IDEO – Why Work For Us?

We strive to be an extraordinary and sustainable workplace for world-class professionals. We’ve applied the human-centered design process to our own organizational structure and processes, and we continually fine-tune our system to ensure that we effectively address employee growth and wellness. We think it’s important to examine all the factors that are valuable to a relationship between you and IDEO, not just the obvious ones like pay and benefits. We’ve learned that while money is an important component of offering a great place to work, it’s not the single most important aspect. Here are three reasons why we think IDEO is a great place to work:

Unique work opportunities: IDEO attracts the most interesting, diverse, and difficult set of design challenges in the world, in both the private and public sectors. We offer opportunities to work across a variety of products, services, industries, clients, technologies, and experiences. We give teams the power to build relationships with influential clients and organizations and we provide a high degree of autonomy to guide the work and generate excellent, appropriate, and delightful design solutions.

Talented and diverse people: We hire talented design thinkers who represent many perspectives, disciplines, nationalities, and points of view. We believe a civilized workplace is a more rigorous and sustainable place to work, so we don’t hire jerks. We provide ways to share knowledge and projects among our people, believing that we all work better and learn more when we freely interact and collaborate with other talented people.

Supportive and inspiring spaces: People thrive when they work in stimulating, comfortable, and well-located places. We try to be in cities where people like to be and that offer facilities and workspaces that promote collaboration and inspire great design. We provide resources and leaders who craft community as a primary element of their jobs. We believe this is far better than working out of your basement or in a corporate cubicle!

For more information, check out our careers FAQ

Compensation and benefits:  Ah, money! We offer competitive base compensation and paid time off in addition to a variety of employment benefits including discretionary profit sharing, sponsored healthcare, dental, vision and disability insurance, 401k matching or contributory pension schemes, and other employee assistance and outplacement benefits. Other perks include public transportation benefits and fitness programs — including yoga and pilates — and we provide as much free, nutritious food as possible


We see ourselves as a mosaic of individuals, where the big picture is beautiful but each individual is different. Your passions, your enthusiasm, your ability to collaborate, your travel adventures, the latest book you’ve read, what music you crave, or a movie you hated… We ask ourselves, “Would we want to travel with this person? What will this person be like at dinner, or during a brainstorm, or during a conflict?” We are eclectic, diverse and there is always room for another angle.

What it's like to work at IDEO

One perspective from inside the design firm

I often get asked what it’s like to work at IDEO. Here’s what it’s like. I’ve been at IDEO (Bay Area) as a mechatronic engineer and designer for over two years now. So far, it’s been a dream. IDEO is a design consultancy made up of creatives from all over the world. We shape many companies’ futures at once and have too much fun doing it.

Click here to see the full blog post from Jimmy Chion.

The Myths of Internship- IDEO Boston, Summer 2013

At IDEO we have seven core values that we hold ourselves and each other accountable for. We challenged our global studios with the task of producing a video that would embody each of these unique values. No parameters were set, and this is what happened...

Embrace Ambiguity from IDEO New York.

Learn From Failure from IDEO London.

Collaborate from IDEO Bay Area.

Be Optimistic from IDEO Asia.

Make Others Successful from IDEO Boston.

Talk Less, Do More from IDEO Munich.

Take Ownership from IDEO Mumbai.

IDEO Reviews

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IDEO President and CEO Tim Brown
Tim Brown
51 Ratings
  • Great company, amazing people, has some flaws

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Industrial Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Industrial Designer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at IDEO full-time (More than 5 years)


    I was with IDEO for 6+ years. IDEO has a great culture with a still somewhat flat hierarchy (up to a certain point) relative to other companies. You will have access to a vast network of smart talented people, especially after you leave. For the most part, the subject matter that projects address are pretty fascinating so you can find things to be passionate about.


    There are fewer and fewer projects that go to market with the original design intent which is frustrating for true designers. That is due to the fact that large companies are often coming to IDEO for business insights or opportunity finding (closer to true consulting) and design efforts support and illustrate those insights and opportunities, but are not necessarily meant for roll out into the market.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to get a brutally honest picture of how people in the 2-5 year range are really feeling about how things are going on the ground.

