It's easy to get comfortable with the designs we see all around us. As a result, we often take them for granted and don't even know how they originated. So, let's pay homage to some of the all-time UX/UI design greats and learn a bit more about the designers who inspired us!
#1 Don Norman
Meet the godfather of UX and the ex-Vice President of Apple — Don Norman. Not only is Don a co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, but he also currently Director of the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego. He's spent most of his life researching, teaching, and supporting user-centered design. Don Norman was the first person to coin the term "user experience" in his now legendary book The Design of Everyday Things, and was the first to use UX in a job title. He's been on numerous advisory boards and boards of directors throughout his career, published 18 books, and continues to speak at multiple UX events and conferences.
#2 Julie Zhou
Julie Zhuo started her career as an intern in the early days of Facebook, and she went on to become the Vice President of Product Design. With more than 14 years of experience, she is now a co-founder for Inspirit, an advisory firm that helps scale tech startups. Aside from that, she writes about technology, design, management, and leadership. In 2019, Julie released the book The Making of a Manager.
#3 Farai Madzima
Did you know that Farai Madzima almost become a doctor, but, fortunately for designers worldwide, he changed his mind? Now Farai is working as UX Lead at Shopify in Canada with over 10 years of design experience. You've probably seen one of his talks at various UX events, including the Pixel Up! conference that he organizes himself. Farai is also an altruistic designer who's worked on several banking apps in Africa, where users either have limited Internet access or use simple mobile devices.
#4 Luke Wroblewski
Luke Wroblewski is one of the most influential UX experts and the inventor of the mobile-first concept — his book Mobile First is a must-read for anyone interested or working in design. He's currently a Product Director at Google, and the CEO and Co-founder of Polar — spoiler alert, Google acquired it. Apart from writing books and articles about digital product design and strategy, he's also a conference speaker and founder of LukeW Ideation & Design, a product strategy & design consultancy agency.
#5 Dieter Rams
Dieter Rams led Braun and Vitsoe's consumer product design for many years, and he never once stopped to ask himself, "Is my design a good design?" He's considered one of the most influential product designers, a man who helped shape the look and feel of some of our most beloved gadgets — from the coffeemaker to the portable radio. About 50 years ago, he developed the 10 principles of good design that we still use today.
#6 Steve Krug
Even if you're a design noob, you're most likely familiar with the name Steve Krug. His first book, Don't Make Me Think, teaches and inspires generations of designers to do one thing well — be more empathetic and create better user experiences. The book is now on its third edition and has sold over 600k copies in 15 languages. Steve draws on 25 years' experience as a UX consultant for a wide range of well-known brands, including Apple, Bloomberg, Lexus, National Public Radio, and the International Monetary Fund.