2016 – End of year review

This year was the toughest of my career so far.

I’ve managed to steer our design team through a considerable amount of change at DWP Digital (previously, Digital DWP) after most of our leadership team suddenly moved on to take over at the Government Digital Service in August. Continue reading…

Everyday is an opportunity to write something

I’m experimenting in December. I’m planning to publish something every day in the run up to Christmas. I’m cheating slightly, in that I’m not committing to weekends.

I used to always look forward to the web design advent calendar – 24 ways, so I thought it would be nice to try something similar. Continue reading…

Knowing when to fight and when not to fight

One step at a time. One punch at a time. One round at a time.

Rocky Balboa – Creed, 2015

Something I’ve learned.

If it costs you more than winning the fight is worth then know when to surrender. Learn to let things go.

The fight is simply the argument, the difference of opinion, clash of cultures or values. Continue reading…

Reasons to get up pt1

Learning to live with creativity

…if I am not creating something, then I am probably actively destroying something (myself, a relationship, or my own peace of mind)

I like ideas. Continue reading…


The moments of hope and joy

Bruce Springsteen performing in  Manchester - 25 May 2016

My view of Bruce Springsteen performing in Manchester, 25 May 2016

This is a lovely article about the experience of Springsteen live: A Bruce Springsteen show makes you feel like the best version of yourself. The following particularly got me:

I think it’s to do with being middle aged and being grimly aware that existence is a series of compromises, and that if life has a purpose then it is in finding the moments of hope and joy amid the disappointments and troubles.

Continue reading…

Be kind. Start with yourself

Empathy has to start with yourself.

It’s okay to be who you are. It’s okay to be comfortable with who you’re not.

Everyone feels like they have to prove themselves.

Everyone feels like they’re not doing as well as everyone else. Continue reading…

Service design in London, and everything else that happened

Last week was the Service Design in Government conference 2016 in London.

I had been building up to the conference for the last few months, writing my keynote talk, and looking forward to all the conversations that were likely to happen throughout the 3 days. Continue reading…

Grounded: the things that made me smile this morning

At about 7:40am this morning I was stood in the ticket queue in Leeds railway station when a little boy came over to tell me it was his birthday. He waved his fingers at me in desperation to tell me that he was now 3 years old.

He wanted to tell me, a complete stranger, all about his birthday party and visiting his grandmas house. Continue reading…

2015 – Keep going

2015 was a big year. I’ve never worked as hard or travelled as much. I lost count of how many train journeys it took and nights in not-always-so-luxury hotel rooms.

Back in January I blogged for Digital DWP introducing our new design roles. Continue reading…

Hold your nerve

A few years ago now I read the Susan Jeffers book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. It’s full of good advice. For example:

Develop more trust in your ability to handle things.

I like the saying “hold your nerve.” It’s more of a sense check to hang in there or stick with it. Continue reading…