Rob Varney

Experience Design Director

My goal is to help design the best design agency in the world. I'm the Experience Design Director at Foolproof, and responsible for the quality of ideas and insight we generate for our clients. It's been my pleasure to find, build and motivate a team of talented designers, developers and research consultants over the last four years.

I established design as a core discipline at Foolproof, having been design director of Flow Interactive. I was at the frontline of integrating Flow and Foolproof, and directed the rebranding of Foolproof and introduced new working practices, team structure and working environment. I also sit on Foolproof's Leadership team, and help steer the direction of our practice, delivering new ways to improve the design advice we provide. I also have an active role in directing programmes of work.

I come from a publishing design background (graduating from the Norwich School of Art and Design), but have always worked in a managerial or leadership role in the agencies I've worked in. My skills are very much centred around understanding the commercial advantages of deploying good design, and how clients can create better experiences for their customers. I've provided strategic and creative leadership on projects for clients in the FS, Media, FMCG and Entertainment sectors.

My focus is always to generate and refine ideas using insight gathered from the people who pay for the work, and the people who are going to use it. I firmly believe this delivers the most valuable ideas. Designing with complex information, journeys and interaction patterns has been a big part of my career, be it publishing design for government, to application or modelling tools for financial products.

Nowadays, the distinction between strands of design practice is increasingly blurred, but the need to consider them as a whole is vitally important. Particularly as more and more control is being placed at the hands of the consumer: either because they demand it, or because it's cost effective for companies to provide it.

As a result, consumers have many more varied touch points with brands, which changes depending on context, technology and environment. So as interfaces dissipate across different devices, brands need to develop a vernacular that works to a greater level of sophistication and depth; one that creates a coherent and unified experience.

That's why the people I look to employ into our experience design team here are multidisciplinary, and have skills that cover design research and evaluation, interaction design, visual design, information architecture and content strategy. Now, we're using more and more coding skills to bring our thinking to life, so we can test and optimise them with their intended audiences.