IDEO Interviews

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Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


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Interview Difficulty



  1. Helpful (7)  

    Recruiter Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview


    I applied through other source. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at IDEO (San Francisco, CA) in July 2015.


    n the heart of Silicon Valley, a young designer named David Kelley once wrote a letter to a friend that included these words: "I want to start a company with all my best friends as employees." I have to assume that David Kelley has never met or interacted with the current Recruiting department. I should mention that I have been an IDEO fan for a very long time. I think their projects and ideas are fascinating and life changing and they had long been on my short list of "dream companies to work for". Unfortunately my entire interview experience with IDEO was unorganized, unprofessional and in all seriousness, one of the worst experiences of my professional career. I was first contacted by a recruiter who saw my profile. I received an email about how perfect my background is; it was obviously a template email. Despite saying how she couldn't wait to speak with me, it was extremely difficult to set up phone calls because of the recruiter's limited availability. After two phone screens I was asked to do complete a recruiting assignment. It was a lengthy project and I didn't ever receive feedback but I was eventually invited to Palo Alto to meet the team. I'm not sure why, as the team and the job were both in San Francisco. I assume this is yet another example of how disorganized they are about their process. I asked for the names and titles of the people I would be meeting but never got a response from anyone. I arrived in Palo Alto and it seemed no one was expecting me or ready to greet me. Eventually I was put in a tiny windowless room and had a Skype call with the San Francisco office. It was a panel of five interviewers in SF and me alone in Palo Alto. There were first name introductions, but no last names or title/function, so I really did not know who I was speaking to or their relationship to this open role. Other than mentioning very positive feedback about my assignment, no one seemed familiar with my resume or background. It turned out to be a moot point because the interview was over in less than ten minutes. I managed through a lot of time and effort to find out the names of who I met with. I sent everyone a personal note and not one of them acknowledged it. I sent three follow up emails to the recruiter who had originally contacted me and she never responded. And that was the last I heard from IDEO. The only thing I can think of, and this is so petty I hope it wasn't a deciding factor, but when I was on the Skype interview they didn't realize I could hear them and I heard some snickering about my interview attire. Yes, I know you are casual environment but it was an interview situation so I put on a dress! Six months later I got another email from another recruiter. It was very similar to the first email; you have a perfect background, can't wait to speak with you. Two more phone screens and once again, the entire team went MIA. Two weeks ago I got YET another email from the IDEO team. I responded back and guess what? I've heard nothing. Overall my experience with IDEO has been disillusioning, unprofessional and depressing, It stuns me that this alleged world class recruiting team does not have the basic courtesy to respond to candidates. They must not utilize their ATS system either because I can not explain why they continue to contact me directly (I am not applying to their jobs) and not follow through. They make a big deal that they don't need to recruit because talent comes to them (unless they are contacting me) so it's a matter of finding "culture fit" and "creme de la creme" but it comes across as elitist and entitled. I found everyone I spoke to was distracted, late for the call or meeting, not prepared for me and a few were curt with me. I understand if you have a busy schedule and didn't see an interview on your calendar but why take it out on the candidate? Every experience with this company has been discouraging and disrespectful.

    Interview Questions

IDEO Awards & Accolades

Something missing? Add an award
100 Most Favored Companies by MBA Students , Fortune, 2009
50 Most Innovative Companies (#5) , Fast Company, 2008
Most Innovative companies , Boston Consulting Group, 2007
Top 15 Employers for MBAs , Universum, 2013
CNN Money: 15 Top MBA Employers , CNN Money, 2013
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Additional Info

Headquarters Palo Alto, CA
Size 501 to 1000 Employees
Founded 1978
Type Company - Private
Industry Business Services
Revenue $10 to $25 million (USD) per year

IDEO (pronounced “eye-dee-oh”) is an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow. We identify new ways to serve and support people by uncovering latent needs, behaviors, and desires. We envision new companies and brands, and we design the products ... More

Mission: IDEO Values: Be Optimistic, Collaborate, Take Ownership, Embrace Ambiguity, Talk Less Do More, Learn From Failure and Make Others Successful

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