Swedbank: Designing for trust and sustainability

Ola Nilsson

Swedbank is one of the From Business to Buttons partners 2021. As "the bank of the people," they have tons of exciting design challenges. We talked to them about two areas in their focus. Sustainability and trust.

Sustainability is on everybody's mind for obvious reasons. As for Swedbank, of course. As designers, how do they work with these topics?

– We want to design for people so they can make good choices according to their individual financial situation, says Linn Morén, Head of UX at Swedbank.

– We want to see people make sustainable choices, we absolutely don't want to force people to buy services or assets that aren't suited for exactly them. We want to nudge people to make choices in line with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Swedbank was actually one of the first major banks who signed these UN Goals. 

– That's something to be proud of. And we have to keep on working, it has to be clear what services, products, and values we are selling.

Linn Morén, Head of UX at Swedbank.

– There are so many labels and symbols within sustainability, it can be hard for the customer to find what's right, and right for them. That's something we are working on right now.

For 200 years

Swedbank has been around for 200 years, and they have always been locally established, from the savings movement, "Sparbanksrörelsen." With that comes the aim of spreading knowledge and know-how in economics and the inclusion of everybody. You should be someone to trust.

Speaking of that. Trust is a buzzword these days, but very important, though. In particularly for Swedbank after last year. Money laundering scandal, chief executive leave, open criticism – widely and worldwide, there were big black headlines.

– Last year was undoubtedly hard, it was, says Linn Morén.

– With our humanistic brand, there is and even bigger down-fall. So, trust is absolutely one of our most important topics. We have to show that we are a bank to trust.

Every crisis makes you stronger, as they say. It's also true to designers, not least.

– It's about getting control systems in place that are easier to monitor and manage. To work with a holistic approach. 

– To stop money laundering, we have to know the customers, where their money comes from, and how we can expect them to use them. And that's often very private matters. It's something that's not is intuitively experienced as positive to reveal. 

– So this has to be made by a cautious design, intentionally and thoughtfully.

UX writers and customer journey

Swedbank has a variety of design competences inhouse, also including UX writers, and has worked a lot with the customer journey.

– We have to ask questions to our customers, but we have to do it clearly and understandably. No bureaucratic language, instead, the intention should be extra clear. 

– The customer should be able to feel that we are asking to prevent money laundering. They should be able to feel that they contribute to a sound money environment. That they are helping to stop serious criminal activity.

And, if the process is efficient and transparent, the customers can rapidly continue their doings, what they intended when they logged on to the bank in the first place.

In all this work user experience, customer experience, and service design are essential to Swedbank, they have the tools that are so important in the design every-day job. And they are always trying to get even better.

Now with the COVID-19 situation, Swedbank has decided to extend its partnership to the FBTB conference in 2021.  

– it was an obvious choice to support this important design event for next year instead. 

And they are also, of course, looking forward to attending the event.

– The conference has become even better over the years. It has become the perfect spot where to understand that the design concept is continuously widening. Ethics, Business Design, design affects more than just designers, down the road, it's even about democracy.

All about FBTB2021 here!

FBTB 2020 becomes FBTB 2021

Ola Nilsson

It is a hard decision to make. But with the help from the FBTB community we have concluded that an online version of FBTB isn’t the best alternative under these extreme circumstances. Instead, we'll push the conference to May 7th, 2021. It'll be the same speakers, the same venue, the same tickets, just another date.

The facts are, as you know, that we can’t have a physical event on the 8th of May. The peak of the number of infected people is expected to be in the month of May in Sweden and in June for the US (where 9 of our speakers live). 

So, we sent out a survey to those with tickets, we listened to our partners, we listened to the authorities, we researched, we had long discussions. And, in conclusion the best alternative was to push the conference to 2021. Postpone to a later date when we will be able to all meet, and make something really good out of the lineup, the theme, and the expectations. 

A whopping 87 percent in our survey thought that moving the conference to a later date was the way to go.

"There are a lot of online seminars. FBTB is a unique possibility to meet.”

