Designers, authors, speakers, influencers, entrepreneurs – here are a few women who are shaping (and shaking) our industry and inspiring other designers to do the same.
Today is International Women’s Day. According to Wikipedia, in different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women for their economic, political and social achievements.
That’s what we’re celebrating with this list: achievements.
Despite all progress we are seeing in issues like gender equality, we believe there is still room for improvements. And there’s no better way for helping young female designers realize their full potential in UX, than looking at other women who are already leading our discipline.
Everything started with Thássya Macedo hitting me up on Messenger: “do you have a list of women to follow at UX?”. I didn’t, and I couldn’t find any good references online. So we figured out we would build our own . After a few weeks collecting references and asking suggestions from our UX friends, we selected a list with 30 women we admire that are rocking at companies, writing about UX, and influencing/contributing to the broader community of UX designers.
Abby Covert is the creator of the World Information Architecture Day.
Abby, over the pseudonym "Abby the IA", shares content on information architecture with the design and tech communities. President of the Information Architecture Institute, she has created the World Information Architecture Day, a free annual conference held simultaneously in dozens of locations across the globe. She also wrote “How to Make Sense of Any Mess: Information Architecture for Everybody” in 2014 at Createspace.
Abby Covert – Medium
Read writing from Abby Covert on Medium. I'm an Information Architect || I aim to make the unclear, clear. Every day…medium.com
Brenda Laurel, Ph.D. works as an independent scholar and consultant. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusiveness in game field and a “pioneer in developing virtual reality”. She has worked for Atari, co-founded the game development firm Purple Moon, and served as an interaction design consultant for multiple companies including Sony Pictures, Apple, and Citibank. Author of “Computers as Theatre” by Addison-Wesley Professional, “Design Research: Methods and Perspectives” by MIT Press and others.
Brenda Laurel – Wikipedia
Brenda Laurel, Ph.D. works as an independent scholar and consultant. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusiveness…en.wikipedia.org
Carol is an award-winning author and speaker, and has published six books, including her latest, Usability Testing Essentials: Ready, Set … Test!
Carol is co-founder and director of user research for UX Firm, based in Atlanta. In a former life she was director of graduate programs in Information Design and Communication at Southern Polytechnic State University and the director of the Usability Center. In 2013, Carol was named one of the Top 20 Women Professors in Georgia.
Carol Barnum (@CarolBarnum) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from Carol Barnum (@CarolBarnum). My passion is working with clients to learn their users' experience…twitter.com
Catherine has been influencing design and business at the biggest tech companies in the Silicon Valley.
Courage is a well-established writer and speaker in the experience space, current VP Ads & Commerce UX at Google. She co-authored the book "Understanding Your Users" and her work on design thinking has been featured in Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Fast Company, and TEDx. She has received multiple awards, including being twice recognized by Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of 2011’s “40 under 40” and 2013’s “Women of Influence.”
Wodtke has held a series of executive roles in the tech industry, most notably leading teams who built the events platform and created an algorithm for Linkedin’s newsfeed, leading a redesign of Myspace and its profile pages and leading the design and launch of the Zynga.com. She is also a co-founder and past president of the Information Architecture Institute and writes for Boxes and Arrows. She now teach the next generation of designers at CCA, and write books on business and design. She founded B&A as well, and was publisher for 15 years, author of "Radical Focus and Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web".
Christina Wodtke – Medium
Read writing from Christina Wodtke on Medium. Designing business, and the business of design. www.eleganthack.com…medium.com
Crystal is the owner & organizer of the LA User Experience Meetup Group, one of largest meet-up groups for UX in the United States.
Crystal has a wide experience working for companies such as AT&T, Guinness, Levi’s, Microsoft, Honda, Pepsi, Verizon & MTV. She also organizes skills enhancement and networking opportunities for fellow professionals through a bi-monthly UX Breakfast Club series and a 3,000-person-strong Los Angeles User Experience Meetup group.
Dana worked for President Obama at the U.S. Digital Service (2014–16) and after that she co-found the Center for Civic Design with Whitney Quesenbery, where her team works to ensure that every interaction people have with government is efficient, effective, and pleasant. Co-author of "Handbook of Usability Testing" through Wiley published in 2008.
Dana Chisnell – Medium
Read writing from Dana Chisnell on Medium. If you want users to love your design, fall in love with your users. Tweets…medium.com
Donna has a career of over 18 years, in which she had written three books: on information architecture, card sorting and writing for the web. She regularly teaches workshops, mentors startups, writes articles for online magazines, and is a technical editor for Smashing Magazine. Recognized internationally as a leading UX practitioner, she is also in demand as a judge for leading web and design awards.
Donna Spencer – Medium
I'm surprised every time this happens. After all, all the costs for a conference are known ahead of time – you know how…medium.com
Elizabeth Churchill has been humanizing products we use everyday as Director of User Experience at Google.
