First User Group is an innovative strategy firm providing modern business strategy, digital product and consumer electronic design.


A little history

Our Managing Partners were driving cabs and writing for local newspapers in San Francisco when this thing called the ‘Internet’ happened. They put up one of the very first websites and before long, people were calling them asking for help to also go online. Rebel Consultants was born. Over the next 10 years, Rebel became the leading Information Architecture firm in San Francisco; bringing to life many of the online brands we use every day. We developed our design methodology, called Experience Design or XD post dot-bomb and started working with consumer electronic products in 2000 with Sony.

A name change to ‘First User’ was made to reflect our device and digital testing business. Ever since that time, First User Group has been at the forefront of not only digital design and physical product design, but business strategy as well. Our strategic work has helped reshape the way enterprise companies work with technology and provide product to consumers.

First User Group is owned by award-winning designers who are recognized as the thought leaders in both Business Strategy and the world of design. They believe in the strategic design process and in spreading the word on the power of an XD methodology.

Our Managing Partners and XD Pros are life-experience junkies. We live to ‘experience everything’ and we avoid the mundane like the plague. We are detractors, independent thinkers, intellectuals, inventors and entrepreneurs; and our passion for customer knowledge and design is palpable. Ask us about how our design or strategic insights can impact your business and you’ll see this passion, every time.

We are changing the world

The results of our customer-centric XD methodology is changing the world for the better. Our designs are in front of 90% of Americans every… single… day.

Our digital designs bring people together and deliver their news and allow them to get more done at work. Our electronic designs sit on the shelves of Target and Best Buy and Home Depot and thousands of other brick and online outlets across the globe.

We are proud of our work and in calling ourselves the design and strategic experts in the room. Despite our experience, we work to bring a clean slate to every project – no assumptions, no white-boarding your customer’s experience, no preconceived notions of how things should be done. We study the customer and then design. We strategize from raw data and leave the assumptions to other firms.

Our client manifesto

We do what we promise.
Your needs come before ours.
We bid on projects, not on time and materials.
We deliver substantial ROI with every engagement. For 20 years.

An Insight Into Our Success – We Study People

We study people. Anthropologically, behaviorally, cognitively, emotionally. We would argue that this study of people is the most important aspect of product design and strategic work, and by extension, your business.

We believe that all products can be at once useful, beautiful, and compelling. We believe that our methodology of studying people is the holy grail of strategy and product design, hence our name: We are the ‘First Users’ of whatever our clients are building.

Without exception, we make products better. Without exception, we make companies better.

The results of our work have won awards and accolades the world over.

Love where you live…

We travel most to Hong Kong and New York, but we work in two of the most user-friendly cities in the world, San Francisco, California and Boulder, Colorado. One at the base of the sea and the other at the base of the continental divide… if only we could squeeze these two places together!

We choose to live/work here because we know that quality of life is essential to doing great work. We do sometimes take extended trips to New York or London or Hong Kong, but we wouldn’t be able to take a mind-clearing stroll on Baker Beach or climb Sanitas on a Tuesday evening. Love where you live; and then work there too.

We may be looking for you ...

If you live in Boulder or San Francisco, and are an expert in Experience Design, contact us!


Innovation and outstanding products are only an email away…
P: San Francisco/Boulder: 415.937.1242
E: info@firstusergroup [dot] com
Book: speaking@firstusergroup [dot] com
Copyright First User Group, All Rights Reserved © 2017