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.


Dead wood is distracting

We often stop to look at dead wood on family walks near where we live in the UK Lake District. Here’s an example from this morning’s walk near Bowness-On-Windermere.

New models for service ownership and leadership

New questions about how we design, develop, maintain and improve whole services.

Seniority, anxiety and dealing with confidence issues

A short follow up to my blog post about seniority in design.

The art of design leadership

Design leaders are still designers, but they design different things

The mission

Missions are built on words then actions. What helps define a great mission statement?

Knowing when to fight and when not to fight

Is it worth winning the argument?

The advantage of facing forwards

Problems are opportunities and opportunities are problems to be solved. Start by recognising the size of the opportunity in front of you

Supersized. Making design work in large organisations

Does your organisation 
have design leadership?

Disrupters vs Unifiers

Learning to play distinct roles at different times

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’.

People, just do nothing

The best way of doing nothing is to look busy. Don’t be this person.

In the end it’s where you are that matters. How you got there is just a story. People will judge you on what you delivered, and the difference it made.

Less process. More progress.

The challenge

Be invested.

What matters. Building a design community

I’ve been leading the User Experience team for just under 12 months now at Digital DWP.

At the moment we have people working in 3 different locations across the UK (Interaction Designers, Content Designers, and Front End Developers).

Everyone is working as part of agile delivery teams on different products and services, so our focus has been on building a design community.

Hold your nerve

A few years ago now I read the Susan Jeffers book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. It’s full of good advice. For example:

Develop more trust in your ability to handle things.

I like the saying “hold your nerve.” It’s more of a sense check to hang in there or stick with it.