BT aims for co-creation and consistency with Digital design labs | Products


BT’s digital unit reported the creation of dedicated design teams and “labs” to help with product development across the group, as part of its drive to drive digital transformation.

Digital aims to incubate the Group’s design capabilities through two User Research Labs, while dedicated teams, sitting alongside customer-facing units and internal functions, will help”better understand” the needs of customers and colleagues.

Regional laboratories installed

The first of the User Research Labs, within the Group A Braham The London head office is now online. A second will follow in Birmingham Three Snowhill before the end of 2022.

The London site aims to support collaboration between Digital’s design teams and Consumer’s product teams, helping to facilitate the development of “products, journeys and processes for customer ease and convenience”. Conor Ward, Director of Consumer Digital, leads the project.

Inner source: coherence and co-creation

Harmeen Mehta, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, and face of BT’s digital transformation, said the group’s design model is “rooted in co-creation with our customers”. BT refers to this model as its ‘inner source‘.

Under it, Digital’s design teams rolled out what’s known as ‘Design systems‘, acting as a framework for design and code assets, to enable “uniform design delivery” Group-wide.

It integrates Loopa set of design principles BT, EEand Sharper brands, previously described by Kevin Lee, CEO of Consumer Digital, as one of the pillars of a “mindset of working together and reusing company-wide common design components” (BTwatch, #335). The inner source mindset seeks to support the collective iteration of assets to “increase productivity and eliminate duplication“, said BT.

The model is applied torepeatable‘user interface components by Digital’s design teams, while parallel service design teams work to implement the same practices to user journeys under one’Service models‘ model.

Speaking earlier in 2022, Lee spoke of the “reuse» approach within Digital. He said that technology such as BeatGoogle’s open-source SDK, and figmaa shared design platform, have supported the implementation of the model (BTwatch#335).

Appointments galore

To support the implementation and development of new design practices, Digital has welcomed a series of new members to its design teams over the past few months to lead design in customer-facing units and internal business functions. BT.

  • Marco Huerta has been appointed design director for Company Digital in mid-2022 (BTwatch, #336). He joined Dropbox, with years of cross-company design experience at Visa on his resume.
  • Nikki Barton has been named design director for Global Digital in the spring of this year, after leaving Lloyd’s, where she was head of design and research (BTwatch#333).
  • Sharan Gandhi, formerly head of user research at Deliveroo, received the same title for BT Consumer Digital team, working within the Conor Ward team. BT noted that it will develop the practice of user research with a focus on the customer”digital needs”.
  • Juliana Ferreira joined BT from the UK Government’s Department for Work and Pensions, where she was responsible for user-centric design for Universal Credit. She was appointed design director for Company units, which cover finance, human resources, legal and regulatory affairs. She previously led design teams at Microsoft.
  • To Etc.Digital’s incubation unit led by Chief Product Officer Tom Guy, “expert design talent” was appointed to support its own efforts in developing design capabilities. Among them are a handful of recruits from health technology solutions provider Push Doctor: Jess McKenna, named Senior Manager for Product Design for HealthTech at Etc. earlier in the year (BTwatch#332), and Georgia Cozma and Vicky Onsea, Product Designers at Etc. since January.

AcceleratedRecruitment campaigns have been underway in content design and user experience research at Digital since at least early 2022, supporting the digital transformation project led by Mehta (BTwatch, #333). Design apprenticeships have also been launched in recent months in some of BT’s regional hubs such as Manchester.


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