People get into UX for lots of reasons.
It’s an in-demand career, it’s rewarding, and it can improve how the world works.
We’re celebrating UX leaders who are making a difference. Who’s on your list?
1. Sasha Costanza-Chock
Sasha Costanza-Chock is a researcher, designer and activist. They are committed to making design processes more inclusive. The MIT professor, Harvard faculty associate, and Design Justice Network committee member released Design Justice in 2020. It explores how universal design practices can lead to social inequality.
Read: Design Justice
2. Laura Kalbag
Laura Kalbag is the author of Accessibility for Everyone. It’s about making websites more accessible to disabled people. She believes that technology should be designed with disabled people – not for them. Laura owns the Small Technology Foundation nonprofit, which creates everyday tools to increase human welfare, not corporate profits.
3. Tim Frick
Tim Frick founded the Mightybytes agency in 1998. They help nonprofits, social enterprises, and purpose-driven companies to increase their impact. They also created the Ecograder, where you can measure how green your website is. Tim’s also the author of Designing for Sustainability, which examines the environmental impact of the digital world.
4. Sarah Fathallah
Sarah Fathallah is an independent social designer, researcher, and co-founder of Design Gigs for Good. She uses her background in global development to tackle important social issues. She’s interested in the extractive nature of design, and how design can fall short in the social sector.
5. Robert Fabricant
Robert Fabricant is the co-founder of Dalberg Design. It’s a global design practice that focuses on social impact. His work spans from financial inclusion, social impact, public health, healthcare, and media. He’s also the author of User Friendly – a historical look at how design changed the world.
Read: User Friendly
6. Kat Zhou
Kat Zhou is a product designer at Spotify with a passion for ethical, accessible and inclusive design. Before getting into design, Kat studied public policy and ethics at Duke University. She’s the creator of <Design Ethically>, a project that gives tips on applying ethical practices to product design.
7. Tim Brown
Tim Brown is the executive chair of IDEO, a global design company. He’s also the author of Change By Design – an essential read about design thinking. While IDEO didn’t invent ‘design thinking’, they were early pioneers in using it. In a 2010 article, Tim discussed how nonprofits can benefit from it too. He’s also on the board of IDEO.org – a nonprofit design studio.
8. Reginé Gilbert
Reginé Gilbert is a UX designer and professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. She’s passionate about making the world more accessible for the end user. Reginé wrote Inclusive Design for a Digital World. The book offers straightforward solutions to designing inclusively.
9. Per Axbom
Per Axbom is a UX designer and independent consultant. He’s passionate about making tech safe and compassionate. Per writes about a range of topics around digital ethics on his blog and Medium. And he wrote a book called Digital Compassion. Per’s also a podcast host at UXPodcast, which moves beyond the traditional realm of UX.
Read: Digital Compassion
Listen: Making friends with… Per Axbom
10. Cennydd Bowles
Cennydd Bowles is a designer and futurist. He’s interested in what’s going to happen with tech and ethics. He has advised companies like Twitter, Samsung, and Accenture. And he’s lectured on design ethics in places like Facebook, Google, and Stanford University. His book Future Ethics is an interesting overview of the ethical dilemmas that tech creates.
Read: Future Ethics
Watch: Building Better Worlds
11. Alba Villamil
Alba Villamil is an independent design researcher in the social sector. In her doctoral sociology studies at Harvard, her focus was urban poverty, social policy, race, ethnicity, and immigration. Alba is now using her training to analyse what ethics mean in UX design. She’s passionate about solving inequality with immigrants and low income families.