Innovation catalyst for the Global 500.

Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Seattle, WA, Smashing Ideas is a design and innovation agency with deep expertise in creating highly engaging digital experiences. We partner with the Global 500 to create connected smart products, apps, websites, and content management systems that make a positive impact on user engagement and our clients’ bottom line.

From business strategy and service design to UX, visual design, and development, our trademarked process, Motivational UX™, accelerates digital transformation and increases user engagement. Our unique service offerings, which include lean strategy, digital product and service design, product realization, managed services, and data science and analytics, has resulted in 60+ awards and a Fortune 500 client list spanning manufacturing, mobility, health, entertainment, and retail.

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Seattle, WA
  • 2211 Elliott Ave, Suite 110
    Seattle, WA 98121
    United States


Key clients: 
  • ReachNow
  • Philips
  • Johnson Controls 
  • Sony Pictures Television
  • Penguin Random House
  • Panasonic Avionics
  • GE
  • Microsoft
  • University of Washington
  • American Greetings


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Design for Newspaper Publishing Company

"The part where Smashing Ideas just rocks is creating an idea that they can execute well on."

Willing to refer: 
The Project
$200,000 to $999,999
2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Smashing Ideas developed mobile applications which could be used for a news outlet's weather broadcasting. Their work remains ongoing.

The Reviewer
1000-10,000 Employees
McLean, Virginia
Senior Manager, Newspaper Publishing Company
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Smashing Ideas created fantastic ideas and was able to bring them into reality. Their Android development skills were a weak point, they boasted many technical skills and put in the effort to improve. Their creativity, communication, and reasonable advice made them a valuable partner.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.


Please describe your company.

The parent company is newspaper publishing company, based out of United States. It operates more than a hundred different local media properties. It employs tens of thousands of workers.

What is your role and responsibilities?

My title is senior manager for emerging products, working primarily with the broadcast arm of our parent company. My responsibilities are any new products that the company is not yet built to handle. For the past few years, that’s been focused almost exclusively on mobile opportunities.


What was your goal for working with Smashing Ideas?

Our strategy was that we wanted to win weather broadcasting locally on mobile. Weather is an important piece of the broadcast puzzle, and we didn’t want to lose the leadership as mobile devices permeated everywhere. So we engaged with Smashing Ideas originally just for the iPad, and then expanded the engagement to include the smartphones, to help envision, and ultimately build a dedicated weather app for those devices.


Please describe the scope of their work.

It was essentially built off of four distinct engagements that ran one after another. The first engagement that we did with them was kind of a discovery project.  We were creating what we all thought the product should be. So, the team at Smashing Ideas helped provide a little bit of research, some prototypes, and just overall conceiving of the product.

Then, we moved on to the next engagement, which was to build the iPad app exclusively based on those original ideas. The third engagement was to build a smartphone app with a slightly new and different approach than the iPad app. Then the fourth engagement was a retainer to get into evolving all of those products.

What was your process for selecting Smashing Ideas with which to work?

The original engagement was basically to find a creative agency that we could work with, who had extensive experience with deep interactive, and ideally fun, experiences on mobile. We were also considering any other experiences with interactive displays. Since I’m based in Seattle, I looked first into Seattle, but also considered the national, big players in mobile. I interviewed with each of them, and Smashing Ideas impressed me.

Even before we were fully engaged with them, they were bringing some really creative ideas to the table that were based on spin offs of the original conversation as well as new ideas.  It was those new ideas that gave me the confidence that they were really listening and trying to understand the root problem that we were trying to solve. That’s what drove me to select Smashing Ideas.

Can you provide a ballpark dollar figure for the size of the work that they’ve done for you?

For the initial idea and prototyping, it was in the $50,000 to $75,000 range. For building the iPad app, I believe that was in the $200,000 range. For the smartphone apps, I believe that was in the $250,000 to $300,000 range. For the retainer, that is about $250,000.

When did you start working with them, and is the relationship ongoing?

I think it would be about three years ago, and it is ongoing. 


Do you have any statistics or metrics to track improvement from the project?

The fact that we’ve continued working with them for so long would probably be the biggest endorsement of them. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t encountered any problems, but we’ve generally worked through those.

Is there anything unique about them that really makes them stand out, compared to other companies?

The part where Smashing Ideas just rocks on is creating an idea that they can execute well on. Meaning that, when they’re coming up with the ideas, they’re phenomenal ideas, and they’re also reasonable and feasible ideas. That mix of creativity and always knowing what can be executed, is where they’re strongest. Their ability to execute on the creative ideas that the team comes up with is what distinguishes them for me.

They’ve performed well across the board. There are some areas where they’re stronger, and some areas where they’re weaker.

Looking back on the work so far, is there any area that you think they could improve upon or something that you might do differently?

The areas they weren’t as strong while working with them was on Android development. That was initially a weak spot for them, and it seems to be getting better over time.

Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer