Smart Design Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Smart Design Reviews

Updated 16 Aug 2019

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Found 39 reviews

4.1
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
80%
Recommend to a Friend
83%
Approve of CEO
Davin Stowell
24 Ratings
  1. "Interaction Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Interaction Designer in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smart Design for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Fun culture Interesting and challenging projects Smart people

    Cons

    Unclear direction Going through a transformation, moving from a traditional product design firm to an innovation & strategy consultancy

    Smart Design2017-05-17
  2. "Leader in the world of Human-centered design"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Smart Design full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Smart design is an excellent place to learn human-centered design approaches and contribute to major projects for large fortune 500 companies. It's fast paced and challenging as you transition between different projects. Smart is a small company so it's up to you to decide the impact you want to have. The culture is very collaborative and friendly. Smart's office is large, open, and full of energy. Overall I had a very...

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    Cons

    Generally, consulting is a challenging business and you don't always get the type of projects you want, nor do you always get to own a project for the amount of time you would like. This isn't a con for Smart design as much as it is for this type of business in general. There are exceptions and Smart is one of the few agencies where you can work on projects from concept through production.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you are aligned on the vision for Smart Design in the future and find way to communicate that to the team in a way that's actionable.

    Smart Design2019-08-16
  3. "Fun place to work & learn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Industrial Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Smart Design full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Smart Design is one of the best places to learn design process and hard skills. It's super fun and everyone is extremely committed and diligent. People are definitely biased toward action and always taking steps to make Smart and it's work better.

    Cons

    Smart has some of the typical downsides of consulting -- inconsistent business, tight timelines, not enough time to focus on design. That being said, I know ID leaders are working to change this.

    Smart Design2019-08-13
  4. "Disappointing."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Smart Design full-time

    Pros

    – Still somewhat a good opportunity for young industrial designers. – Still somewhat a good name to have on your resume. – Good opportunity to learn from past knowledge. – Dogs are allowed. – Good coffee.

    Cons

    – Poor leadership, incapable of growing the business, keep projects on budget or encourage teams to be successful. – There is an elitist mentality that can be toxic. It felt like a very cut-throat environment for no good reason. – I witnessed management talking very negatively about other employees, many times in an unprofessional way. – Decisions were made based on personal biases. – Bullying behavior is acceptable.

    Smart Design2019-08-12
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Poorly run company on the brink of bankruptcy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Smart Design full-time

    Pros

    Talented junior and senior level staff Cool office space

    Cons

    Outdated leadership that doesn't know how to run a business Boring and time-consuming projects that lead to no work-life balance Low salary Little room for growth

    Advice to Management

    Don't waste your time at Smart Design. No one in leadership knows how to run a business and the company is barely scraping by. The company is becoming more and more desperate to stay afloat and sadly, they don't know how to. You can feel and see how worried leadership is about going under soon. Leave before it's too late.

    Smart Design2019-08-14
  6. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing place for the right people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smart Design full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Really impressive roster of clients (household brand names) Amazing people that want to solve problems for users A lot of growth opportunity at the junior levels - it's a small company, so staff/seniors will be asked to design, stretch, present to clients, and have more responsibility than you might elsewhere Tries to stay employee-focused with good benefits for the size company, helps with work/life balance after...

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    Cons

    a lot of responsibility at all levels, and a smaller company, means you may not always have a ton of training before you're asked to do something. this can be great learning, but not for everyone.

    Advice to Management

    better articulate the external value add continue to build the diversity (currently more women in leadership - keep it up)

    Smart Design2019-04-12
  7. Helpful (4)

    "Living in the past and highly political"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Smart Design full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    + Great people at lower to mid levels of the company + Occasional fun events thrown for staff + Projects can be enjoyable and challenging with the right team members

    Cons

    - I felt it was a very political climate - It is my opinion that senior leadership have no idea how to grow the company or what the company is trying to be - Heavy emphasis on the company "culture" despite this being, in my opinion, extremely poor, political and in definite need of an overhaul - Senior project leads/managers seemed unable to keep to project budgets and I felt that they were consistently looking...

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    Advice to Management

    - Hire more people who have vision, good ideas and are willing to voice their opinions - Be more open minded when taking advice from senior staff as their motivations can be questionable/underhanded at best - Decide what the company actually wants to be - the lack of a clear relationship between the brand vision and actual project work is blatantly non-existent

    Smart Design2019-04-10
  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Smart Design full-time

    Pros

    Great people and culture CEO an amazing mentor

    Cons

    Low pay, limited internal growth Projects aren’t too diverse Studio space a bit crowded and old

    Smart Design2018-05-14
  9. "cool studio, timid leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at Smart Design full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    great people who care about design, fun work

    Cons

    leadership was timid and afraid to take chances

    Advice to Management

    practice what you preach to clients

    Smart Design2018-04-05
  10. Helpful (4)

    "Used to be good - Political, poorly run, inflated leadership, too many partners"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Smart Design full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nice people at lower levels of the company. Office was decent. Occasionally interesting projects They tried to be supportive but it was never actualized. The culture was great at first, but slowly got worse and worse.

    Cons

    Be prepared for a political nightmare. Too many partners for such a small company. Impossible for any logical decisions to be made. Partners are all men. They make business decisions based on personal preferences. They also shelter their profits in a separate company. Greedy partners that dont encourage their team to be too successful. A business run by designers who started a company in the 80's and still relying...

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    Advice to Management

    Does a design company of 100 people need 12 partners? Inflated titles, and inflated egos = a company that gets in its own way.

    Smart Design2018-04-02
Found 39 reviews