UX Landscape--Where do I find the Best Designers

28 Feb 2011 - 12:33am
5 years ago
11 replies
1721 reads

Hi All,

Hope all is well.  I'm Google's lead UX recruiter in North America, and I'm building the "UX Landscape" for our recruiting efforts.  I'm basically making a map of the best design schools, design firms, companies with strong design departments, and reputable design organizations/forums (besides IXDA : D ) in the nation.  

In your professional opinion, which schools shall I add to the map?  Some that come to mind are Carnegie, Pratt, and RSDI.  Any other suggestions?  How about reputable design firms?  Forums?

Your thoughts are totally appreciated; I know everyone is very busy these days.  

My thanks,

Tony, Google UX


28 Feb 2011 - 11:28am
Ed Rice

I'm a student, but I have to speak for Indiana University's Human Computer Interaction Design HCI/d masters program.

Helmed by leading design theorist Erik Stolterman, and with faculty like Eli Blevis, who's seminal paper coined the notion of sustainable interaction design. Our program balances constant design practice with a rigorous foundation of HCI, design and human experience literature and discussion.

Here we are being prepared to start practicing professionally but also as thinkers ready to engage ethically, and creatively as IxD's while the HCI landscape continues rapidly advancing. 

Other schools I looked at and that showed up at Interaction in Boulder this year are SCAD, CMU, Michigan, Austin Center For Design, ID @IIT, Stanford, and ITP. 

28 Feb 2011 - 12:07pm

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your thoughts!  The UX world is truly changing rapidly, so it's a very exciting time for designers.  The engineers and designers at Google have built a strong, collaborative relationship here at Google--something that didn't exist here before.  It's a direct result of the engineers "realizing" the importance of UX. 

I've added Indiana University to our UX Landscape map, so expect to hear from us soon.  : )  Again, your thoughts and help is truly appreciated.  Please stay in touch with me~


Tony, Google UX

28 Feb 2011 - 2:02pm

The University of Washington in Seattle has a very strong design program, for both interaction design and visual design. It would be great to see Google make visual design and aesthetics a priority in hiring designers.



28 Feb 2011 - 6:45pm

Ed, thanks for the comment!  I've added University of Washington to the map.  Yes, Google is changing...for the better!!!

28 Feb 2011 - 11:53pm

Tony, is your landscape only localized to the US?


1 Mar 2011 - 12:57am

Hi Sridhar,

Good to hear from you.  I'm open to international schools as well, come to think of it.  We have design hubs in Europe and China.  Do you have a particular set of schools in mind?

1 Mar 2011 - 4:26am

Well in India we have the National Institute of Design and the Industrial Design Centre which are quite famous... However an easier thing to go would to get in touch with your Google colleagues in Bangalore (India) and Sree is one of your colleagues http://www.google.com/profiles/sreejithunni

1 Mar 2011 - 5:12pm
Manuel Mark

Hi Tony,

aren´t the best designers already working somewhere?
What about finding them, their design departments and networks on LinkedIn or Twitter?


I guess many of them wouldn´t mind the challenge working with Google in California.

Count me in Wink



1 Mar 2011 - 6:23pm

Hi Tony,

The TUe in The Netherlands is following, in my opinion, an interesting approach towards the ¨creation¨ of new UX designers. The university offers a two year post-master program to people who already have a master degree in design, psychology or engineering and, most of the times, have professional experience in their field. They (we :-)) work/learn together for 2 years in multicultural and multidisciplinary environment, sometimes also in collaboration with companies such as Philips or Vodafone.

I hope it helps!


2 Mar 2011 - 8:30am

I would also recommend HUGE, a full-service digital agency in Brooklyn. We have about 60 UX practioners for a company of 300 people.  I'm happy to be working with some of the smartest peope I know.

-Anya, Interaction Designer , HUGE

2 Mar 2011 - 11:12am

Leonard, Maria, and Anya,

My appreciation to you for your added thoughts.  I've included your suggestions to my map!

If any other design firms come to mind, let me know!  : )  Ones that come off the top of my head are R/GA, Frog, IDEO, Method...  I'd like to know which about some design firms in Europe and China, specifically.  

I'm so excited to see all the participation in this thread.  Forums like this one never cease to amaze me--how it connects people from far corners of the earth.  UX design, for me, has always been more than colors and lines; it's all about bridging people with "things," fitting peices together in a way that makes life fluid and enjoyable. 

I'm honored to be conversing with such talented people on this forum.  : )

Thank you.

t o n y t a m

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