IDEO Reviews

Updated Apr 27, 2021

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3.9
67%
Recommend to a Friend
86%
Approve of CEO
IDEO CEO Sandy Speicher
Sandy Speicher
25 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great Culture, diverse team, and unique suite of clients(in 18 reviews)

  • "Great people great culture great methodology(in 12 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "They are a separate entity in the org and as a designer you will rarely have a chance to engage with them(in 13 reviews)

  • "Moving up takes awhile, low pay compared to a tech firm(in 11 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 5.0
      Former Employee

      Great people, interesting work

      Mar 22, 2021 - Business Development Associate 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great people, interesting work, encouraged to grow and evolve

      Cons

      Normal, occasional office politics but really had a great experience there

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    2. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Fun. Great mission. Limited growth opportunities due to favoritism, subcultures and internal politics

      Feb 19, 2021 - Principal Software Designer in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Nice people, high impact projects, opportunity to work with renown clients in any major industry. Decent work life balance.

      Cons

      Limited growth opportunity for “normal” people. Huge favoritism and subcultures meaning that if you are not a monk, dont have a unique sexual orientation, a hippy, a crazy weirdo, don't have tatoos, haven't graduated from Stanford, don't microdose shrooms and acid, don't climb trees and walls, and don't surf everyday in the ocean, you are less likely to be known and get into the circles, and that means less access to cool projects, a lot of bench time, and lower chance to grow. You need to advocate for yourself and your skills and knowledge normally don't mean anything.

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      9 people found this review helpful
    3. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Where is the human centeredness

      Apr 12, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Top talent from the most random, weird collection of people. They're not just the best designers, but incredible humans in so many ways!

      Cons

      People come to IDEO because of its strong brand image and unbeatable reputation in design and innovation, but in reality the experience of IDEO is far from the rosy impression that most people have in their minds. Or more accurately, IDEO is not longer the IDEO that it was originally designed. to be. While it continues to attract top talents across a wide variety of design crafts, the lack of good leadership and prevalent organizational chaos makes it an extremely toxic place to work. Good talent is often wasted because of favoritism or lack of willingness to appreciate personalities or individuals that don’t fit the idealized “IDEOer” typology. Rather than take in feedback for what it’s worth, people are told to be better at embracing ambiguity or be more optimistic, creating weird psychological effects of self doubt and self blame especially for newer/ junior employees. Another result is a lot of subjectivity in everything from how projects are run to the level of career development you are giving, and constant changes in directions depending on who you’re engaging with. Some will tell you they had a great experience, while others slaved away for years with little recognition and voice. The worst part of this is there is high degree of burnout and dissatisfaction that remain unvoiced except in small / close circles because people are afraid to give off the impression that they’re not being loyal enough to the company and therefore not embracing the ideals of IDEO. The company loves celebrating successes but avoid real conversations about challenges and broken stuff. Overtime, people get used to the dysfunctions that become the norm. Frankly, there are too many incidences that reveal that empathy and human-centeredness is but a facade. And unfortunately the company embodies a lot of the toxicity and dysfunction that other companies get torn apart for by the media.

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      9 people found this review helpful
    4. 3.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Great place to work if you fit in

      Apr 18, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Awesome place to learn end-to-end design process and great variety of industries and projects

      Cons

      Can be somewhat cultish and difficult to advance if you’re not among “the chosen ones.”

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      1 person found this review helpful
    5. 1.0
      Former Employee

      Most Superficial Place

      Oct 3, 2020 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      In-person culture is fun and being silly is encouraged

      Cons

      IDEO is one of the most superficial places I have ever worked at. The value system perpetuates a toxic positivity culture that overlooks the needs of BIPOC. If you do not conform to this "be optimistic" culture, it will be very difficult for one to grow. Because of that, it is difficult to show authenticity and outwardly admit areas we could improve as a company without receiving backlash and our culture-fit is thereby questioned. There is a lack of diversity in leadership, the lack of designers who identify as BIPOC, a concentration of individuals (often BIPOC) in under-appreciated (non-designer) "support" roles who perform office housework that nobody else wants to do. These positions are often incredibly ambiguous, while one is told they can "design" their journey at IDEO, they are also told strictly what they can't do. Consequently, this leaves designers (often white) who are the only people enabled to have good ideas both on client work and on internal "white space" projects. The support roles are left under the impression that if they work hard enough that they can become a *designer*, although this work is often left invisible to leadership, clients, or building skills that would benefit their growth in the long-term. This is the impression because there is not a clear trajectory for non-designers, nor effort to build out more support in this area. You are told to embrace ambiguity. Your growth at IDEO is arbitrarily determined by how well you can advocate for yourself and convince your business and talent lead to see your value -- so solely relational based and not performance-based. In hindsight this is detrimental, especially in a culture that upholds white supremacy and has difficulties confronting their implicit biases.

      22 people found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Lots of Growth and Opportunity to Customize

      Nov 6, 2020 - Talent Specialist in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Wonderful people, generally well meaning and intentioned - Sandy as the CEO is wonderful, kind, and authentic. - Lots of room to grow and be challenged--I've switched roles a few different times based on company need and personal interest, and the work is interesting and my manager very supportive - Room for inspiration and openness

      Cons

      - SF is quite a big office, so it can be hard to get to know people even though they're great. The culture is more diluted than smaller offices. It's easy to fall in between the cracks. - There's definitely a gap between the design and support community. - It can be strangely hard to actually get to know people and figure out what your path is. People who aren't comfortable with lots of ambiguity or want someone to point out the next path/step can struggle a bit.

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    7. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Great place to grow as a designer

      Nov 9, 2020 - Design Lead in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Warm, friendly and creative culture where teamwork & collaboration are at the core. The people working here (especially at the junior/senior level) are so inspiring, talented and lovely. You gain tons of learnings in many fields and craft from working with disciplinary teams, and on a very wide range of projects.

      Cons

      The work/life balance can be intense at times—I totally got burned out on many projects. We are sadly moving away from design work towards more consulting work, and many of the current projects are unfortunately just "bread and butter" than actual passion projects that will deliver the impact we're all hoping to create when we join IDEO. Also, the carrier growth is quite restricted to one main path.

      5 people found this review helpful
    8. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Great design culture

      Feb 25, 2021 - Interaction Designer in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      great design culture and people, impactful projects

      Cons

      not many project got shipped

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    9. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Great company with talented folks

      Feb 5, 2021 - Senior Leadership Coordinator in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great benefits, talented co-workers, good pay, opportunities to work on many different projects

      Cons

      Can be tough for introverts since it is a very extroverted work place

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      1 person found this review helpful
    10. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      The end of an era

      Jan 29, 2021 - Senior Design Lead in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Autonomy, and ability to express your talents

      Cons

      Pay and lack of transparency

      Continue reading
      1 person found this review helpful
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