There’s no denying that beautiful design and smart UX helps sell more products and retain more users. But often, the true geniuses behind some of the most iconic and commonly used interfaces remain unknown. In this blog post, we’re sharing 20 top UX agencies for 2021. From smart mobile and web apps, to intricate design feats in the physical world. Here’s a look at the firms behind some of the world’s UX marvels.
Top 20 UX Agencies in the World (2021)
- 1. Clay
- 2. Neuron
- 3. Ideo
- 4. Frog
- 5. Eleken
- 6. Fjord
- 7. Fantasy Interactive
- 8. Digital Telepathy
- 9. Cooper
- 10. UX Studio
- 11. Work & Co
- 12. Method
- 13. Momentum Design Lab
- 14. Praxent
- 15. Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g)
- 16. Infinum
- 17. The Gradient
- 18. League \ Design Agency
- 19. Emerge
- 20. Slide UX
- Frequently Asked Questions
Clay is a UI/UX design and branding agency in San Francisco. They create world-class digital products, web design, and branding. They focus on improving conversion and increasing customer engagement. The agency creates products and services that provide outstanding usability while fully embracing your brand's personality.
Clay also believes business software deserves the user‑friendliness and aesthetics of best‑in‑class consumer apps and transform legacy enterprise platforms into delightful, consumer‑grade experiences, designing new B2B products that people love using.
As a full-service UX design agency, they work closely with their clients to define, design, and develop transformative user experiences across all platforms and brands' touchpoints.
They believe the digital products and user interfaces they create are easy to use, look great, and represent your brand in the best way possible. They always assign a multidisciplinary team of senior UX designers, developers, and other specialists led by one of their design directors and overseen by a co‑founder.
Based in beautiful Silicon Valley, Neuron is a UX/UI design and digital strategy agency serving San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. With clients including Ford Models, Paycom, Harvard University, Sony, GM, and more, Neuron works with forward-thinking companies to grow to new heights. How do they do that? Through the power of digital products and services that are not only intuitive and engaging but also deliver measurable results. Neuron's founders started the company on an architectural foundation thanks to their careers in the field. Their comprehensive training is fundamental to their ability to solve common problems through systematic design thinking. They help create blueprints, not designs, to ensure seamless developer hand-off. Neuron specializes in UX Design in mobile, web, eCommerce, and software.
It’s hard to imagine a world without Ideo. Their design thinking movement has helped shape countless ideas, prototypes and successful products. Some of their most iconic work includes designing the first-ever Mac mouse and a Palm PDA. They’ve also been involved in newer concepts like Acensia Diabetes Care’s internet-enabled blood glucose monitoring system and helped Vivo, China's top-selling smartphone manufacturer, transform itself into a brand China’s young consumers love.
As a top UX agency in the world, they chart a path that leads to more successful projects than duds, simply because they hire some of the smartest talent out there. Ideo has an army of 700 with offices in Cambridge, Chicago, London, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco,
Shanghai and Tokyo.
Frog makes our list of top design agencies in the world and is one of the oldest. This 50-year old has evolved from industrial design, but stays true to its openness and love for all things design. Like Ideo, they expand beyond digital and have been known to design furniture. Being around for over 50 years has seen them work with large and new brands. Clients include UNUM, SF Moma, ride-sharing app Alto, Intel, and others. Frog has a staff complement of 500 with offices in San Francisco, Austin, New York, Boston, London, Madrid, Paris, Milan, Munich, Malmö, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Shanghai and Mexico City.
Eleken is a young and independent UI/UX outfit based in Kiev, Ukraine. Their passion is design and development of web and mobile products. Their work includes some amazing blends of technology and design. For example, when Koemei needed a way to present a seamless in-content search feature, Eleken came up with a sleek and simplified means of helping people find information (think terms and keywords) among their files. Eleken works with startups and large organisations.
Fjord was founded in 2001 and is part of Accenture Interactive. As a design and innovation
consultancy their focus is on bridging human experiences with the digital and physical world.
They’re work spans various industries. From helping The Ontario Government devise a better way for Metrolinx passengers to travel, to designing a way for NatWest customers to better manage their finances using an app called Bó. As a division of Accenture, they are spread accors the globe. Fjord has 33 studios, including Atlanta, Auckland, Austin, Barcelona, Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Canberra, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Dublin, Helsinki, Johannesburg, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Milan, New York, Paris, San Francisco, São Paulo, Seattle, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and Zurich.
