IXD302 Week 1- Local and global companies that represent great design work

Local Companies

Rapid7- Belfast

Rapid7 is a leading provider of security data and analytics solutions that enable organisations to implement an active, analytics-driven approach to cyber security. Rapid7 is trusted by more than 9000 organisations across the globe, including 48% of the Fortune 100. As a company Rapid7 clearly demonstrate its expertise in cyber security and gives UX Design Interns the opportunity to work with a diverse and cohesive UX team, develop design skills working on UX design experiences and contribute to customer success. Rapid7 is a large company that has a skilled UX team in Belfast making it a great place to work physically as a part of a team. Examples of dashboards and product UI’s below demonstrate the level of design excellence this company possesses.

Work from Rapid7

Big Motive

Big motive is an independent design company that collaborates with others to create digital products and services. They are an award-winning company and have worked with companies such as Coca-Cola, Danske Bank and the BBC. The work produced by Big Motive is incredible and I imagine they would be a great company to work for to develop as a creative individual seeking design excellence. The example of work produces by Big Motive are stunning pieces of work with fantastic UI and beautiful colour schemes.

Their services include design research, user testing, data analytics, user experience, service identity, brand identity and user research. I love the idea of having the opportunity to work in a company that incorporates a variety of aspects of branding, UI and UX design. I think Big Motive would be a really exciting and innovative company that provides a well-rounded service offering for clients and would expose their employees to all elements of UX research and design.

Work by Big Motive

Above are some examples of projects that Big Motive has worked on. These include Pobal (a new digital service for families seeking childcare support), Omniplex (a mobile-first booking experience), BBC (a nationwide science experiment for the digital age) and Voices for Impact (A social platform enabling young people to share their experiences). The outcomes of these projects are incredible and not just in relation to their design, some of their fantastic outcomes include:

  • work on the Pobal digital services will help ensure that the introduction of a flagship government policy delivers real benefit to families in Ireland.
  • trends in usage growth following this project suggest Omniplex the mobile experience will soon become the primary ticket sales interface.
  • the BBC digit experiment’s target of 10,000 completed studies was smashed just six weeks after release. Six months later almost 100,000 people had taken part!

This again highlights just innovative the projects are that are being taken on by Big Motive. It is also exciting to see the above outcomes in relation to impact and reach.

Sugar Rush Creative

Sugar Rush Creative is a mobile app agency. Their focus is on mobile app development, software and animation. They work with clients across the UK, Ireland and USA. Sugar Rush has been accredited as UK App Agency of the Year’ in 2019 and has been awarded ‘App of the Year’ for three consecutive years, in 2017, 2018 and 2019. However, it is interesting to note that as you view the projects completed by Sugar Rush, they also work on websites as well.

Their services include strategy & content, UX and UI design, development and launch and mobile marketing and support.

Work by Sugar Rush Creative

Above are some exciting branding and UI examples and well as a children’s book series that Sugar Rush has worked with. The inclusion of animation in their offering is something that I think could be really interesting to have an opportunity to dive into.

Whitespace

Whitespace is a Belfast based company that designs, develops and builds digital products. I think this would be a really exciting company to work for as it gives the opportunity to work on a diverse range of products. While I was not able to find specific design outcomes the company has produces I did find posts on LinkedIn indicating that Whitespace has worked with companies such as Emergent Alliance and IBM producing outcomes such as the below and getting involved in exciting ventures seeking out innovative technologies in sustainable development.

Global Companies

Airbnb

Airbnb is a global company that also operates out of Dublin however I am not sure exactly what sector of the company operates from here. In terms of stunning user interfaces and well thought out user experiences Airbnb is one of my favourite mobile app’s and websites to draw inspiration from and would be up there as one of my top dream companies to work for. I love their stories and experience approach to promoting accommodation and activities and their design focus on not just how it looks but also how it works.

Work from Airbnb

Ciena

Ciena is a global networking system, services and software company. Ciena was certified as “A Great Place to Work” and has found massive success with over 1700+ worldwide, operating in over 35 countries and employing over 7000 employees. While I wasn’t able to find any examples of product/portal UI’s I do believe the companies website is an excellent example of minimal yet vibrant design.

Work from Ciena

Clay Global

Clay Global is a global UI/UX design branding agency based in San Franciso. They’ve worked with clients such as Google, Slack, Facebook and many other big names. When it comes to world-leading branding agencies Clay tops my list. Their brand and UI outcomes are absolutely stunning, with clean. minimal design outcomes that have fantastic fluidity throughout. Having a client base as previously mentioned I think Clay Global would be an incredible company to work exposing its designers to cutting edge technology and services. I imagine the experience you would gain as a designer in a company like this would be second to none. They work on strategy, design and development. Design services include UI/UX design, brand identity, websites and mobile apps, visual design, prototyping and testing.

Cork for Clay Global

The above examples of Clay Global work and stunning examples of minimalism. Terragraph is a technology linked with Facebook that operates on 60 GHz unlicensed band delivering fiber-like speeds. Clay Global worked on their website, marketing and B2B structure. Jacquard by Google is a tag that enhances ordinary, familiar objects with new digital abilities. Clay Global worked with this start-ups UX /UI and mobile design. This is an incredibly innovative product that I don’t fully understand the requirement for though I would expect with a product like this, that it won’t take long for it to be widely adopted in some form. Other clients include Coca-Cola and Zenfits. All of the above appear to me to be incredible projects to work on and given their outcomes I imagine you would also have the chance to work alongside an amazing team.

IDEO

When it comes to design thinking and being at the top of innovative design work and services I don’t think there is a company that compares with IDEO. IDEO is a global design company with a team of designers, developers and storytellers. Their accomplishments range from designing the first manufacturable mouse for Apple to advancing the practice of human-centred design.

Work from IDEO

IDEO’s focus on creating a positive impact can also be seen in the above large scale projects. These include developing a new publishing strategy for the times, launching an innovation lab in Peru and designing an app for a B2B vertical farming offer. These case studies show the massive range in diversity of projects that IDEO works on. I think working for IDEO would give you the opportunity to learn creative thinking and problem solving, providing an experience beyond any other that another company might provide. They clearly don’t shy away from a challenge and of all the global design companies that I have come across I think in terms of staying on top of cutting edge design processes IDEO is at the top of its game.

Summary

Spending some time looking at local and global companies has been an incredibly helpful exercise as it has got me thinking about what types of companies I would like to work for. I am still torn on whether or not I want to go down the agency route or the in-house software company route as both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, I think the only real way to find out is to try both and see what is the best fit for me.

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