hollidazed.co.uk -

Ben Holliday is an experienced design leader, writer and speaker. This is his blog (started in 2005). If you’re new to this site, Ben has published a playbook for design linking together many of his blog posts from the past 5 years. You can book him to speak at an event, get in touch or follow him on Twitter.

Latest blog posts

Prompts for design leaders working with product teams

When working with product teams, the job of a design leader is to make quick and accurate assessments about the focus and quality of the work being presented back to them.

You should be able to answer the following questions.

  • Is the team designing the right thing?
Continue reading…

For the love of the blog

This site (hollidazed.co.uk) has been live for something like 13 years. It’s an often neglected WordPress installation that I’ve enjoyed tinkering with and updating during that time.

At the start of the year, I said I was going to try an experiment – only publishing new posts on my Medium account. Continue reading…

Shared working definitions

The purpose of defining something is to create a shared understanding of words, ideas, and processes with a wider group of people.

If you’re going to talk about ideas and ways of working such as ‘digital’, ‘agile’, or ‘service design’, then it’s important to first set out what these things mean. Continue reading…

What makes a design education?

There’s a lot of design education out there. I get asked sometimes what people should ‘study’?

If you want to be a good designer, my advice is to study broadly and follow your interests. A design degree is great but it’s how you spend the rest of your life learning and being open to new ideas that matters most. Continue reading…

There is no ‘digital service design’

A lot of digital agencies and technology companies talk about ‘digital service design’.

What I think they mean by this is that they’re designing experiences and digital interactions that happen on a screen.

Service design will never be effective if it’s only seen as ‘digital’ or given the remit to work as ‘digital’. Continue reading…

Seniority, anxiety and dealing with confidence issues

A short follow up to my blog post about seniority in design.

These days, people assume that I’ve always been confident and comfortable speaking in front of a room full of strangers or having to speak up and lead conversations.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading…

What’s on my bookshelf this summer (2018)

I’ve started sharing my reading lists over the past couple of years. It helps me keep track of what I’m reading:

  • Autumn/winter (2017)
  • Summer (2017)
  • Summer (2016)

I also have a list of general book recommendations covering topics including: leadership & creativity, user-centred design, agile & ‘Lean UX’, research, data & analytics, and designing better organisations. Continue reading…

The roundup. June/July 2017

Everything is busy (again).

I’m surviving on something like 20-30% less sleep at the moment thanks to Zac’s arrival (conservative estimate/and I get to catch up with sleep a bit when traveling for work).

This is a quick update to cover the last couple of months. Continue reading…

All design is strategic

All design is strategic unless you just see it as implementation.

Lingjing recently wrote about the importance of strategy.

I like this approach as a framework. It’s simply a way to think through and take forward a set of actions working towards a clear end-goal. Continue reading…

It’s not a redesign

I don’t like talking about ‘redesign’.

The challenge is to design services all the time. Not to redesign them.

A redesign is a project mentality. Something with a start and end date. The opposite of this is making design part of how an organisation thinks and does things all the time. Continue reading…