Ben Holliday is an experienced designer, 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 8 years of work in the pubic sector. You can get in touch or follow him on Twitter.


Attention-driven design versus connection-driven design

Why ‘connection-driven’ design is important.

Digital expectations of physical spaces

The potential of digital is for your environment to be one step ahead of your experience.

Connected: things of the internet versus the Internet of Things (IoT)

Experiences should become increasingly connected as the result of services built around internet connectivity, but there’s a much bigger picture and opportunity.

Designing without an alternative

The importance of digital — part 4

Digital by design

The importance of digital — part 3

Sticks in the ground

Design is arrogant. It must also learn to be humble

Anxiety labels and emotional needs

We all have a genuine need to be treated and thought of as individuals. And we all have a story that's worth hearing.

Mark making and broad strokes (learning to throw out your toolbox)

A story about my first week at art college 20 years ago (1997).

Repainting the road markings

Doing the same things again and again creates patterns and systems that become more fragile than certain, no matter how much we try to reinforce them.

Small moments of joy in design

Design is a good idea because it can introduce small moments of joy into the world. Experience is about emotions, and we’re designing for experience

Why we hire design specialists

The idea of hiring specialists recognises that we intend to do something well.

The art of design leadership

Design leaders are still designers, but they design different things

Culture is like good design…

It’s the things you’re prepared to notice.

It’s a million small actions or the individual details that someone choose to care about.

Design at its best frames the unusual and celebrates diversity. Its mistakes make it human.

The hard line of complexity

We complicate things, and we do so most of the time. All progress depends on finding ways to side step the complexity we create at every opportunity.

Having an opinion

Up until about 3 years ago I wasn’t a regular blogger.

I’ve come to realise that I was afraid to share anything that might sound too much like a personal opinion, especially if that meant people disagreeing with me.

As I’ve published more, my confidence to write and share what I really think has increased.


The problem with over testing, experience, and intuition. Designing something is about making a choice. Right or wrong.

The secrets of guerrilla communication

Communicating design to your colleagues is an important skill.

Let’s pretend

Imagining the alternative.

Patterns of things that break

The escalator is now stairs.

Here’s your permission to go ahead and break things

Finding your appetite for destruction.