company's stakeholders so they can be moved into a properly funded phase for the internal teams to take on board.
A good example of this was the UBS Smartwealth platform I helped develop at Else London. Smartwealth (recently sold to a US fintech) was a robo wealth-management platform that allowed customers to invest without the aid of intermediaries and asses their own level of risk and financial capability.
I was involved in the first stage of the project: developing the system from scratch. I helped concept and design the onboarding, risk assesment, wealth planning and regulated advice sections of the site, liaising with the client, leading the design team and working with the developers to create an initial prototype.
We worked in close collaboration with our client at UBS, and were constantly iterating and reconcepting ideas together to get the best outcome for them, that we could then present back to the board at UBS.
Working across both desktop and mobile, the concepts I helped developed enabled the product to be sold internally, and the project was moved into proper development and launched in 2016.
Also while at Else, I also got to work with our sister branding agency, SomeOne, on a grander scaled canvas: developing a large screen touch interface for their innovation centre. The centre allowed potential clients in to book in a day with Accenture to see how they could help them plan for their future, and how Accenture could be fundamental to their growth and development.
Working with SomeOne, we developed a brand language that could be created bespoke for every client that booked a day in the centre. A customised pattern and colour scheme could be generated beforehand, and then applied to all merchandise and communications for that day, and even onto the massive interactive wall that formed the hub of the day's activities.
I developed a prototype that could show how this pattern could be created, and then adapted the visual language into the massive display that was being built by another external tech agency. That agency needed design input into the UI and I worked closely with them to concept a stepped system that allowed the Accenture representative to literally walk the potential client across the wall and into their potential future, prioritising actions as they want.
After their day at the centre, Accenture wanted to give the potential client something physical to remind them of their time, and we devised a paperweight that would be a physical embodiment of the stepped priorities they had developed together, that could be mailed to them at a later stage to help push the relationship further.
Recently, working at Swift, i've had the chance to start thinking about the future a little more. As an internal project, we wanted concept out more innovative ideas about how augmented and mixed reality systems could be seamlessly woven into our lives. We developed four concepts that played with mixed reality to blur the physical and digital boundaries that we still currently straddle.
As a direct result of the project, we got featured in a number of publications, including the Evening Standard, and went on to win a competition for Samsung, and started two new internal projects for Panasonic. You can read more about this project here.
These more future-facing internal projects became a good source of investment for us, concepting and prototying ideas quickly and then using them to target new business opportunities.
With the launch of Samsung's new folding phone, we wanted to take a look at what opportunities a folding screen could offer, beyond just general responsiveness. What benefits and new interactions did this new technology have to offer?
We also wanted to see how we could begin to take some of our Mixed Reality concepts and make them real products that could be available now with today's technology, rather than having to wait for larger leaps in the future.
Lastly, we wanted to find practical uses for Mixed Reality, with real business cases. We targeted particular sectors and worked up functioning prototypes to help sell our capabilities and start conversations with new clients.