Thinking about how we use evidence in user-centred design

Working in a large government department like the Department for Work and Pensions has created a few challenges about how to bring together traditional types of evidence-driven decision making and a new focus on delivering digital by default services. Continue reading…

What’s on my bookshelf this summer

It’s July. Summer is here in London today.

This time of year I like to get plenty of reading done between family time and the windswept beaches of Cornwall.

I’m always open to a good book recommendation. Here’s what’s on my reading list. Continue reading…

Working towards zero

We need to start from the right place. A level playing field. The conditions for success need to be right before we start.

If you’re part of a large organisation you could spend years working towards zero just to get started. You can put all your efforts into trying to fix your broken processes and technology. Continue reading…

Content design for service design

Some thoughts about content formats and content ownership.

As teams working on digital by default services we don’t just design content for GOV.UK.

At Digital DWP we’ve put together a team of talented content designers to be responsible for all the content in a service. Continue reading…

Learning to enjoy the size of the problem

bunting in the office

Bunting at work, Digital DWP Leeds office

Some thoughts about having fun at work.

Last week I had a good time speaking at a Glug event in Reading.

For those that haven’t heard of Glug it’s a meet up for local creative communities. The format is informal with talks about design and creativity. Continue reading…

Designing for the unknown future


The face of the unknown future

Most of the time, companies, organisations, and governments are making big, bold, predictions about what they think will happen.

The truth is we never know what will happen. Not with any real certainty. When you think about any policy, idea, or – the government term I’m most uncomfortable with – ‘intervention’, you only really find out what will happen when it happens. Continue reading…

Scaling user-centred design

Last week I published a post about making design work in large organisations. All about design leadership and the importance of becoming a design-led organisation.

One of the challenges I’ve faced over the last year is how to build and scale a user-centred design function for a large organisation. Continue reading…

Supersized. Making design work in large organisations

I’ve spent 20 months growing a design team in the UK government’s largest public sector department. Think of this as a mid-term report and what I’ve already learned working in the education, media, arts, and charity sectors.

In government I believe it’s time to go big on design. Continue reading…


The relationships we build with people at work

I’ve been thinking about how we build relationships.

This is the most important thing most of us do at work. It’s how things get done. How tensions are resolved. How decisions get made.

It’s all about currency. Continue reading…

The weight of starting

Why you don’t need more evidence or certainty

Seal of the City of Cincinnati

Image – elycefeliz

I sometimes think there’s a problem of digital teams taking too much time to do things. They just don’t get started soon enough.

Getting started is about being willing to go out and test your biggest assumptions. Continue reading…