Big Radical has hired Alex Barclay, former Design and Innovation Principal at Accenture, as its new Strategy and Innovation Director. This is Big Radical's first senior appointment since its launch in January this year.
Barclay, who has held senior strategy roles at Accenture, Havas and OgilvyOne, will join industry veteran Scott Ewings in his mission to shake up the digital agency model and help businesses make digital breakthroughs that positively impact their customers.
"There's a problem with the way digital products and services are designed. Often there's very little insight behind them, they are not created with people in mind and therefore deliver poor experiences," said Barclay. "Creating a new model which uses design and technology to create experiences that connect with people more deeply, is something I've been passionate about for a while. At Big Radical we believe that design can be a force for good. We are reclaiming design from the companies who use it just to grab attention".
"Most agencies and client organisations only spend about 20 percent of their time working on things they're proud of," commented Scott Ewings, managing director at Big Radical. "It's stunting the development of meaningful products and services and we need to fix it. Alex has the experience and the contacts we need to deliver our mission."
As well as driving key accounts across a mix of categories, Barclay will spearhead an innovation IP sandpit where design, business and developer talent from the Big Radical network will collaborate with specialists and run experiments. Examples include a project where talent from Big Radical is working with end users, psychologists, games developers, mobile and data specialists to create services to help young people cope with depression.
"Our objectives for the IP sandpit are to create experiences that are more humanly satisfying and empathetic and to deliver deeper learning and insight. We also hope it will help us to develop new models and processes and build faster routes to market," Barclay explained.
Barclay brings almost 15 years of experience to Big Radical, and has worked with clients including the BBC, the BFI, the Southbank Centre, Amex, Barclays, Red Bull and Unilever.
He is also the co-founder of the Experience Design Group (the XDs) - a not-for-profit network of designers, psychologists, developers, data scientists, video makers and others, who collaborate to learn new things, share and solve challenges, often for social good. Since its launch in 2014, the Experience Design Group has completed projects for companies including Accenture, AXA, Barclays and The Royal College of Nursing. Barclay also lectures and teaches MA and PhD students at Central Saint Martins, the London College of Communication and Loughborough University.