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Smart Design Reviews

Updated November 5, 2017
26 reviews

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4.2
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Davin Stowell
13 Ratings

26 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Smart place to be"

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

    I have been working at Smart Design full-time

    Pros

    Smart, creative people and a culture that values work/life balance.

    Cons

    You will get all the support you ask for - but you have to do the asking.


  2. "You'll be challenged and learn a lot"

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

    I worked at Smart Design full-time

    Pros

    You'll work with some brilliant people and will have a lot of opportunity to learn from them - making you a better leader and designer. The culture is amazing. The management is involved and lack ego and will listen - but may not act depending on what you'd like to bring to the project or studio. The space is beautiful and drives creativity.

    Cons

    Coming in as a skilled leader or senior level creative has its challenges at Smart. Trying new things or principles from other firms is a struggle. Partners and CDs tend to be set in their ways and you need to be persistent and patient. Also, work life balance is a bit of a challenge with some client work. Lastly, don't expect a bonus.

    Advice to Management

    Get over yourselves and work on sales and business development - other firms are much better at listening to their clients needs and speaking their language.

  3. "project manager"

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

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

    Pros

    good home work life balance

    Cons

    no room for growth, felt that there was no where to move

    Advice to Management

    no room for growth


  4. "Independent, inquisitive, and warm but can be reluctant to change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Smart Design full-time

    Pros

    – Independent mindset, practicing user-centered design for four decades
    – Inquisitive and intelligent colleagues from a broad spectrum of specializations
    – Warm, friendly, and casual culture, including the humble, hands-on founder

    Cons

    – Reluctant and slow to adjust to market changes and trending topics
    – Being small and independent means that the financial bottom line is felt by everyone


  5. "more than a job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Industrial Designer
    Current Employee - Industrial Designer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smart Design full-time

    Pros

    Diverse projects for young designers, with a wide range of day-to-day responsibilities.

    The best work culture I have ever experienced, with some of the most talented people I know.

    Vast network of successful "ex-Smarties" all around the world.

    Cons

    Project proposals (i.e. work schedules with clients) are not written by or discussed with the creatives producing the deliverable work.

    Small company, so room for growth in title and salary is limited.

    A lot of young talent outgrows the staff level roles and moves on to larger firms.

    Advice to Management

    Tap into your deep well of younger employees for website opinion pieces, internal workshops, and client proposals.


  6. "Sr designer"

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

    I worked at Smart Design full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great culture and people. Great 'springboard' company.

    Cons

    Low pay and little room for career growth within organization.


  7. "Valuable Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Intern in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great amount of responsibility with client projects, amazing colleagues, inspiring office and internal get-togethers.

    Cons

    The directors are almost all men!

  8. "Great place to work but not for everyone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Smart Design full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You if have the drive and energy then you will learn so much from some amazing and talented people. However, they may not be there long so don't wait to make friends – don't worry, the culture gives you many opportunities to start life-long friendships. Also, the diversity of work and projects will give you the opportunity to work with other groups and people that often don't exist in consultancies. If you work hard and add to the marketing and business development you can advance rather quickly.

    Cons

    The workload varies, the hours can be long, and the deadlines seem almost impossible to achieve. I found it was easy to overload yourself with internal projects and client work and find yourself struggling to balance it all. The pay also does not make up for the location, hours, and clients they work with. The culture and environment wear off over time and salary is often a reason why they lose great staff to other firms or large organizations. Last but not least, the company seemed to have an identity crisis and kept reinventing itself every other year which confused some us since they never gave enough time for the prior initiative to take hold.

    Advice to Management

    It’s a reclusive leadership circle with a lack of diversity at the top. I was surprised how much untapped or even ignored talents walk out the door.


  9. "Smart Design"

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

    I worked at Smart Design full-time

    Pros

    Smart is a creative place to work and the people there are amazing. The type of projects are very varied.

    Cons

    The downside to smart design is that it is a small company that consults. So it is either feast or famine.

    Advice to Management

    To be a little fairer across the broad mix of employees, and to have more resources to help staff meet their career goals.


  10. "Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The team at Smart is truly dedicated to the crafting of design experiences. Whether it be product or interaction design, there is a keen sense of detail that goes into every decision. Company culture is where Smart wins. Smarties are a team, and a family. They hang together, eat together, and build awesome products together.

    Cons

    Not entirely Smart's fault, but the office location truly hurts the company. It's quite difficult to get to and the building is scarce for food options. Smart has implemented some great options (order in together etc.) Otherwise, there is somewhat of a dichotomy between the OXO-ers and anyone non-OXO. Smart makes an effort to reduce this, but it's inevitable since they work together sunrise to sundown.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Employees seem happy, and everyone does great work. The company culture is fun and vibrant.


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