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Future of Design Colloquium

Integrating design into business development processes can open up a realm of possibilities for financial service providers. Credit unions are becoming increasingly aware of the power of design thinking and how it is being leveraged by numerous organizations across a multitude of industries.

Executive Summary

Design thinking is seeping into the financial services industry, with banks and credit unions using it to address consumer needs around savings, credit, payments, and more. More and more organizations are forgoing traditional problem-solving approaches in favor of more innovative tools and methods. Innovation is the goal of design thinking—a methodology that applies cross-disciplinary collaboration, creativity, and ideation to any problem. Design thinking puts people at the center of the design and development process.

The Future of Design Colloquium brought together leaders from a multitude of industries, including financial services, to share why design thinking should be injected into all organizations. Held in Austin, Texas, the event highlighted the power of interdisciplinary collaboration, the importance of brand identity, and the significance of consumer engagement.

What is the research about?

Five presenters brought their unique experiences to share with the attendees. Many of the presentations focused on how organizations can pair user insights with business development processes. In order to create meaningful products and services, gleaning user feedback is essential. More and more credit unions are exploring opportunities to enhance the member experience across all channels. Design thinking teaches us to polish the loose ends that are critical to keeping members engaged. This report gives tangible examples of how design thinking is being deployed both in and outside of consumer finance.

What are the credit union implications?

Design can be an effective means to tackle issues related to consumer finance. The colloquium offered credit union leaders an opportunity to explore why the financial services landscape is rapidly evolving and what can be done to stay one step ahead of members. The implications of each presentation are as different as the topics, but each chapter urges credit unions to take actionable steps toward developing an organizational culture of innovation and creativity. The overall takeaway: Don’t be afraid to take risks, especially if it represents the difference between a satisfied member and an unsatisfied member.

This report is sponsored by CO-OP Financial Services.