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.


The gentle art of stopping

I’ve talked about the weight of starting before, but stopping something you’re working on is also hard.

We fall in love with our own products and creations. It’s a choice to work on things we think are important and in doing so we invest in the problems we’re working on.

Content design for service design

Some thoughts about content formats and content ownership.

As teams working on digital by default services we don’t just design content for GOV.UK.

At Digital DWP we’ve put together a team of talented content designers to be responsible for all the content in a service.

Learning to enjoy the size of the problem

Having fun doesn't mean we don't take the problem we're working on seriously, it just means we don't take ourselves too seriously.

Scaling user-centred design

Last week I published a post about making design work in large organisations. All about design leadership and the importance of becoming a design-led organisation.

One of the challenges I’ve faced over the last year is how to build and scale a user-centred design function for a large organisation.

The weight of starting

Why I don't think you need more evidence before getting started. It's about a learning mindset.

Good management is (still) a thing

I aspire to be a better leader, but I spend much of my time these days ‘managing’. It’s probably the most important part of my job right now. As a manager, this is what I’ve learned so far…

Everyone wants to solve the problem

Thinking about the challenge of how to move an organisation from ‘everyone wants to solve the problem’ to ‘everyone wants the problem to be solved’.

Start with one thing

Start with one thing is a design approach I really like. It makes you focus on what’s really important…

Asking the right questions to frame the problem

This is something that many teams struggle with. These 5 questions will get you started.

Design principles for better iteration

Introducing 4 design principles for how you can approach iteration when designing products and services.

Everything is hypothesis driven design

Everything can be seen as hypothesis-driven design. How to write down and test assumptions.

Design feedback with feeling

Giving feedback or design critique is an essential part of the design process. How things feel is an important part of this process…

Tell the user story

In agile we talk a lot about user stories but we don’t spend enough time telling the stories of our users…

Thinking about iteration

Making incremental changes to prototypes isn’t iterative.

Ben Terrett explains:

A good measure of iterative is that you can prove you’ve thrown something away because user research showed it wasn’t working.

When we’re designing prototypes and user journeys to meet user needs we’re not going to get this right first time.