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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 agile

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. Continue reading…

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. Continue reading…

Learning to enjoy the size of the problem

bunting in the office

Bunting at work, Digital DWP Leeds office

Some thoughts about having fun at work.

Last week I had a good time speaking at a Glug event in Reading.

For those that haven’t heard of Glug it’s a meet up for local creative communities. The format is informal with talks about design and creativity. Continue reading…

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. Continue reading…

The weight of starting

Why you don’t need more evidence or certainty

Seal of the City of Cincinnati

Image – elycefeliz

I sometimes think there’s a problem of digital teams taking too much time to do things. They just don’t get started soon enough.

Getting started is about being willing to go out and test your biggest assumptions. Continue reading…

Good management is (still) a thing

As a manager, this is what I’ve learned so far

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.

It feels like we hear a lot about the importance of leadership, but not so much about what good management looks like. Continue reading…

Everyone wants to solve the problem

Here’s what failing organisations might have in common

Everyone wants to solve the problem, but they want to solve it themselves.

That’s how you get recognition. It’s not recognised as success if you’re seen to depend on somebody else and this is buried deep in the culture of the establishment. Continue reading…

Start with one thing

Design is about knowing what’s most important


Image – UX Cambridge 2015

Start with one thing is a design approach I really like. It makes you focus on what’s really important. I’m all for doing less and getting design out of people’s way.

I believe that the most successful products really only do one thing. Continue reading…

Asking the right questions to frame the problem

Framing the problem is vital for designers. We need to be relentlessly talking about the core benefits that a product or service delivers, and why.

I’ve found that framing the problem is something that teams really struggle with. This should be something we constantly refer back to as we look to iterate and improve what we’re working on. Continue reading…

Design principles for better iteration

I recently wrote about iteration. Here are 4 design principles you can apply to this:

1. Frame the problem

Make sure that you frame the underlying problem whenever you’re designing a new solution.

2. Explain why

Every time you move to a new design approach explain why. Continue reading…