Hi there,

I am somewhat of an aspiring designer. For my self awareness and potential employment opportunities down the road, I am wondering which companies are known for being great at design, if you guys have any suggestions. For example, I think Apple has such a reputation with their products (not necessarily web-based). Amazon.com is often cited in design books as a pioneer in pioneering/implementing design principles. When I went to an interaction design conference, Microsoft and IBM's research groups had the biggest presence. Nokia is also known in this space, I believe. Some aspects of Google (such as Google Maps) have terrific interaction models.

I believe most large websites should now have a design/user experience group, but there must be some who do better/more than others. Please feel free to name companies/websites that do well in this area.