Designworks Reviews | Glassdoor

Designworks Reviews

Updated April 20, 2017
8 reviews

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Adrian van Hooydonk
1 Rating

Employee Reviews

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  1. "consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Strategy Consultant in Newbury Park, CA
    Former Employee - Strategy Consultant in Newbury Park, CA
    Recommends

    I worked at Designworks (Less than a year)

    Pros

    nice working atmosphere, good benefits

    Cons

    not really that i can think about


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Could be an amazing place to work - so much potential unrealized"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Designworks as a contractor (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great brand(s) and incredible potential

    Cons

    Shady and opaque management structure and decision making. Overly secretive. Unfair.

    Advice to Management

    The company has so much unrealized potential with incredible opportunities to deliver thoughtful solutions to top tier companies in the digital space but no one at the company understands user experience and user interface process and execution. Utterly out of touch and out of date.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "A design company that needs to find its compass again..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newbury Park, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Newbury Park, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Designworks full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The group brand empowers strong reputation; lovely studio space; smart mid-level design/strategy people; easy-going relaxed west coast attitude; good variety of project types; excellent opportunities to communicate and interface directly with clients; some high-profile work relating to the parent brand.

    Cons

    Feels very factory-like (no open, shared, cultural discourse); quality of output visibly constrained by profit targets; somewhat arrogant; opportunities limited by parent group's wants/needs; top-heavy management coupled with inexperienced US studio leadership; surprisingly conservative culture; overstretched design team.

    Advice to Management

    Reinvent your voice with new blood at senior level and above all else, redesign the appalling website!


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "If you want to design for BMW apply in Munich, Germany. Avoid BMW DesignworksUSA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Car Designer in Newbury Park, CA
    Former Employee - Lead Car Designer in Newbury Park, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - Nice collegues and lots of space

    Cons

    The benefits at BMW DesignworksUSA are not competitive anymore. BMW AG designers in Germany get:
    - Much better benefits: 28 days paid holidays (excluding numerous public holidays)
    - Better work-life balance
    - Headcount aka job security
    - Professional HR, training and career development
    - Comprehensive company car program
    - Bigger project budgets and more time for design exploration
    - Visibility to top management

    Advice to Management

    - Introduce performance culture and true accountability for the directors. Too MAny expensive and non-productive manaGement haNging aroUnd who do not take reSponsibility, have unclear roles or are incompetent.
    - Professionalise HR: true career development, mobility within BMW, get headcount and develop permanent staff rather than relying on contractors all the time.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great People - Room for Improvement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Designworks full-time

    Pros

    There is the potential for diverse clients and access to interesting projects. Nice space, options to travel internationally.

    Cons

    At times the place can be too focused on styling, could benefit from being more focused on overall product development.

    Advice to Management

    Be more thoughtful in your design approach. Back up and protect designers that take risks. Do more self initiated projects to develop your own design vision. Work on the complicated relationship with the parent company.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great people, great projects, great fun

    Cons

    Management team has limited experience outside of Designworks


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Really Poor management but potential to be wonderful place because of competent mid-class designers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Munich, Bayern (Germany)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Munich, Bayern (Germany)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Designworks full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly & competent junior & senior designers.

    Cons

    Poor management, not transparent decision-making, unclear evaluation, one direction performance review from management to designers but not other way around, exclusive environment in some case. Managers need to take other experience to update their tastes and design process.

    Advice to Management

    Please update your taste, design process & knowledge. Also, please trust & respect your designers. Don't lean back to your comfortable sofa. Be active and open-minded.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "The worst place i have ever worked"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    fBMW brand reputation. Nothing else whatsoever to recommend. This is a BMW outpost, not in any way resembling a design agency. The worst place i have ever worked.

    Cons

    Lies told in job interviews. Extremely profit focused; lots of management politics and infighting; behind the curve with UX; office is in the middle of nowhere; overly conservative and corporate culture; inability to make decisions quickly and operate in an agile way. Selling out to BMW was a terrible decision for everyone except the Beverly Hills dwelling senior management.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to BMW! Sell BMW's stake. And stop berating talented designers with endless presentations about profits.