10:50 - 12:30
Session: S20
[Management] + Design
Debunking Silent Design Practices in the Banking Industry: A Case in Singapore
Human-Centered Design; Silent Design; Bank; Business; Organisation
Alvin Jia Hao CHIA, Jung-Joo LEE

The banking industry is facing unprecedented changes. From the assault launched by various Financial Technology (FinTech) companies to the shifting customer needs and expectations, banks need to out-innovate its disruptors to remain relevant. Banks started to adopt human-centered design (HCD) as an innovation approach and trained non-designers with the HCD methods. While this created a tribe of silent designers in organisations with the potential to innovate, their practice and contributions have been sporadic, ephemeral and limited, rather than systematic and sustainable. This paper presents a literature review on how the notion of silent design has evolved over the past four decades and a case study involving semi-structured interviews and a review of public and internal documents of on eBank in Singapore. The case study revealed a training process of silent designers, their roles and competence along with the HCD process, as well as individual challenges and organisational barriers. Based on the findings, this paper discusses future implications on how to manage silent design in the banking industry to build the bank’s design capacity.