The sound of silence: Re-visiting silent design in the internet age

Marina Candi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The silent design concept, suggested by Gorb and Dumas in 1987 has been used for over 20 years to deal with the issue that design sometimes happens without designer participation and sometimes without even being referred to or recognized as design. In this article, silent design is re-visited in the context of innovation and against the backdrop of the Internet. The findings are that silent design is still alive and kicking and more common in firms that rely on the Internet for the delivery of their offerings than other firms. The findings also indicate that firms that use overt design (the opposite of silent design) tend to perform better than firms that use silent design in terms of attracting new customers. However, overt design comes at a cost, which this research suggests is reflected in less profitability in firms using overt design than in firms using silent design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-202
Number of pages16
JournalDesign Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • design activity
  • innovation
  • product development
  • silent design
  • technology


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