A leader in B2B workplace software design, Neuron is a San Francisco based UX/UI design agency that creates best-in-class digital experiences to help businesses succeed in today's digital world.
- Design process
- Collaboration with other teams
- Team structure
- Career growth
- Learning opportunities
- Measuring success
- Target users and customers
- Business and user problems
- Design tools
- Design system
- Hardest thing about being a designer
- Interview process
- Company vision
- Work-life balance
- Health and well-being
- Compensation transparency
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No UX design project can begin without discovery. As a digital agency, Neuron productizes this process into something we call “SPARC”. Standing for, “Strategic Planning, Audit, and Research Compilation,” this output builds the necessary foundation required for all future design decisions.
Collaboration with other teams
As a design studio, cross-functional collaboration (internally) is not really a thing. Collaboration does, however, occur externally with our clients through weekly meetings as well as asynchronous communication via Slack and Figma.
Neuron consists of UX Designers, Senior UX Designers, UX Leads, and a Creative Director. Depending on the project size, 2-3 designers will work on the same team; with periodic input from the Creative Director if requested.
Most projects tend to last 6-8 months, with designers typically contributing to one project at the time. Occasionally there is some overlap towards the end of a project as onboarding to a new project begins.
We are always cognizant of matching our designers to the project or industry type that they are most interested in. While Neuron’s core-focus is B2B product design, we work across many different industries, providing designers with an array of opportunities.
The standard trajectory is UXD > Sr. UXD > UX Lead. However each designer is different and some prefer to remain creatively “in the trenches” long term. If the path of becoming UX Lead (manager) is not desired, there is still definitely room for salary growth as an individual design contributor.
Upon joining, new designers are matched with a senior mentor on the team to help them get up to speed with Neuron’s various methodologies. However we are always open to new designers’ own unique ideas/practices, allowing us to collectively grow stronger as a team.
One month into a new role, there is a check-in between the new designer and two members of upper management. Beyond this we welcome additional discussions as requested, with a minimum of a yearly December review.
In addition to mentorship and check-ins, Neuron is happy to pay for continuing education courses that a designer might find value in.
Success is measured by the feedback we receive from our clients, and an on-time, on-budget delivery of the work. Ultimately their success is one we share responsibility in, and we are driven (as teams) to always be aware of clients’ evolving user and business goals.
Target users and customers
Neuron’s specialty is B2B product design. In most cases our clients are B2B software companies. Within B2B we are industry agnostic, however a commonality across our portfolio is designing to improve productivity, insights, and management. The goal for many of our clients tends to be increasing user acquisition, expansion, and retention. This is something that can be achieved through great product design.
Business and user problems
The answer is different with each client and is a byproduct of the SPARC process. During SPARC, we are uncovering user and business product goals that are categorized as either: Defense, Offense, or Stealth.
Figma is our tool of choice. Over the years we have used Sketch and even Adobe Illustrator to produce designs, but the advantages of Figma simply outweigh any other design tool on the market. For team members who work on animated content, we use either Adobe After Effects or Principle.
A design system is created for each project, in the form of a shared Figma library.
Hardest thing about being a designer
Each project presents its own unique challenges, but often the most challenging part of a project is getting up to speed on a completely new industry or product type. Of course across clients there is often industry overlap, but we pride ourselves on our ability to break through ambiguity and embrace the nuances of each new client/industry.
We conduct three interviews and present candidates with a take-home design challenge.
The first interview is a one-on-one, where the candidate screenshares 2-3 Figma work samples. Following the first round, they are sent the short take home design challenge.
Once the solution to the design challenge is produced, the candidate then presents it to the Creative Director and Director of Strategy in a second round interview.
Round three is meant as an opportunity for the candidate to learn more about the Neuron culture by interviewing with some non director-level members of the team – temmates who they may be working alongside on a project.
Our goal is to double in size in the coming year. Historically we have been more of a boutique design agency, but with a proven track record there is a lot of new client interest and we look forward to onboarding inspiring designers to our team.
Neuron is a distributed (remote) organization. This is something that unlocks long-term improved work-life balance, and is a practice that will persist even after the pandemic.
Members of our team have the freedom to work from anywhere, provided they have a strong internet connection. This does however require a certain mindset, specifically the ability to be self-starter and remain task-focused without someone peering over the shoulder. We expect this level of accountability from our employees.
In addition to the usual standup culture, we also have Friday “teardowns” where members of the team present progress on a project they are working on. This can be an opportunity to get team-wide input on a problem one is looking to solve, or it can be a moment of celebration at the end of a project.
Health and well-being
For designers residing in the US, Neuron offers Health, Dental, Vision, and 401k.
Having a smaller office footprint means having a smaller carbon footprint. We do maintain a modest 3-person WeWork office space in San Francisco, but beyond that we promote a largely digital-only presence.
While we are not able to offer compensation as extravagant as some of the tech behemoths (Google, Meta, etc.) we do offer competitive salary and quarterly bonuses based on the agency’s profitability.