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.


2 years later and a book announcement

Ready for everything, or ready for anything?

Sinking sand


The design mindset and how organisations manage uncertainty

The prototyping mindset

Simplify your slide decks

I’ve worked in a consultancy for the last 3 years, and with public sector organisations for almost 8 years now. One of the most important communication tools in how teams and organisations work is the humble slide deck.

My tool …

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.

Pull often means more alignment and anchoring …

Creativity is putting all the balls in the paddling pool

Creativity is putting all the balls in the paddling pool, and then taking them all back out again.

Sometimes there isn’t a good reason to try something new. Other than, why not? 

We bought a new paddling pool in March. …

Map making

The link between hypotheses and telling stories

Never read something cover to cover, except for pleasure

Living in the future: reflections from Services Week 2020

Last week was Services Week – organised by the Government Digital Service as a series of events for UK government, but very much a celebration of work across different design and digital teams in the UK. It was noticeable how …

Open is inspiring

There was a lot of interest in my recent blog post about how to work in the open in government. I explored some of the reasons why I think that working in the open is important. In this post I …

There’s no such thing as a bad idea

As I did at the Create Leicester conference last week, I often start talks by saying that “design is a good idea”.

“The line between good and bad ideas is very thin. A bad idea in the hands of


It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Most strategy is finding the clearest, or best available route forward for making progress (rather than standing still).

It means knowing where you want to be, and what the goal you’re working towards …

Human-centred design, organisations, power and control

A house without windows

Inspired by the Twits – Roald Dahl

I’ve always believed that that working in the open is important.

This week I spoke on a panel about collaboration. My main reflection was that collaboration and learning works both ways. Progress …

Make it happen

Types of design focus

The language we use and what we mean when we’re using a design-led or based approach is important. I recently shared my thinking about different types of design focus on Twitter.

These are my definitions.…