Kent Lyons partner Noel Lyons has left the consultancy he co-founded up to join Barclays as digital design director – Kent Lyons has overhauled its brand, relaunching as Why.
Lyons says he has split from the consultancy amicably to find a new client-side challenge with an in-house design team where he can create change in a more direct way.
Why has he left?
“It was a fantastic time at Kent Lyons but after so long with a consultancy you realise you can only contribute so much; you realise that through the standard consultancy pitch model your hit rate is probably about three or four projects out of ten. Many of the ideas and innovations you have don’t seem achievable,” says Lyons.
He adds: “From a design perspective I’m a humanist. I love the idea of making people’s lives better by design, getting my work into people’s hands and them having a good experience as a result of it. We did that with the iPlayer radio app, which gets used 20 million times a day but you don’t always get that opportunity at a consultancy.”
His new position at Barclays has met this challenge he says. “I’ve got more of a sense of control over what I’m doing, rather than hoping a client will agree to what I’m doing.”
Lyons is responsible for the look and feel of retail products and the online banking experience of UK customers. This includes the look and feel of the app, which he says “is in very good shape”.
“The emotional topic of money”
Another draw is using design to navigate “the emotional topic of money” according to Lyons who says: “Money is very emotional. It can feel good, bad, calming, all sorts of things. How can we use digital products to help people with those feelings – maybe they just want to check their balance, or increase their financial stability. I want to look at what people’s ambitions are and help them achieve their goals through service and interaction design.”
It also seems that Lyons is on a recruitment drive and is “actively looking for the best digital designers out there,” he says.
His former business partner James Kent has chosen to take Kent Lyons forward as Why. He too recognises the amicable split and says he wanted to use the opportunity to change how people perceive the consultancy.
“In the past some people have seen us as a digital, some a print, and some a branding agency,” says Kent.
The new consultancy name has been chosen as it provokes enquiry, can be more collectively owned and can be represented with a series of changeable Why icon Kent says.
Why will continue to work with its existing clients, which include BBC and YouSushi.