Malay is head of UX/UI at the Risk and Compliance area of Deutsche Bank. He loves working on complex projects and is always looking for ways to make them efficient as well as enjoyable. Malay has experience in building globally distributed design teams and has helped various startups and corporations design products.

He is often found folding post-it when not putting them up the wall. Take a sneak peak.

What’s the story of your career so far?

Three friends in university started an online consulting firm – and each one of us took care of one area like sales, programming and that’s how I got into design. Within two years of starting the company, we won national awards for the best design which firmed up my enthusiasm and beliefs in design as a career. This entrepreneurial stride was also a valuable lesson for me in accounting, business acumen and management (or lack of it) which would have been difficult to gain otherwise.

Over the last 15 years, I have worked with clients in the UK, and internationally as a UX practitioner and a practice lead. I have enjoyed working on a variety of projects ranging from mobile p2p payment systems, trading platforms to online-marketplaces.

Currently I head UX/UI practice for Risk and Compliance of Deutsche Bank.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love the opportunity to interact with people from different professions, cultural backgrounds and philosophy as well as learning about different subjects…there is so much to observe and take in.

I do believe UX and design is a melting point for vision, ideas, technology and business to come alive. As designers, we challenge beliefs and shape ideas that seem remotely possible.

The best part of being a designer is you craft something that brings a smile to many people.

What’s the most important lesson you learned in 2020 amidst all the Covid-19 disruption?

  • Acknowledge, adjust and adapt: Organisations which have acknowledged the situation, reinvented themselves and adapted new ways of working have done well in these difficult times. Our team has been flexible to embrace new ways of collaborating with business, reaching out to end-users and interacting with product as well as technology team and it has certainly paid off.
  • Quality time with people around me: Since last year, I know my colleagues, their pets, family, interests, needs, sounds of their doorbells better than ever before and this goes for everyone in the team. We have acknowledged everyone’s schedule and have adjusted ways of working around it. This has helped us function a lot better. We have also started to think about striking a balance between spending time together in the office as well as benefiting from the extra time with family (which was otherwise spent with fellow commuters).
  • Me time: Fitting in time for yourself is essential. Finding time to cycle or practice origami while managing everything at a personal/professional front has helped maintain sanity.

As far as you can predict, what’s on the cards this year for you and your business?

Due to remote working, increase in online activities, and financial impact on the system there is ever more importance on efficiency of online products. This has resulted in heightening the importance and demand for UX at a level we have not witnessed so far. We have doubled our team since March 2020 and needless to say, I am looking forward to meeting some of the new team members face to face 🙂

Within the UX practice, there has been increasing investment in online collaboration, design and remote research tools. This has helped us reach out to our users and stakeholders to conduct remote research as well as workshops effectively.
As our design system is maturing, we are trying to solve the issue on how to store and distribute the UX learnings in a way that everyone in business could use and benefit from them.

If you could go back and do it all over again, would you choose a different career path and why?

Like many children, I dreamt of venturing into space when I grew up. However, I am really happy the way my career has shaped so far. Apart from specialising in design, experiences during various phases in life have come together:

  • My background in computer science helps understand technology in depth which comes in handy when ideas are challenged from our friends in IT
  • The time I have spent as an entrepreneur has made me sympathise with business as well as aids in running a tight ship
  • The exposure to finance makes it easy to focus on numbers and stats

At the same time, I do have a long list of areas I need to get educated / informed. However, in the short term, I would like the child in me to explore the world with curiosity 🙂

Be Kaler Pilgrim

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