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The ongoing demand for Visual Design skills

We live a in a world where technology is fast becoming the most effective form of interaction with our customers. Companies are under great pressure to deliver the capacity to communicate with their target audiences via apps, websites and software solutions. Often defined as ‘digital transformation’ the need to upgrade customer facing technology infrastructure to meet the changing behavior of society exists in most organizations. Failure to do so can harm your ability to meet existing customer expectations but also restrict your capacity to obtain new ones. 

However, the introduction of new technology to support customer interaction is just the start. As this is now seen as a necessity in order to stay with the marketplace it is no longer about just having the solutions or how user friendly they are. In fact, the visual design is now a vital part of completing the transformation but also maximizing engagement and retention of your customer base. Your platforms need to stand out visually. 

As a result, this has created huge demand for visual design talent. According to LinkedIn there are 60,661 members with skills in visual design. 11.6% of this talent pool has changed jobs and company in the last 12 months. By comparison just 5.6% of the accounting talent pool and 7.5% of the network engineering talent pool have moved in the same period. Effectively the visual design skillset is moving twice as fast as traditional skills that have been known to be in short supply. Can supply continue to meet demand? If you continue to look at LinkedIn, then 19% of the visual design talent pool being ‘open to opportunities’ currently suggests more professionals are active than movements taking place. However, 53.3% of these prospective candidates have been in their existing position for less than two years. The established talent seems less open to move. This creates a major challenge when it comes to making senior appointments. 

So where is this demand coming from? Perhaps unsurprisingly much of the visual design skills demand has taken place the USA. 46% of the movement has taken place here, which is four times as much movement as the next leading territories in India and the UK. When we look closely at the companies making large number of appointments it is equally predictable that tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle dominate. However, if we look beyond this, one industry stands out behind tech and that is financial services. The likes JPMorgan Chase & Co, Capital One, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs are the leading names to make a significant number of recent hires with visual design skills. 

Why is Visual Design so important to Financial Services? In Q2 2018 JPMorgan Chase & Co published that they had approximately 48million active digital customers. They are an extreme example as they seek to achieve a ‘mobile first, digital everything’ approach. Given they managed to grow their active digital customer base by 26% and their active mobile customers by 50% in just 3 years it is clear digital interaction has a lot of legs. However, with many financial institutions following suit it is not just the previously mentioned capability of their digital products, but the design now plays an even more prominent part as you seek to provide a better experience than your competitor financial institutions. 

As a result, visual design skills are highly sought after in financial services and they will continue to be as companies seek constant evolution to stay with the market and trends. 

TDA Creative are the talent partner of choice to the World’s leading financial services companies looking to expand their in-house UX and Design capabilities. If you are looking to grow your own UX team with great talent, or are a talented Designer looking for a new opportunity please contact Andy Smith at TDA: [email protected] 


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UX talent demand and movement - some facts

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UX talent demand and movement - some facts

The value of a User Experience professional to businesses is rising all the time. As many industries focus on digital transformation this brings significant requirements to interact with their target audiences through platforms such as apps, websites and software solutions. The technical capability of these is one thing but as big a consideration is how user friendly and engaging the product is. Failure in this department and interaction with customers / audiences becomes heavily restricted and decreases the value of their offering. 

Due to the increased demand for User Experience skills, there is a serious war for talent - Visual Design, Interaction Design, Product Design, UX Research through to UX Development. According to LinkedIn 6,538 UX professionals have moved roles and companies in the last 12 months in New York alone. At present there are 2,295 live jobs listed on the platform that require UX skills and based in New York. The trends suggest the demand will increase and this will impact supply. 

As we consider the possibility of talent shortage, companies may have to focus on the importance of sourcing appropriate talent now before it becomes more challenging to do so and quality of output is impacted. We have identified the companies that are leading the way in terms of hiring UX talent in the last 12 months. 


Companies with 5,000 + employees 

1. Google

2. JPMorgan Chase & Co

3. IBM

4. Facebook

5. WeWork


Companies with 1001 - 5000 employees

1. Spotify

2. The New York Times

3. Huge

4. FCB Health

5. Conde Nast


Companies with less than 1000 employees

1. Squarespace

2. BCG Digital Ventures

3. Etsy

4. Compass / 

5. VaynerMedia


There is no dominant industry when it comes to hiring UX talent in the last 12 months. This re-enforces the argument that most sectors are now adapting to a digital first approach to interaction with their audience. It is a great time to be in UX, but companies face many challenges in the sourcing and retention of talent with this skillset. 

TDA Creative is a specialist recruiter in UX and operates across a range of sectors. If you are in seek of new opportunity or have hiring needs please reach out to us for an honest assessment of the marketplace and how we can partner.

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Is FS the place to be in UX?

The rising influence of UX in FS

Why is it when we talk about user experience more often than not consumer businesses or social platforms come to mind? Is it because we are investing our personal finance and time into these streams? The reality is a huge proportion of what we do today is digitally based. Therefore user experience is always on the agenda. 


Financial services are something we are all likely to use at some point. However the rise of digital platforms has meant that organisations in this sector have a huge task to maximise user experience and drive the retention of existing customers but also the attraction of new ones.


A common misconception with the financial services industry is that they can be quite one dimensional in the personnel they hire and lack creative thought outside of their core activities. However there are countless examples that prove this not to be the case and such businesses are often at the forefront of innovation beyond their services. The industries commitment to user experience in digital format further cements this. Many companies in the sector have an impressive roster of talent to develop platforms and create interfaces to the envy of direct and indirect competitors. 


As we continue to source quality talent for many top financial services organisations we wanted to share some of the key benefits of being a user experience professional in the sector:


Volume of projects

Whether it be a new financial product or a new service offered by businesses in the sector there is a constant requirement to evolve and develop new ideas. New offerings create the need for a digital service that supports any new product or service. As a result the development of UX will move at the same speed as the development of new ideas which in this sector is well publicised as being fast paced. As a result you should not be short of experiencing innovation and new workflow. The sheer size of such organisations means there will always be an opportunity to get involved in multiple projects at once. 


Diversification of projects

Financial services organisations are actually some of the most diverse companies you can think of. They offer multiple products and service lines and within this the target audience demographics can range significantly from one offering to another. Such variation can be extremely rewarding to a UX professional when driving excellence against such different requirements. For example one day you may be thinking about B2B to encourage SME companies to bank with you whilst the next platform you are responsible for could focus on B2C mortgage offerings to 1st time buyers of a certain demographic!


Investment in technology

As someone at the forefront of digital transformation you want to work for an employer that is committed to UX platforms. Many organisations fall into the trap of creating a website because it is what companies do, rather than using the site contribute to business performance. This is not the case in FS. Many businesses in the sector have technological innovation and transformation at the top of the agenda and see it as essential to how they deal with customers going forward. As a result the investment in this profession is high, as are the budgets associated with what needs to be done to be successful. 


Remuneration

As an industry Financial Services typically rewards well both in terms of salary & benefits. They place incredible importance on retention of good quality staff and will often contribute to individual professional development. They have very clear structures in place that provide a clear progression route at the start in order to achieve long term career objectives. 


If you are a UX professional in FS at the moment or a UX professional interested in the sector and seeking new opportunities please feel free to get in touch at 

[email protected] 

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