"The value is to meet other people, make contacts, and listen to inspiring talks that I can reflect upon with others."

"The magic that gives me energy and happiness at FBTB each year originate in the physical meet up with all participants."

Of course, we have been in close dialogue with our speakers. And they have been understanding and very helpful. Offered different kinds of solutions, inline, offline, travel banned, you name it. And they also support us in the decision to postpone the conference. They assure you that next spring, they will give you all they’ve got. 

We are now working on all the details: the speakers, the facilities, the staff, our selves... So that all of this will be ready for 2021 instead. We’ll keep you up to date every step of the way, just stay tuned.

We would also like to thank you for your patience and understanding. Your heartwarming support and feedback really mean the world to us. We will need it also for the work that lies ahead. So, thank you.

It’s possible to buy tickets to the conference 2021 – same lineup, same place, new date.  If you already bought a ticket: Sit back, relax and we'll see you in May 2021. :)

Do you have any questions? Please contact Project Manager Jane Murray!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

What we’ve learned running a remote workshop

Maria Kougioumoutzi

Corona has suddenly forced us to do things differently. Some are positive, like spending more time with family. And some are less positive, like not seeing or hugging our colleagues. As a UX designer, you have to manage to facilitate efficient remote workshops. And you know what, remote work works!

Recently we held a physical one-day workshop for a client in our office in Stockholm. We managed to keep people engaged and in a good mood throughout the day. The feedback we got was that there was a nice flow. Templates for sketching concepts were highly appreciated along with arranging nice social opportunities.  

I believe that the setup and preparation was one of the reasons for people having a positive experience, but social interactions and sweet chemistry between the participants added a lot to that feeling.
So how do you create a successful remote workshop? 

Our colleague Sofia came up with the idea of testing both the setup and the experience of a digital workshop with Miro internally, before facilitating workshops with our clients. The theme for the workshop was “Best tips for working from home”.


We decided to have two moderators for a 1,5-hour workshop. Preparing a workshop, regardless if it´s digital or physical, requires some amount of preparation and we spent a few hours to prep the scenery.  

We created a board with the free version of Miro. Since it does not include the full functionality, we opted for Google Meets as our video channel along with Miro’s built-in text chat. 

After gathering some inspiration from other designers that had posted tips for working with Miro, we created the meeting agenda inside the board and divided the workshop into tasks. One of us moderators kept track of the timed sessions and the other one kept an eye on the Miro chat room.  

For each task, we created a separate frame to keep things organized, while each participant got a separate frame as a personal working area where they could work with the individual


Defining the workshop goals and setting clear workshop rules is important even in physical workshops. And it is a good idea to have that in writing available for everyone, including for people joining in late, with instructions on where to start. 


The moderators were always seeing both the participants on video and the board, while the participants mainly focused on the board but could always hear the voices of the video feed. Asking the participants to mute their microphones while doing tasks and using chat for questions was a good setup for us. 

We also used a “curtain” element, a rectangle that covered future exercises. It helped setting focus on the current task, and as we went along we just easily resized it to reveal the next one. 


The warm-up exercise – “draw what you would bring with you to a deserted island” – was useful for letting people explore the tools. If a brainstorming session is part of the workshop, it’s a good idea to choose a warm-up exercise that includes both brainstorming and clustering so people get used to it. Choose any theme, but a fun one boosts creativity and engagement. 

We wanted to try out brainstorm both in a group and individually, which meant first brainstorming together inside the same frame. For the next task, we generated ideas inside our frames first, and afterward moving them into our common frame. We recommend writing your sticky notes inside the individual frames and coming back to the common frame for clustering since all participants appreciated working separately. 
When it comes to clustering it is a good idea to set up some “Lorem ipsum” titles on the board. Participants can edit and move around when finding common themes. Also, unlock and adjust the size of the frame if needed depending on the amount and size of sticky notes or other elements.  

Time for silent voting! We used the free version of Miro, therefore the voting functionality was not available. But we just used dot voting the same way as in a physical workshop, allowing five dots for each participant.  