Elizabeth is an applied social scientist working in the area of human computer interaction, she has worked in academia and in industry in various roles. Her past affiliations include eBay Research Labs. (eRL), Yahoo! Research, PARC, and Fuji Xerox’s research lab in Palo Alto, FXPAL. She also did a remarkable work on gender equality on our field, co-authoring studies such as “Feminism and HCI: New Perspectives” at Interaction with computers paper, a scientific magazine.
Elizabeth Churchill (@xeeliz) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from Elizabeth Churchill (@xeeliz). Curiouser and Curiouser!. San Franciscotwitter.com
Co-founder of LadiesthatUX.
Georgie co-founded Ladies That UX in 2013 to bring female UXers together. Ladies that UX now has 50 chapters worldwide. In 2015 she curated Talk UX in Manchester, the first UX conference with an all-female line-up.
Georgie Bottomley (@bottomley_g) | Twitter
The latest Tweets from Georgie Bottomley (@bottomley_g). UX Designer, co-founder of @LadiesthatUX and @Talk_UX theatre…twitter.com
Irene Au is an operating partner at Khosla Ventures, where she works with portfolio companies to make their design great. She has led design at Google (2006–2012), Yahoo! (1998–2006), and Udacity (2012–2014), shaped how the internet works and appears. Irene mentored literally hundreds of designers. She began her career as an interaction designer at Netscape Communications, where she designed the Internet’s first commercial web browser. She do influences the market, recently wrote “Design in Venture Capital: How Design Drives Investment and Company Success” by O’Reillly.
Irene Au – Medium
Read writing from Irene Au on Medium. Design Partner at Khosla Ventures; former head of design at Google, Yahoo…medium.com
Focused on Enterprise iOS app design, Jane can be named as an active Twitter user and being one of those female UX influencers who post and share news from UX world on a daily basis. She’s also an animal rights activist.
Jane Pyle – Medium
Read writing from Jane Pyle on Medium. User Experience designer focused on iOS app design. Animal rights activist…medium.com
Julie leads the design team focused on engagement and core experiences at Facebook, including News Feed, content discovery, and Facebook’s mobile apps. She has been at Facebook since 2006 helping the service grow from 8 million users to over 1 billion. She writes regularly about design, technology, and life on Medium. Don't hesitate to follow her on Twitter.
Julie Zhuo – Medium
Read writing from Julie Zhuo on Medium. Product design VP @ Facebook. Lover of food, games, words. Find me @joulee or…medium.com
Karen has helped businesses create better digital products through the power of user experience design and content strategy for the past twenty years. She is Managing Partner at Bond Art + Science and formerly VP and National Lead for User Experience at Razorfish.
Karen McGrane – Medium
Read writing from Karen McGrane on Medium. On a good day, I make the web more awesome. On a bad day, I just make it…medium.com
Kim has spent over 20 years in UX, both consulting and in-house. She’s currently serving as VP of Product and User Experience at PatientsLikeMe. Former VP of Design & General Manager at Cooper.
Kim Goodwin – Medium
Read writing from Kim Goodwin on Medium. Author of Designing for the Digital Age. UX executive at PatientsLikeMe …medium.com
Through her books, Laura Klein helps teams to design products people use and love.
Laura fell in love with technology when she saw her first user research session over 20 years ago. Since then, she’s worked as an engineer, UX designer, and product manager in Silicon Valley for companies of all sizes. She wrote important books such as "Build Better Products" by Rosenfeld Media published on 2016 and "UX for Lean Startups" by O’Reilly Media on 2013.
Laura Klein – Medium
This post originally appeared on Rosenfeld Media . Product managers and UX designers understand the need for user…medium.com
Leah is a veteran of the experience design industry, bridging the roles of practitioner and analyst, helping companies evaluate where they stand competitively with respect to design, and then turns around, rolls up her sleeves, and help their design teams do the hard work. She also worked as lead experience designer at Intuit Adaptive Path. She is author of "The User Experience Team Of One: A Research And Design Survival Guide" by Rosenfeld.
Leah Buley – Medium
Two years ago I found myself on the phone, talking with a recruiter about a potential UX design leadership role for an…medium.com
Leisa has experience on building and leading teams who transform public services with user centered service design. Currently with the Australian government, previously with UK Government at the Government Digital Service (GOV.UK).
Leisa Reichelt – Medium
The world hardly needs another definition of the word algorithm, but here I go anyway: an algorithm is a set of steps…medium.com
Author of the Service Innovation Handbook, and director of the innovation insights hub at University of the Arts London.
Lucy has been involved in research, teaching and assessment within leading international universities for over a decade, with a particular focus on the role of design in society, services and innovation.
Margaret Gould Stewart
At Facebook (and previously at YouTube), Margaret Gould Stewart designs experiences that touch the lives of a large percentage of the world’s population. She approaches her work with a combined appreciation for timeless great design and transient digital technologies, and always with the end goal of improving people’s lives. As she says: “Design is creativity in service of others.”
