Currently the UX market is the busiest it has ever been! Historically, it was only sectors such as media and publishing spending significant budgets on user research. However, today sectors including government and many financial organisations, who never typically invested in costly and timely research, are sourcing long term Usability Consultants and User Researchers. This is due to considerable appetite and buy-in at senior level - a breath of fresh air!
A trend that has emerged in the past 12 -24 months’, and one that isn’t a secret to anyone, is the proposal to build horizontal UX and UI teams across organisations such as RBS, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Thomson Reuters. The list goes on!
Additionally, a trend for internal restructuring over the past 6 months has put centralised design teams at risk, ultimately making management roles redundant. Organisations such as Deutsche Bank are partnering with external specialists such as HCL, Microsoft and IBM to build internal “innovation labs” to accelerate the rapidly demanding needs of the banking sector. Other financial organisations are potentially following suit or turning back to external consultancies for design, due to a level of failure within FTE centralised UX teams. However, and is often the case, this comes at a cost.
Another trend across finance over the past 12 months is that there has been a drive to push visual design near/off shore, including Morgan Stanley pushing visual design production to Toronto, Canada.
All in all, the “user experience” universe is very exciting with design agency/company mergers being at an all-time high in 2015 and the “silicon roundabout” of London expanding. This has been recognised across many financial companies in the US, including the infamous Bloomberg design team who are currently in the process of expanding their “Terminal” team outside of NYC, the very first time they have done this!