IDEO is an award-winning global design firm which helps organizations in the pubic sectors to be more innovative and grow thereby. Special attendance is paid to be human centered and design based to find new ways to discover the desires, behaviors and latent needs of customers.

IDEO’s name is pronounced like “eye-dee-oh”  .It was founded in Palo Alto, California in the United States in 1991 by 4 already existing design firms:

  • David Kelley Design (founded by Standford University professor David Kelley)
  • London-based Moggridge Associates and San Francisco’s ID Two (both founded by British-born Bill Moggridge)
  • and Matrix Product Design (founded by Mike Nuttall)

There are about 550 people employed who are basically working in human factors, mechanical, electrical and software engineering as well as industrial design, interaction design and communication design.   The company envies new companies and brands, design products, services, spaces and interactive experiences and help to organize. Especially creative cultures are built and internal processes and systems will be able to create new innovations and launch new ventures.


Organizational Structure

Very special is the way IDEO is structured. Each component function is working together as a system and consists of project teams, flat hierarchy, individual autonomy, creativity, socialization of recruits and engineer buy-in.

Furthermore the organization is divided into “studios” which ease to manage the growing and are able to operate independently. Members are shared if required and are affected by high communication.

Some teams of a studio are called as “hot teams” which consist of people from multiple disciplines who are passionate about a client’s project. The are working together temporarily on that project and call a team leader who is only leading for this project. Therefore there are no fixed titles

In conjunction with studios, people are organized into disciplines which are also having discipline leads. Those have strong reputation and serve mentors to members.

The advantage is that everyone can share input due to flat hierarchy.

Also very important is the evaluation and improvement for IDEO. It wants to improve itself and therefore is always asking for feedback. Employees have to give performance evaluations once a year they have to ask for feedback from people they worked with.