Margaret Gould Stewart – Medium
Read writing from Margaret Gould Stewart on Medium. Vice-President of Product Design at Facebook. Previously at YouTube…medium.com
Pamela is a design researcher and data scientist specializing in emotional intelligence, the science of happiness, and positive design. She is founder of Change Sciences, a research think tank focused on humanizing technology. She has taught at the Stanford d.School, ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination, and Parsons. She recently released “Designing for Happiness: Rethinking How We Create Products” by O’Reilly.
Pamela Pavliscak – Medium
Read writing from Pamela Pavliscak on Medium. Researching our conflicted relationship with technology | Emotional…medium.com
Sara Wachter-Boettcher is a content strategy consultant, writer, and the editor-in-chief of A List Apart. She is the author of Content Everywhere from Rosenfeld Media, a frequent conference speaker, and a content strategy workshop facilitator.
Sara Wachter-Boettcher – Medium
Sometime yesterday, while this article was in the process of blowing up, Apple updated Siri's response to some of the…medium.com
Stephanie is a designer, researcher and closet anthropologist. A mobile industry veteran with a keen eye on emerging technologies, Stephanie speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on design and strategy all over the world. She is also co-founder and principal at Yiibu, where she explores the human impact of embedding technology into every day life.
Stephanie Rieger – Medium
Exactly. My thinking lately is that we may need a mix of serendipity and implicit choice to deviate from a 'normal…medium.com
Rocking on academic world doing a serious and profound work about digital design and co-creation at enterprises.
Susan shines at Human-Computer Interaction studies, comparing different design methodologies for uncover the design, use, and impacts of digital technologies for co-creating in enterprises. Her studies employ grounded theory, ethnography, and qualitative/mixed methods to investigate domains including Enterprise System design, distributed virtual organizations, peer- and vicarious learning in online education, and research networks of practice. We highlight two articles: “A Framework for the Co-design of Business and IT Systems. In: HICSS 2008” and “Human-Centered Vs. User-Centered Approaches to Information System Design. (JITTA), 5:2, 2003, 29–46.
Susan Gasson | LinkedIn
In this article, we explore the meanings of objectual practice that are revealed by examining embedded information…www.linkedin.com
Susan is an Phd with 30+ years for experience on behavior science, applying psychology principles on design, communication and virtual interaction. Consultant for big corporations, education institution, startups and US governement. Her publishments include: “How To Get People To Do Stuff” and “100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People”.
Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D. – Medium
When I was in graduate school working on my Ph.D. I had recurring feelings of anxiety bordering on panic. Although my…medium.com
Whitney Hess spent more than a decade as a user experience designer, and now brings its empathy-based philosophy and practices to coaching creative leaders and their organizations. Her life’s mission is to put humanity back into business. Since 2005, Whitney has instituted human-centered practices at hundreds of leading organizations — transforming process, communication and culture.
Whitney Hess – Medium
Read writing from Whitney Hess on Medium. I'm just trying to leave this world a little better than I found it. http:…medium.com
Co-founder of the Center for Civic Design.
Whitney combines a fascination with people and an obsession to communicate clearly with her goal of bringing user research insights to designing products where people matter. She’s also advocates for civic design. As co-director of the non-profit Center for Civic Design Whitney is a co-author of two influential Brennan Center reports that show just how much design matters in elections.
Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp and Jenny Preece
Yvonne is internationally renowned for her work in HCI and ubiquitous computing and for her innovative approach to ubiquitous learning. She was awarded for her work rethinking the relationship between ageing, computing, and creativity.
Yvonne Rogers | LinkedIn
Seconded from my role in Pennine Acute to work on the ‘Making It Better’ initiative which involved the reconfiguration…www.linkedin.com
Helen was originally software engineer that has included user centered design at her life after watching for several years the people's frustration on trying to using system that did not support them.
Jenny focuses on the intersection of information, community, and technology. She has researched ways to include empathy on social support online, patterns of online participation, reasons for not participating and strategies for supporting online communication. She is widely published and she is a regular keynote speaker on these topics.
Well, it won't be possible to to cover all the UX women who are rocking on it, this list is only a first reference based on our subjectiveness. So, please, leave your comment in case of someone you think should be part of this list and help us to complement it.
Happy International Women’s Day 🙂
Thassya Macedo | LinkedIn
Professora de User Experience no curso de Mobile App Design.www.linkedin.com
Special thanks to Fabricio Teixeira for all his encouragement, and for editing this article to make it look sharp. Also, thanks to Lu Terceiro, lulileslie, Bruno Canato, Flavio Nazario, and anita for their contributions on making this happen.
update: Christina Wodtke suggested UX Talk Design as more reference for genial and inspiration women! Tks 😉