Last week the Engineering and Design Society welcomed Liam Harberd, Director of Design at Deloitte Digital. With more students taking Design for GCSE and A Level every year, and an industry-wide call for talented and creative designers, there was real appetite amongst members of the virtual audience to know more about digital design.

Mr Harberd has worked in the design industry for nearly 20 years, creating somewhere between 5 and 10 designs every year. Some of his more prominent designs include work for the M&S website, the Bank of Ireland iPad app and the Vodaphone website.

Although when he “started in 2002, everything was a lot easier”, adaptation to regular changes in the world of design has been a constant throughout his career. Beginning with the introduction of the 16:9 screen, Mr Harberd presented a timeline of technologies which have had a major impact on digital design, most notably the iPhone, smart TV, VR/AR and the smart watch.

He explained that design is a “very collaborative process”, and successful design depends on centering a design around humans. Subtle elements like colour, layout, typography and presence of motion can have a profound effect on the success of the design.

Everything we do is about improving the human experience

Liam Harberd, Director of Design, Deloitte Digital

Many students in the virtual audience wanted to know about the future of digital design, given the unknown impact of future technologies. Mr Harberd stressed the increasing significance of devices within the home, primarily smart fridges and use of voice control systems, which may threaten the digital design industry with the complete removal of a user interface.