Director of Design Systems at Lloyds Banking Group

Martin is a Design Leader at Lloyds Banking Group, together with Chief Design Officer Dan Makoski, they are on a mission to ‘Design for Prosperity.  Martin leads the ResearchOps, DesignOps and Design Language teams that will support this ambitious and unifying vision.  Previously Martin led LBG’s Design Research and Foresight team helping the Bank to understand life in Britain both now and in the next 10 years, de-risking strategy with design-led approaches to problem solving and developing a deeper empathy for customer needs. He also led the creation of training that introduced design-led thinking to over a thousand people in the bank. 


Martin will share how LBG are developing their Design and Research Ops teams as a part of a wider Design Systems group that support the ambitious growth of Design at LBG.  He will share the factors that influenced the decisions about what activities were centralised and which devolved to design teams in the field, how the capability and knowledge of building research facilities are being extended into new contexts, the evolution of the teams following a total re-org of the design function at LBG and the highs & lows of being the team that support & enable the far more visible delivery of the Design Team.    

In the human-centred field of Design running ResearchOps can often feel (for the team) a little like parenting.  There is a balance to be had between creating a safe and nurturing environment, making sure the kids have all the latest toys whilst also encouraging them to experiment and build their own, avoiding being ‘that’ helicopter parent whilst setting guide-rails that keep everyone safe (and happy). ResearchOps is a richly rewarding role – empowering the awesome in Human Centred Design teams is the motto of the Design and Research teams at LBG. Martin Dowson, Design Systems Leader at LBG, will share the team’s highs and lows over the last 4 years, the decisions along the way and how two sister teams DesOps and ResOps are evolving to support the newly expanding Design Team at LBG.

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