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.

Everyday is an opportunity to write something

Having an opinion

Up until about 3 years ago I wasn’t a regular blogger.

I’ve come to realise that I was afraid to share anything that might sound too much like a personal opinion, especially if that meant people disagreeing with me.

As I’ve published more, my confidence to write and share what I really think has increased.

Finding the conversation

It’s important to work hard to find the right conversations.

When I worked at the digital agency Tincan we were a small setup. This meant that most of us were account managers as well as designers, researchers, and front-end developers.

Spending time with clients was my favourite part of the job.


The problem with over testing, experience, and intuition. Designing something is about making a choice. Right or wrong.

The secrets of guerrilla communication

Communicating design to your colleagues is an important skill.

Let’s pretend

Imagining the alternative.

Imagining the alternative future

One of the most thought provoking books I’ve read this year was Inventing the future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work Book. In the book Alex Williams and Nick Snick talk about to imagining utopian futures:

[Utopias] demand that the future be realised, they form an impossible but necessary object of desire, and they give us a language of hope and aspiration for a better world.

Direct route

Tonight I’m taking the shortest route home. It’s my choice.

I’m on a very rural train line that cuts right across the country from Leeds to Morecambe (I’m parked at Carnforth – a station little used but famous for the film Brief Encounter).

Patterns of things that break

The escalator is now stairs.

Here’s your permission to go ahead and break things

Finding your appetite for destruction.

Critique is not criticism

A very simple blog post today.

Critique is an important part of any design process. This is something I’ve been thinking about this week:

Critique doesn’t mean you need to criticise something. It’s a shame the words are so similar.

Here’s the difference.

The automation reading list

Featuring Amazon Go, Apple self checkout, a Daily Mail headline, and some good books

This year I’ve been thinking a lot about automation in design. What automation driven by new technology means to products and services and the bigger question of the future of work.

The tipping point for voice activated services

My (not so bold) predictions.

The problem with ‘customer’

Why it's important that we're having the conversation

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.

Everyday is an opportunity to write something

I’m experimenting in December. I’m planning to publish something every day in the run up to Christmas. I’m cheating slightly, in that I’m not committing to weekends.

I used to always look forward to the web design advent calendar – 24 ways, so I thought it would be nice to try something similar.