2015 – Keep going

2015 was a big year. I’ve never worked as hard or travelled as much. I lost count of how many train journeys it took and nights in not-always-so-luxury hotel rooms.

Back in January I blogged for Digital DWP introducing our new design roles. We announced that we were going to hire a design team to deliver new digital services for government.

As we reach the end of the year we’ve hired 18 Civil Servants, and worked with more than 10 contractors – they’ve all been brilliant working across our 4 digital transformation hubs in London, Newcastle, Leeds, and London. We haven’t finished either – we have great opportunities for Content Designers in Leeds and Newcastle.

In the last year we’ve started work with more than 20 service teams across DWP and in wider government as we also work closely with our friends at HMRC. The delivery teams in DWP are starting to make great progress with a number of services in private beta, many now very close to public beta.

Looking back I’ve made some of my biggest mistakes this year, but that’s how you make progress, get better and keep improving.

I’ve learned that how we talk about Service Design is more important than ever. As is the shift in mindset we need in the Civil Service for a real culture of digital delivery that puts users first – much more on this next year.

Looking forward to 2016. I think it will be the year we see service design, digital and policy become much more closely aligned. As I’ve been telling everyone I talk to for the last few months, if we’re doing it right digital and policy should not be separate things.

I also hope that the design and research communities continue to work more and more closely together across government and in DWP – we can’t deliver great services without each other.

Thank you to everyone I’ve worked with this year. It’s also been brilliant working with the other Heads of Design across government and Louise Downe who brings us all together.

As I always tell our design team – lets keep going!


Hello, I’m Ben Holliday. This is my blog where I’ve been writing for 15 years. You can follow all of my blog posts by subscribing to this RSS feed. You can also follow my regular updates on Twitter.