I’m trying a new approach to writing and publishing his year.
In my end of year review for 2017 I said that I needed to think about how and where I publish blog posts.
I’m now only publishing new blog posts on my Medium account. It’s much easier and faster for me to write down and share my thoughts using Medium (especially using the mobile app). This should mean that I continue to blog reasonably frequently despite not having much free time due to work, travel, and family commitments this year.
I plan to now have regular roundups here rather than publishing everything twice (as I’ve done until recently).
I like the idea of writing week notes (#weeknotes) and I like the idea of keeping more of a diary. Week notes feels like too much of a commitment. It would distract me from writing other blog posts so I’m going to publish monthly updates instead. I always enjoy writing my end of year reviews so these feel like a natural progression.
This is the first of my monthly notes.
Early in the month I published ‘Seniority in design‘.
January is always a quiet writing month for me. I usually try and finish drafts towards the end of the year and reflect a bit more over the Christmas break, so it then takes a month or so to get going again.
Seniority in design was the result of my thinking over the past 6 months, working with the new design team I’ve joined at FutureGov. It’s been a popular blog post and feels like a topic that’s often not discussed openly enough. I’m planning a follow up post if you want to comment on the original.
I’m making good progress through my Autumn/Winter reading list.
I finished my second reading of Dan Hill’s ‘Dark Matter and Trojan Horses’ and I also finished reading ‘WTF? What’s the future and why it’s up to us’ by Tim O’Reilly at the end of the Christmas and New year break.
This month I spoke at Create Leicester. A relatively new event. It was a nice intimate venue and a relaxed atmosphere which always helps me enjoy speaking gigs.
I spoke about how we need to respond to living in a digital age as designers, using some familiar stories and examples as well as some new material.
You can view the slides here: A designer’s response to the digital age.
This was my first external speaking event since starting my new role as Design Director at FutureGov so I was relieved it went well. I’ve been trying to find the right balance between my own voice and FutureGov when writing and speaking. This talk was the point it felt like everything started to fully come together.
This was also my first trip to Leicester. In the past 18 years I’ve worked all over the UK, so it’s unusual for me to visit a new city. Unfortunately I didn’t see much of the city as I arrived late and had to leave early to get back to London the following day.
Thanks to everyone that came to say hello after I spoke, and to everyone that has got in touch since.
We had a busy start to the year at FutureGov. I officially passed my 6 month probation (still a thing, whatever level of responsibility you have). As I’m part of the management team I did a 360 feedback review with the entire company (40+ people). This was a scary prospect but turned out to be a (mostly) positive and useful exercise.
In approaching the new role, I’ve been trying to make small adjustments using feedback from the design team consistently over the past few months. This has really helped me to settle effectively into the role and the company.
I’ll share more thoughts on how my new(ish) role is going when I get chance.
See you in February!
Ben Holliday is an experienced design leader, writer and speaker. This is his blog (started in 2005). You can follow all of Ben's blog posts by subscribing to the RSS feed, or follow him on Twitter for more regular updates.