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IBM User Experience Designer Reviews

Updated July 25, 2018
46 reviews

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User Experience Designer

3.8
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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
20 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Got Lucky with a Great Team and Non-Legacy Product"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    At the time of my employment, IBM was providing a 3-month bootcamp for new hires, where they essentially walk you through how to design for an enterprise company. I felt extremely fortunate to have started my professional career with this program, as it taught you how to collaborate, organize, present, and execute outside of a college context.

    IBM's Design program also cares deeply about company culture, and hire people that I found to be some of the best to work with in my professional career. They understand that the ability to collaborate is far more important than talent alone.

    Additionally, I found extensive room to grow during my career at IBM. My boss allowed us to create our own programs, such as "learning sessions" to learn, for example, Github from our front end dev, and attend conferences. Teammates who stayed on after I left were also promoted to leads to reward their growth and contributions. If you find the right team within the company, the opportunities were invaluable.

    Cons

    Retention. Unfortunately, the structure of this bootcamp led to lofty expectations of work environments outside of the Austin office. I gave such a high rating because I personally was very fortunate to be part of a great product we have a lot of personal control in, and saw through from research to launch. However, it really comes down to the team and the office location. The design program is large, and every experience I've heard has varied greatly, along with how long they stayed on at IBM.


  2. "IBM on the RISE"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal User Experience Designer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Principal User Experience Designer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Well positioned to compete for top 10,000 Enterprise Cloud & Cognitive business.

    Cons

    Slow to align offerings for a unified GTM.

    Advice to Management

    Clarify the Watson value proposition for customers and how it enhances Cloud.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Potentially great for younger employees."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in Austin, TX

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of room to grow and learn, can relocate pretty much anywhere.

    Cons

    Poor treatment of older workers, shifting strategies can make things confusing, slow pace depending on the group you are in


  4. "Good design culture, old company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - UI/User Experience Designer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Current Employee - UI/User Experience Designer in Research Triangle Park, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    IBM Designer culture, benefits, meeting people all over the world

    Cons

    B2B products, dry content, stuck in the past


  5. "Big Blue!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    They really invest in and value their new talent. Excellent position for professional growth.

    Cons

    There is great team cohesion, but lots of disagreements between different internal stakeholders.


  6. "User Experience Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - good work life balance
    - flexible work from home policy

    Cons

    - Products are very exciting to work on, feels out dated
    - No way to band up
    - I have a very incompetent manager who uses her 80% of the time going to conferences. Didn't really give me a single piece or advice about the actual product.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "As a designer, don't expect to move up"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Bootcamp is a 3 month program (too long in my opinion) which is designed to give early career professionals a thorough onboarding experience/training. I feel like I can pull out a design thinking tool to solve any problem now.

    Cons

    Bootcamp was way too long and they didn't give the option of doing industry if you had less than 3 years prior work experience. It will also make it extremely hard to move up as they lump you in with college hires and pay you the same. Good luck getting paid what you're worth here unless you are on a team that is doing extremely well.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people what they're worth which will retain talent. All the good talent is moving on to bigger/better things now that they have a bunch of really good training under their belt. If IBM "isn't competitive" by nature, then that needs to change because designers are nomads and the good ones can easily find a new position.

  8. "good pay ... no office"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in Orlando, FL
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    good salary and good work life balance

    Cons

    work from home full time


  9. Helpful (9)

    "IBM is not what they advertise"

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

    I worked at IBM full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Get to work with big name clients

    Cons

    - Pay is just enough under what it should be, and they make you feel bad for getting that. I worked with my manager on a project before I was actually on his team (I was under a different manager at the time), he would constantly praise me for my work and tell me I should have a promotion and move up to band 7 (IBM's ranking system for your experience level). When I got moved to his team I reminded him of this, even sending back the emails where he specifically called this out. He dragged out the promotion for roughly 5 months, finally telling me that even though I don't deserve it they are promoting me and giving me a raise. The raise was not exactly what I had been expecting (other band 7's discussed their salary and the raise I received was roughly 20k under what theirs). A very confusing process getting told you deserve a promotion, wait you don't deserve this, here it is...you didn't earn it.
    - The bonus system is designed to make you feel like you are not working hard enough. At the beginning of every year you decide how you are going to improve and discuss this with your manager. At the end of the year, even if you hit the goals and went beyond with glowing recommendations from the clients you were graded average and told to improve next year.
    - The travel. I worked remote, not sure how to put that in the location...but don't get tricked by that. When I first joined IBM I was told 15% to 30% travel, for 2 years I was only home maybe 5 weeks. I may have been ok with the travel if I was busy working on something that needed to be worked on at the client's workplace, but I literally would be told to sit at a desk and do nothing for some of the clients while IBM argued with the client about the contract.
    - Vacation and paternity. I was never approved to take a vacation even with over 100% utilization (which at the time was about 44 hours a week for client work). When my first child was born I was supposed to get 6 weeks paid paternity, I had to kick and scream to get 2 weeks (even though I had just finished a client's project and had nothing else lined up because I thought I would be out for 6 weeks).
    - Management and general disorganization. When I first joined IBM it took 6 months before I got a manager (I joined during a reorganization of the company). It was a very confusing time since I worked remote and did not know how to do things like find a client project to work on. When I finally got my first manager he was a developer with a team of people who developed...I was a UX designer. He constantly wanted me to go back to school to learn to develop and would not help me with client projects.

    Summary, not a great experience for me and I was relieved to get out. I am now healthier due to less stress and not eating like crap on the road, I see my daughter every day at 5:30pm, and I took my first vacation in roughly 3 years. IBM was a dark time in my life that almost ruined my marriage and had me regretting the various life choices I made to get there.

    Advice to Management

    Try to understand some of us want to be with our families on the weekends...


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Mediocre"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - they know how to promote the company
    - will teach you long term endurance in getting through projects
    - supportive community internally

    Cons

    - not a lot of growth potential for designers
    - low retention rate
    - often feel stuck doing work that doesn't make sense
    - company is so large communication becomes nearly impossible