We realized that voting with dots took some time for people to copy and move dots around. We could have done that in advance in the individual workspaces to save time. But the main thing is that it did the trick of giving us a heatmap in the end. The integrated voting in the paid version is probably more optimal. 

Finally, we opened up for a discussion where all participants could reflect on their experience and whether the workshop had met their initial expectations. 




The last task was asking the participants for their feedback, any time later during the day with a predefined column for the positive notes as well as the challenges we experienced. 

All in all, this was a fun experience and our participants felt energized and became inspired to continue learning about this tool.  

Of course, a remote workshop experience is different as everyone collaborating in one place. But when you need to get things done with a remote team, this is a great option! And as we try new things, we all learn and become better. The second time you run a digital workshop you will do it better than the first time!  

Tips to make your first remote workshop a success: 

  • Start the workshop with a short introduction to the tool, especially when participants are not designers and might not have used visual tools for drawing before. Show them around the collaboration board and teach them simple ways of working, like Ctrl+D or Alt+drag for duplicating elements.
  • Don’t forget to include breaks in your workshop agenda. Decide if participants are allowed to go get coffee or similar after finishing a task, or if everyone is to stay tuned all the time. 
  • Lock frames and information related to the tasks on the board to prevent participants from moving things around by mistake. 
  • Decide and communicate which channel is used for what so that you can all keep track. (And as a moderator, don’t forget to keep checking text chats during the session.) 
  • Save your workshop board as a template, with placeholders for agenda, rules, task frames, individual frames, etc. This way you get a flying start for your next workshop. 
  • Optional teambuilding tip: Ask people to personalize their boards with a pic of their favorite animal/food/movie etc. 




5 of the best FBTB moments

Ola Nilsson

There are a lot of great talks over the years at From Business to Buttons. To pick the 5 best is almost impossible. But we gave it a shot. Do you agree?

Jared Spool entered the stage running in 2018, and then he gave a wonderful talk – Beyond The UX Tipping Point.

Kim Goodwin in her talk from 2015 – It’s the journey, not the destination – was really something. 

In 2016, Patricia Moore gave – From day one to none: The Lifespan Design Challenge. Have a look!

And of course, the talk that made us cry. Real feelings, real tears, really important design issues. Eric A. Meyer in his 
Engaging with Compassion.

Last year he held a great talk. But it was more than just a talk, it was a performance. His back this year, but start with a peak at last year´s show, Jake Knapp. The Design Sprint: One Small Change to Create a Culture of Innovation.


Not rocket science to have 50 percent women

Ola Nilsson

This Sunday it's March 8th and time for the international women's day. We had a talk about gender equality with the Project Manager for From Business to Buttons, Jane Murray.

It's been a while since the Metoo movement took place – Harvey Weinstein was just now found guilty – is everything equal now, especially within the design and business area?

– Haha! No, everything is not equal, says Jane Murray, Project Manager at FBTB.

– One of the biggest challenges still, is that women who step forward and point out sexism are often not believed. As a woman, you still have more to lose when you share experiences of sexism. It is about more than handling the abuser, it is about deep structures that rather have you being wrong than right. 

– What if companies and leaders' first reaction would be of gratitude that someone has the courage to let you know you have an abusive person or structure in your company? Metoo and Weinstein are only the tips of the iceberg – women still need "safe spaces" to be able to talk about their experiences freely.

What are the most important things to work with equality within our field today?

– To identify and see structures and patterns and to act on them. We all have to react and pitch in if we want to change the future. Also, if you're a manager, always give female applicants €100 more in salary than you were thinking from the start. That's how you break outdated patterns.

How is FBTB working with equality?

– Well, it's not exactly rocket science. We decided that we want to have half of the speakers female and half the speakers male. And that's that. 

How is FBTB doing, what could be even better?

– We are still working daily with diversity. And we also want to think globally and try to find speakers in other parts of the world outside Europe and the US.

Get your tickets for FBTB 2020 here!