Impressive: BBVA's headquarters in Spain

BBVA is promising to put design and user experience (UX) at the centre of its digital strategy by training up 1000 staff ‘ambassadors’ to spread good practice throughout the Spanish bank’s operations.

Rob Brown, who left Barclays last year to join BBVA as head of marketing, design and responsible business, says that design expertise is crucial for banks in the mobile age.

BBVA has been bolstering its position over the last couple of years, poaching Brown’s former Barclays colleague Derek White to act as digital chief and buying San Francisco-based UX and design outfit Spring Studio.

The bank now has 150 designers in 11 countries, all with different specialties, but is also embarking on a global pilot to train up 1000 design ambassadors, chosen from different areas, businesses and geographies.

These staffers will receive intense training in design leadership, project support and coaching so that they can ensure that design is at the centre of every project in the organisation.

Says Brown: “Our emphasis is on progressing to become an organization in which design is integrated at every area, and where all the employees put the customer first, collaborate with each other and face challenges in a creative way.”

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