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Design Takes Center Stage

July 6, 2016

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“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

This is the third and most often quoted of “Clarke’s Laws,” a series of adages from Arthur C. Clarke, the famed futurist and fiction writer. I first felt this particular brand of magic when, through a mutual friend, I was invited to visit the house of a talented graphic designer at the age of 20.

It was on this day, that I was struck by the transformative power of technology in the form of the Mac computer that stood on this designer’s desk. As I admired her designs, strewn across her home office, I was profoundly moved by what can only be described as an Aha! moment - Technology could now enable us to turn ideas into beautiful, powerful, tangible reality!  In hindsight, I had just recognized the potential of the design process and I was enthralled! Looking back I can identify that day as the starting point of the arc that has been my career in the design world.

The Rise of Design and Mobility

Fast forward to the present day and so much has changed.
Today’s mobile ‘smart’ phones and my iPhone specifically (a direct descendant of that early Mac) now pack more power, reach and connectivity than I could ever have imagined and profoundly influence the way we live, communicate, learn and transact.

Not coincidentally, Design has moved from the periphery to take center stage, embraced by leading companies all over the world as a key discipline driving innovation and growth.

The Fusion of Theory and Practice

Nowhere is this transition more evident than here at Varo where design and design thinking are central in shaping the evolution of our product, a next generation consumer banking platform. We are working with a wide range of design tools to help us create new banking experiences that better reflect the way you live today, anticipate your current and future needs, and put cutting edge technologies to work to provide you with utility, insight and 24/7 financial guidance.

A couple of examples:

    • Our product and experience design process is constantly informed by design research and consumer insights gleaned from deep and ongoing interaction with our customer base.


    • We are using design thinking approaches to test our product and market hypotheses, inform our iteration cycles and ensure we are building the right product, from high level concept to individual features.

The True Purpose of Design

I am proud to say that at Varo I’m doing what I love, working with an outstanding team at the intersection of design, technology and consumer behavior. I know Colin, Roger, and Kolya, my fellow co-founders, would say the same. I am humbled by the opportunity to spend time focused on helping improve the lives of millions of people. For me this is the true purpose of Design.
I look forward to sharing what we’re building with you soon. I know our mobile banking platform can have a huge impact in helping people on their individual path to financial freedom.

If you have comments, ideas or insights you’d like to share - I’d love to hear them. Please email me directly at [email protected]

Image source: Assaf Guery

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