Hello, I’m Ben Holliday. This is my blog where I’ve been writing for 15 years. You will find posts here about design, services, product and leadership. You can also follow my regular updates on Twitter.


The gentle art of stopping

Content design for service design

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 …

Scaling user-centred design

The weight of starting

Why you don’t need more evidence or certainty

Seal of the City of Cincinnati
Image credit – 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 …

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 …

Everyone wants to solve the problem

What do failing organisations 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 …

Start with one thing

Design is about knowing what’s most important

Speaking at 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 …

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 …

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 …

Everything is hypothesis driven design

A hypothesis board set up by the team delivering Carer’s Allowance at DWP in 2014

I think that everything can be seen as hypothesis driven design. The real question is whether or not we write down the assumptions behind the …

Design feedback with feeling

Why designers need to give feedback based on how things feel

Giving feedback or design critique is an essential part of the design process. How things feel is an important part of this process.

In our design team we try …

Tell the user story

In agile we talk a lot about user stories but we don’t spend enough time telling the stories of our users.

User stories are commonly known as the way we prioritise and deliver work in agile teams.

How we use …

Thinking about iteration