Melbourne Business School Events and Information Sessions How to champion human-centred design: Lessons from ANZ Bank

How to champion human-centred design: Lessons from ANZ Bank

Wednesday, 15 July 2020
12.30 PM - 1.30 PM

It may sound simple, however understanding and then embedding human-centred design into organisations often comes with challenges.

In this webinar we were joined by ANZ Bank's first ever Chief Design Officer, Opher Yom-Tov, who spoke to MBS Senior Learning Consultant Greg Harbidge about how human-centred design can help organisations solve problems and innovate. 


From this event

Through their engaging conversation, Opher and Greg explored:

  • What is human-centred design (HCD)?
  • What is design?
  • How HCD can help organisations solve problems and innovate.
  • What it takes to weave human-centred design into the fabric of an organisation.
  • Opher’s experiences with what works and what doesn't.

Your questions answered

Do you first have to measure collaboration before you measure design?

It’s not black and white. Given the core three elements of HCD that Opher shared your question is a good one. It’s makes good sense as you suggest that collaboration gets a focused measure – I’ve seen this particularly in organisations who are new to HCD when they are at the stage of trying to get people to start applying the elements. In these cases, they are more focused on the process (of collaboration) than the outcomes it delivers. Later as collaboration becomes more embedded and natural that measure can be changed or replaced. With measures it’s always important to think about what is most important to measure to get to the next stage of what is being worked on. Measures should never be set in stone – they too should be constantly experimented with, iterated and updated.

Greg Harbidge – Senior Learning Consultant, Melbourne Business School

Do you have any examples of how a story/narrative has changed from HCD or otherwise?

You’ll see examples all around you, particularly in the world of marketing. Look at great brands and what/how they market themselves. Nike is one such example. Look at this video - Nike: Find your greatness. Nike is a premium brand with products built around elite athletes and high performance. Through the lens of empathy and deep understanding of customers they know that most of their customers are not elite sports men and women, rather they are more an everyday person. As such the video speaks to needs, emotions and motivations of the everyday person – not through a lens of product functions and features.

Greg Harbidge – Senior Learning Consultant, Melbourne Business School

How can I make an impact if I’m a single UX Designer within development team?

Great question. My response will apply to both start-up and larger organisations equally – as scarce resources is a common link. It’s critical to simply start. What does that mean? Choose one of the 3 core elements of HCD and try it. For example: 

  • Thinking about collaboration, how might you invite others to have input or work with you from other areas of the business? Perhaps, you could invite an ‘outsider’ to your team meeting/retro? Perhaps you could reach out directly for input or feedback. Taking small steps towards collaboration across disciplines has the added benefit of relationship and rapport.
  • Regarding empathy, for start-ups, customers are key to generating revenue or the value you require. If you don’t have them the business will quickly fail. What I observe commonly though is that people stay in offices (or homes in this current WFH environment) and have very little real interaction with real customers. Set a goal for yourself E.G. To reach out and have 2 or 3 customer phone calls a week. Learn about them and their needs. Find out about their pain points and aspirations beyond your offer. Bring those insights back to share with others in your business. Not talking directly to customers is perhaps the biggest obstacle to using HCD – doing so you will be able to challenge your own assumptions and that of others in your start-up environment to ensure the business grows with customer needs.
  • Thinking about experimentation – try not being perfect. Ship whatever it is you are working on quickly, get it to 90%, ship it and be ready to learn and iterate quickly – it could be marketing copy, it could be code, it could be strategic plans or budgets etc. it could almost anything you produce for customers (or even internal stakeholders). Ship it with the mindset to improve it.

Greg Harbidge – Senior Learning Consultant, Melbourne Business School


Do you think bottom up change in organisations is possible to action change towards HCD practices or does it need to be a top down approach?

Many people will say both are possible and both are needed, and this is a valid point of view. In my experience it’s extremely hard work via the bottom-up approach to change an organisation dramatically towards HCD. I’ve seen many people struggle with this. For Opher he joined ANZ knowing design sponsors/champions were in the C-suite and having already started the journey of summiting the mountain of design change. Having said that, it’s not enough to have senior design sponsors, there also needs to be conscious processes and culture to scale and embed change throughout the organisation.

Greg Harbidge – Senior Learning Consultant, Melbourne Business School

Key Takeaways

The better we can design things that our customers actually want and need, the more successful we will be and the happier they will be.

Chief Design Officer, ANZ Bank

Definitions of Human-Centred Design


An approach to collaborating that inspires our people to do their life's best work and bring their whole selves to work.


A risk management methodology that enables us to visualise and validate our future plans before we invest.


An iterative approach to solving the right problems in the right way, starting with people.

3 Elements of Human-Centred Design


Bringing many different disciplines together working to deliver to the customer.


Understanding the need of customers and all of the stakeholders experiencing the delivery of the product or service.


Learning your way forward by testing before large investments to improve confidence that you are investing in the right thing.

About our speakers


In 2017 ANZ announced the appointment of its first Chief Design Officer, Opher Yom-Tov. Reporting to Group Executive Digital Banking, Maile Carnegie, Opher leads a team of specialists focussed on building ANZ’s human-centred design capability to deliver better experiences for customers and employees. 

Greg Harbidge


Greg works at the intersection of Leadership and Innovation to ensure Australian businesses adapt & grow. At Melbourne Business School he specialises in helping organisations take future focused and customer-centered approaches to their work. At home he spends his time chasing after toddlers.