Researching Design Firms I Admire
This week Daniel asked us to find three local and three international design firms that we like, and then show examples of their work. This gives us ideas of the kind of company that we’d like to work for in the future, and shows us the types of projects to look forward to in the UX industry.
I will be starting off with the work from three local companies within the UK & Ireland.
The first design firm I’d like to mention is KOTA, based in London.
KOTA mostly work in branding, web design, and digital marketing.
I really enjoyed looking through their case studies and have selected a few to include as examples of their work.
The first case study that caught my eye was for “Bounce”, which is a lively Ping Pong club in London.
I scrolled over their before and after of the website and the transformation is amazing. They set out to show the club’s personality within the site and did it perfectly. I think this company seems to be very innovative and listen to their clients’ needs well.
KOTA also rebranded the Jazz Cafe in London, and I’d like to include a view images of this case study as well because I thought it was just as creative and well done as the Bounce project.
All in all, I think it would be great to work for a company like KOTA. Their outcomes and results are always brilliant and very different.
The next local company I looked at was Little Thunder, based in Belfast and Dublin.
Their portfolio site alone is very pleasing to the eye – and extremely unique. They work in digital product design, and have recently worked with big companies such as EA and Adobe!
Here are some examples of their case studies:
Unfortunately there are no clickable links to view these case studies in more detail, so I just took a snapshot of what was available.
I really like Little Thunder’s approach to their work. They are very versatile and can make products that are fun and illustrative, as well as products that are more professional and clean. Just like KOTA, they are good at sticking to a brief and giving clients exactly what they need. Their website also details their process and how they get their desired result, and this process is obviously very similar to what we are being taught to do at the moment. I think a company like this would be amazing to work for, as they seem to have a lot of focus on innovation and creating top level design.
The final local company I have looked at is FATHOM, based in Belfast and Dublin. Their team is quite small, with 65 people. I think it would be nice to work in a tighter-knit team like this, and I think it would be good for bouncing ideas back and forth.
I have picked a couple examples of their work to display:
Fathom always have great results and beautiful outcomes. They also specialise in a range of digital and communications services, which means there are plenty of options and projects to take part in. They focus a lot on research and getting to know their clients’ user base before getting to the design work. I think this is a really important factor in ensuring satisfaction from returning customers.
The next part of the task was to research international companies that we believe to be world-leading, and that produce exceptional work.
The first international firm I looked at was IDEO, based in California. Their work isn’t just in digital UX, but also physical. This is something I found very intriguing.
Here are a couple examples of their work that caught my eye.
IDEO, to me, is definitely a world-leading design company, and it is clear to see that they are extremely innovative and forward-thinking. Not only do they work on projects for large companies like Swarovski, but they also like to tackle world issues within their work. This is shown in their app for tackling diabetes, and also their work with other companies such as Infarm and Wirelane. IDEO likes to focus on creating great solutions to important issues, and I really like that about them. They also highlight the importance and power of design in the modern world throughout their website, which shows their dedication to their craft.
The second international company I researched was Method, a company with HQ’s across the USA and also London.
Again, in my opinion, this is a world-leading design company that comes up with unique and really cool designs.
For example, their work with AI for a mental-health app called “Fine”, is absolutely exceptional. They did a lot of research with mental health experts, as well as testing (including face tracking) for this app, and you can tell that they put a lot of time and effort into it.
They also created a new digital experience for McDonald’s:
I think Method’s work is very interesting and high-quality. It’s no wonder they have so many firms across UK and USA, as well as such well-known clientele.
The final international company I will write about is Frog Design, with 30 studios globally, it is no doubt that their work is exceptional. They have studios in places like Paris, Milan, LA and Munich. Their slogan is “Bring bold ideas to life”, and that’s definitely what they do.
Here are some examples of their work that I liked:
I really like their illustrative work, as well as their imaginative physical designs. I think this company would be great to work for because they seem to pick up lots of really fun projects and produce really great outcomes.