Fantasy was born in 1999 and has been producing amazing work ever since. They’ve been the brains behind some of the largest brands on the planet. Their client list includes the likes of Netflix, UFC. The Met, CAA, Master Class, The Weather Channel, to name a few. Their ability to strike a chord with customers and produce amazing work has made them a magnet for clients from various industries. They have offices in San Francisco, London, New York and Miami.
Digital Telepathy was founded in 2001. While not nearly as large as Ideo, they’ve created an impressive track record for themselves. Their feats include a listing as a Top Cultures award by Entrepreur Inc., helping over 20 clients list their companies or be acquired, and building and selling five start-ups. And while these are truly amazing feats, they’ve also worked with top brands. These include Marriott, Tim Ferris (The 4-Hour Workweek), Roche and Adventure.com
Above all this, Digital Telepathy is known for its strong culture and tribe ethos, something they affectionately call their Tao of Telepathy. They’ve also created a wildly successful blog that attracts over 300k readers a month. This top UX agency is home to 45 staff and is based out of San Diego. As of this writing, Digital Telepathy’s direction has changed. They have been acquired by ServiceNow and will still do what they do, just in-house.
Founded back in 1992 by Alan and Sue Cooper, Cooper is one of the most notable UX agencies around. In fact, their impact was so powerful that it led the agency to acquisition 25 years later by Designit. Part of Wipro, one of the largest technology, consulting and business companies in the world, Cooper now serves as an in-house solutions provider. Two years after their acquisition, Cooper evolved to offer training to a global audience, teaching their design methodologies. To date, they’ve trained 1000 students. The Cooper team is made of 30 employees and they are based in San Francisco.
10. UX Studio
UX studio is one of the smaller, younger, but fast-growing UX agencies today. Founded in 2013, they’ve since gone on to expand their presence to work with clients from across the world. They’ve also produced stellar work. They’ve helped the UN redesign its food distribution platform, designed HBO GO, a European on-demand streaming platform and gave Societe’s website a new look.
As a 40-strong team of UX professionals, they have been able to accomplish a fair amount in 7 years. More recently, they’ve been recognised by Clutch as a top UX agency in 2019. UX Studio has also left their mark on the industry. Their book titled “Product Design - A comprehensive guide to designing digital products people will love” is a 199-page manual that’s worth the read. UX Studio is based in Budapest
11. Work & Co
Making waves in the design world can ony be done through impeccable work. And with 348 staff members who care about design, product strategy and engineering, Work & Co delivers. They’ve worked with large brands like Apple, Virgin America, Chase, Ikea, Aldo and Google. Their iterative design approach, coupled with rapid prototyping, regular testing and optimization has helped them accomplish meaningful results. Over 90% of their clients offer the agency additional work and they’ve shipped over 207 products to date. Work & Co has offices in New York, Portland and São Paulo.
Founded in San Francisco in 1999, Method has been able to channel their creative flair for 20 years. In 2011, they were acquired by GlobalLogic, a project engineering and software development firm. In their time, Method has helped McDonalds, DAZN, Hitachi, Costa Coffee, Manchester City Football Club and more define and create pleasurable customer experiences. Method has studios in London and New York.
Momentum Design is an 18-year old UX design firm. They are headquartered in San Mateo and focus specifically on digital UX design. Their clients span both B2B and B2C markets and they’ve informed the design of someo of the most complex solutions around. For example, they helped Get Real Health revitalise their brand with an app that aggregates data from various sources to offer stakeholders critical information at the tap of a button. Their design has also been described as intuitive and they are known for delivering over and above their requirements. Momentum Design Lab has offices in New York, London and Sydney.
Praxnt is a digital UX agency that’s found their niche in the financial services industry. As such their focus is on custom software development, modernizing legacy systems, digital strategy, and web app development. They’ve also been recognised for their work having won the Inc. 5000 award in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Their clients include Bunglo, Nrg, The City of Houston, TicketCity, and more. Praxent is based in Austin, Texas.
15. Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g)
While NN/g was founded in 1998, the idea was born five years earlier. Co-founder Don Norman set the foundation for user experience, coining the term while at Apple. Over the next 21 years, NN/g has excelled at providing nothing shy of true design ingenuity. Their consulting client list includes the likes of American Express, Capital One, Ebay, PWC, Google, National Geographic, Visa, Sony and Verizon. NN/g’s methodology, like other agencies, is steeped in research, but theirs is far deeper. To date, they’ve tested over 2,000 interfaces, completed more than 4,000 user observations, analyzed thousands of hours of recorded user tests, and run countless focus groups and remote user tests. The firm has offices in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Singapore.
