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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 Service Design

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…

Option 1: do nothing

Option 1 is always ‘do nothing’. It’s a very popular policy or strategy.

Make no mistake, doing nothing is a choice, even when you default to doing nothing.

Doing nothing by default is not pursuing the alternatives to a set of problems. For example, an alternative policy, business model or service blueprint. Continue reading…

Vision or mission statement?

People and places; distributed and owned

I’ve written before about the importance of mission statements.

Something I see regularly is confusion between ‘vision’ and ‘mission’ statements.

A definition:

Vision: What we want to achieve. Continue reading…

Estate agents. An example of a broken digital business model?

This article caught my attention last summer: one in five high street estate agents risk going bust.

We’re already seeing this play out with startups like Purple Bricks and HouseSimple establishing themselves.

There’s a lack of digital innovation from traditional estate agents. Continue reading…

Sticks in the ground for public services

Earlier this year I wrote about sticks in the ground. My belief that design has to be bold. It has to start with an idea.

It’s arrogant to think you can change the world. But it’s also necessary

I was reminded yesterday of some of the great examples of civic architecture we have in the UK. Continue reading…

Attention-driven design versus connection-driven design

Last week I wrote about the opportunity of designing for connection.

I‘d been inspired to think about this more recently after watching a TED talk by Tristan Harris: The manipulative tricks tech companies use to keep your attention.

Designing for attention is marketing, supporting a business model built on advertising. Continue reading…

Vertical lines and loose boundaries

A cricket boundary line.

A cricket boundary line.

…it’s surprising how frequently policymakers can be found solving the wrong problem — a superficial one, a symptom rather than a cause — or a problem perceived in one way by the outside world but totally differently by those actually experiencing it — Steve Hilton, More Human

I spent a lot of time thinking about the relationship between policy, service delivery and design when working in government. Continue reading…

Designing better organisations: Why internal user experience matters to delivering better services

I see very few organisations that think enough about the experience of their staff (especially when it comes to technology). If your internal user experience is broken then, as an organisation, you probably don’t care enough about user experience (full stop). Continue reading…

Things of the internet

Designing services for the digital age in response to raised expectations

For a series of recent talks I’ve given, I’ve been thinking about the changing expectations that people have for services that are ‘digital’.

Services are a familiar part of our lives and our expectations for how they should work are continuously changing. Continue reading…

Service design starts with user needs

Understanding different types of user needs when designing services

When leading service design with teams, the conversation often focuses on user needs.

It’s important to start with user needs, but I’ve found it’s not always clear what we mean by ‘user needs’. Continue reading…