hollidazed.co.uk -

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.

Latest blog posts

Learning to prototype is more important than learning to code

There’s still an ongoing debate about whether designers should learn to code. I think it’s more important that designers learn to prototype.

Prototyping doesn’t mean that you have to write code or build software.

A prototype should be the quickest, cheapest way you can find to learn about something, or to test an idea or hypothesis. Continue reading…

What’s on my bookshelf this winter/spring (2019)

I’m overdue a book list.

This is what I’ve been reading over the past few months (stretching back to the end of 2018). The rest of this list is books I’m planning to read over the next few months. Continue reading…

A design state of mind

What it means to move to a design mindset

A mindset is how we respond to the world around us. It acts as a center of gravity. It goes with you. It shapes who you are and what you do, wherever you are.

Billy Joel wrote the song ‘New York State of Mind’ after returning to New York City from LA. Continue reading…

The roundup. January (and some of February) 2019

I’m going to keep writing monthly roundups again this year. Time is always tight, but it’s good to reflect and to be able to look back on what I’ve been working on, and the places I’ve visited.

It’s been a busy start to the year at FutureGov (FG) – I’m about to go away for a couple of days on a family break as we’ve reached school half-term. Continue reading…

2018 – End of year review

I usually publish an end of year review (2015, 2016, 2017). This year I’ve been trying to write more regular monthly updates (all of which are here) so I’ll try to keep this shorter.

It’s been a year of change. From work (see November update), to family (see May update). Continue reading…

Ambiguity and design

Ambiguity is a key part of design. It points us to the uncomfortable gap between ‘what is’ and ‘what could be’ which is where I believe design adds most value.

As I described in my blog post ‘Seniority in design’ the more senior you get the more you will have to learn to handle ambiguity. Continue reading…

The roundup. November 2018

This is the first monthly roundup I’ve written since July. The summer, and moving into autumn, was an incredibly busy time with a new baby at home (see May 2018 update) and lots going on at work.

So let’s jump to November.

There has been a lot of change happening. Continue reading…

Prompts for design leaders working with product teams

When working with product teams, the job of a design leader is to make quick and accurate assessments about the focus and quality of the work being presented back to them. Continue reading…

For the love of the blog

This site (hollidazed.co.uk) has been live for something like 13 years. It’s an often neglected WordPress installation that I’ve enjoyed tinkering with and updating during that time.

At the start of the year, I said I was going to try an experiment – only publishing new posts on my Medium account. Continue reading…

Shared working definitions

The purpose of defining something is to create a shared understanding of words, ideas, and processes with a wider group of people.

If you’re going to talk about ideas and ways of working such as ‘digital’, ‘agile’, or ‘service design’, then it’s important to first set out what these things mean. Continue reading…