When I look at the map of UX Companies in Munich, I’m fascinated by how big and diverse the local user experience design scene is. I played around with Data Wrapper to create charts and gain new insights into the many companies that create digital products and services in the Bavarian capital.
Please keep in mind that the statistics below are based on a public Google Doc that anyone can edit without any editorial process. For example, the document contains companies that practice UX design in the broadest sense. They might employ an army of designers or occasionally hire a freelancer. Since the data might be outdated (latest update in January 2021), incomplete, or even wrong you should take it with a grain of salt.
Munich is the city with the most DAX companies and home to many global players, especially in the tech industry. Many of these firms have realized that good design is good business and are therefore building up UX competency inhouse. However, the demand for good UX design is far greater than what they can handle themselves. This creates business opportunities for a variety of service providers such as IT companies, recruiting firms, and design agencies.
A second group that fundamentally shapes the local UX scene are the startups. According to some rankings, Munich is the second most important startup city in Germany. For many of these young companies, user experience plays a crucial role and they’re employing designers from the very start.
The chart above shows that companies of any type come in many sizes. On the one hand, it’s not a surprise that most industrial and media companies are big enterprises, while startups are comparatively small. On the other hand, IT companies, agencies, and consultancies range from a few people to many hundred employees. Please note that size, in this case, refers to the global size of a company and not only their Munich office.
As we can see from the first chart, design agencies make up the biggest portion of the local UX scene. They’re incredibly diverse in regard to their size, organization, and the work they focus on. In addition to global agencies with an office in Munich, there are also many small and independent design studios.
The ratings from kununu are an interesting data point to get an impression on what it’s like to work for a certain company. The charts above visualize two dimensions: the kununu rating on a scale from 1-5 and the count (how many people have rated the company). Most companies have between 3-5 points and fewer than 500 ratings. Bigger companies usually have more ratings but also lesser points.
What’s interesting about this list is that six of these companies are startups and most of them are small or medium size. Looking closer, the data suggests that a medium-sized startup is the best place to work for a UX designer in Munich.
It’s no secret that lots of design-related companies are being acquired, especially by management consultancies. This global trend can also be observed in Munich but the majority of design agencies remain independent. Please note that “acquired” in this case does not necessarily mean that a company is fully owned by another company. It can also mean that they sold only a smaller part of their business.
When we look at the size of acquired design agencies, we can make an interesting observation: most of them employ more than 50 people. One reason might be a fundamental problem with the agency business model that makes it especially hard for bigger agencies to sustain a profitable business.