Infinum has been around for 15 years. In that time, they’ve grown to a 243-person firm with offices in New York, Croatia and Slovania.Their services also expand to software development and have worked with some of the largest brands around today. These include Bayer, Universal, Samsung, T-Mobile and Coca-Cola.They are known for having a young team charged with energy and the ability to adapt to produce great work.
17. The Gradient
The Gradient is a digital product design firm. They work with startups and enterprises, helping them find the most effective and user-friendly means of translating complex technology into intuitive user experiences. Their UX strategy, design and testing skills were behind Showdown Live, a platform where you can play live trivia game shows on your phone to win real-life gift-cards from retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Bestbuy and Starbucks. They’ve also influenced larger, more ambitious projects like Sentryc’s solution to fighting the misuse of brand assets online. The Gradient has offices in Lviv and Amsterdam.
League \ Design Agency is a mobile app, web app SaaS and web design firm. Founded in 2018 by two friends, theirs is a story of what can happen when the best of both worlds meet. Today, the young design firm is home to a 25-man team, and has over 43 companies from 16 countries as clients. As a young firm, they’ve worked with young and ambitious brands but also more established names like Whiskas. League \ Design is based in Keiv, Ukraine.
Emerge was founded in 1998. They are a Portland-based UX agency. Like most design firms, theirs is directed by future-thinking and a passion to build the best products they can produce, products that people love. They’ve also received numerous awards along the way. These include a Davey, 1MA, W3, a Webby and an Effie. They’ve worked with large brands. These include Nike, Alignment Healthcare, Icon Aircraft, Wacom and Unilever.
20. Slide UX
Slide UX is a family design agency. They’re a 19-man team based in Austin, Texas and also have a strong focus on UI design. They’ve worked on some of the most complex projects around. From a new and innovative way for TicketCity clients to purhcase tickets to helping Actian, a cloud and on-premise data management solution, create a single source of information in the form of a beautifully designed iPaaS product.
Wrapping This Up
This concludes our list of the top 20 UX design agencies. If you’re brand looking to better-position yourself and need a keen eye for detail and beautiful design, this list is sure to provide access to some of the most progressive and successful UX agencies today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the top UX agencies?
In this article, we have looked at some of the best UX agencies in the world. The top UX agencies we have covered are:
Work & Co
Momentum Design Lab
Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g)
League \ Design Agency
What does UX design mean?
User experience (UX) design is the process that design teams go through to make the user experience for a product useful for potential clients. We can probably all think of poorly designed products that give us an unpleasant user experience. UX design is the process of improving such designs, making them more user friendly. It is related to, yet different from, user interface (UI) design that focuses solely on designing the looks or style of a product. UX design covers much more.
What is a UX agency?
Like all agencies, UX agencies are specialist companies that do a task for their clients, rather than them having to do it in-house. In this case, the service UX agencies offer is designing the user experience for their clients' products. While larger companies can afford to employ full-time UX designers, many other companies prefer to outsource the work to a UX agency. UX agencies are excellent for when you lack sufficient UX experience or know-how in your team.
Does UX design require coding?
If you hire one of the UK agencies we have looked at in this article, you don't need to worry about coding. If you are looking at becoming a UX designer yourself, you do not necessarily have to concern yourself with coding either, however. This is true even if you work on websites and other IT projects. However, coding could give you a competitive advantage in those IT-related UX roles, as it may help you better demonstrate your UX design ideas.
What skills do UX designers need?
There are quite a few skills that will help a UX designer make themselves more employable, possibly even helping them gain a job in one of the prestigious UX agencies covered in this post. Some of the essential skills for a UX designer include:
Wireframing and prototyping capabilities
Core communications skills
Understanding of design interaction
Understanding numbers, percentages, and ratios
Coding – not essential, but could potentially add value
What are the 3 most important skills in a UX designer?
It is hard to isolate the three most important skills for a UX designer; If you are going to a UX agency, you are mainly looking for somebody who can do the job; someone who can design the UX for your product and meet your goals. The hard skills like wireframing and prototyping, research, and visual communication are all essential parts of the UX designer's job. But it would be impossible to succeed with many of the soft skills as well.