It's easy to get comfortable with the designs we see all around us. As a result, we often take them for granted and sometimes 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 inspire us!
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 is also currently the Director of 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.
In recent years, the term "UX" has become the buzzword that everyone uses — albeit sometimes too casually and without knowing what the acronym stands for. Find out the history of user experience design before it was defined by Don Norman and before it paved the way for a user-centered approach.
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 of Inspirit, an advisory firm that helps scale tech startups. Aside from that, she writes about technology, design, management, and leadership. In 2019, Julie released her book The Making of a Manager.
Did you know that Farai Madzima almost became 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.
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 in or working in design. A former Product Director at Google, and the CEO and Co-founder of Polar, Luke is currently an entrepreneur in residence at Sutter Hill Ventures. His job is focused on counseling startups and providing his expertise to help them grow. 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.
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 commandments of good design that we still use today.
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 his 25 years of 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.
was Ive instrumental in designing Apple's most iconic devices, but he also worked on iOS as well as designs for the Apple Stores. This London native has served as the Chief Design Officer at Apple for over two decades and, as Steve Jobs emphasized, is his "spiritual partner at Apple." In 2019, Jony Ive left Apple and launched his own design firm LoveFrom.
Ive received an honorary degree from the Royal College of Art (RCA) in 2009. On 25 May 2017, Ive was appointed Chancellor of the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London and served in this position for a fixed five-year term as the Head of College.
Aarron Walter is the author of the bestselling book Designing for Emotion and the former Vice President of Design Education at InVision. As former Director of User Experience at MailChimp, Aaron helped the product grow from several thousand users to more than 10 million. His guidance also helped the White House, the US Department of State, other major corporations, and startups. During the pandemic, Aaron was the Senior Product Lead for US Covid Response for designing contact tracing software and WHO Temporary Adviser for the Working Group on Digital Vaccination Certificate Standards, laying out specifications for digital vaccination certificates.
A big fan of math and science and a gadget geek, Irene Au always thought about using technology to make products that really serve people's needs. This led her to become an interaction designer working for Netscape, Yahoo, Google, and Udacity. Now, she's an operating partner at Khosla Ventures and helps other companies establish design practices, mentor, and grow the next generation of UX talents. She’s also an adjunct lecturer at Stanford University, where she teaches advanced product design.
Meet Chris Do — an ambitious Emmy award-winning designer, CEO, Chief Strategist of Blind, and Founder of Futur. As someone with a knack for teaching design and mentoring creative minds, Chris Do conducts lectures and workshops teaching people about innovation, entrepreneurship, business management, and customer service.
In the design world, Jakob Nielsen is a living legend for his *10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Design* — the holy grail of design success. He developed several usability methods, including heuristic evaluation, wrote books, and authored dozens of articles about usability. Together with Donald Norman, he founded the Nielsen Norman Group, where Nielsen advocates for users' needs, conducts user research, and provides consultations.
Feeling inspired? Kickstart your design career with Uxcel, where you’ll learn the foundations of good design, specializing in the niche of your choice, and find your dream design job. For a detailed guide on how to get started, check out our guide.