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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.

All blog posts in Seniority in design

It’s okay to be a design leader

I’m encouraged by the number of people talking about how they are taking on more responsibility to lead design. Emma’s blog post was great about her decision to take on a new role, and Ale’s call out to bring together more people in lead design roles has had a great response.  Continue reading…

Seniority in Design: personal responsibility

Seniority in design is about personal responsibility.

A disclaimer to start with. While everyone can take personal responsibility, not everyone has the same circumstances, privilege or types of choices to make when doing so.

But, whatever your situation, everyone can can take personal responsibility for their work as a designer. Continue reading…

Seniority in design: empathy both ways

Design leadership requires different types of empathy.

We often talk about about the importance of having empathy with end users. These are the people we’re designing for, and the immediate goal for teams working in this way is to understand how people are feeling, as well as what they might be thinking or doing in a given situation. Continue reading…

Seniority in design: proximity and closeness

As you become a more senior designer with responsibility for other designers, one of the challenges you will face is your personal closeness to ‘hands on’ design work.

As well as how close you are to the work, you will have to think about the proximity you have to those doing the hands on work when that isn’t you. 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…

Quality conversations over process

Thinking about design as a series of conversations

Thoughts following this tweet, yesterday.

There is an often overlooked secret to making progress:

The quality of your conversations is as important as your process.

Process is an easier proposition to package, share and even sell to organisations in response to a set of problems that they’re setting out to solve. Continue reading…

It depends

Every designer everywhere?

As a designer, I very rarely say ‘it depends’.

I would rather have an opinion, then be right or wrong.

‘It depends’ suggests there’s too much context surrounding what you’re thinking about. It’s better to frame something more carefully so you can decide and move on. Continue reading…

Seniority in design

It’s no secret that design is an industry of inflated job titles, but what makes a designer ‘senior’?

For everyone, a certain level of professional practice is required.

Time invested in your craft helps shape what you do, but ultimately I think it’s about a maturity of how you think about and approach your work. Continue reading…