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.

Seniority in design

The push and pull of giving design feedback

Some more thoughts on design feedback. Push or pull? Some doors open one way, and the rest open the other way. Sometimes ideas needs more pull. And sometimes you need to push…


A reflection on the visible contribution we're able to make as design leaders. #shortread

Seniority in design: superpowers

How we can recognise and work with the constraints that shape how we lead.

Different ways of leading design: face to face, or side by side

To follow on from my last blog post about leading sideways, here’s an example of how I work best.

I’m naturally more comfortable having a conversation about design, or leading a design process, standing side by side with people, rather than face to face.

Seniority in Design: feedback loops

As a designer you’re only as good as your feedback loops. How to manage or ask for feedback is important…

Seniority in Design: leading sideways

How you can lead from the side, not just from the front…

It’s okay to be a design leader

I’m encouraged by the number of people talking about how they are taking on more responsibility to lead design. Emma’s blog post was great about her decision to take on a new role, and Ale’s call out to bring together more people in lead design roles has had a great response. 

Seniority in Design: personal responsibility

Seniority in design is about personal responsibility.

A disclaimer to start with. While everyone can take personal responsibility, not everyone has the same circumstances, privilege or types of choices to make when doing so.

But, whatever your situation, everyone can can take personal responsibility for their work as a designer.

Seniority in design: empathy both ways

Design leadership requires different types of empathy.

We often talk about about the importance of having empathy with end users. These are the people we’re designing for, and the immediate goal for teams working in this way is to understand how people are feeling, as well as what they might be thinking or doing in a given situation.

Seniority in design: proximity and closeness

As you become a more senior designer with responsibility for other designers, one of the challenges you will face is your personal closeness to ‘hands on’ design work.

As well as how close you are to the work, you will have to think about the proximity you have to those doing the hands on work when that isn’t you.

Seniority, anxiety and dealing with confidence issues

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

Quality conversations over process

Why the quality of your conversations is as important as your process.

It depends. Every designer everywhere?

As a designer, I very rarely say ‘it depends’. Here's why...

Seniority in design

Are you a senior designer? Here are some of the things I think define seniority in design.