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Fresh off the heels of the Skillcrush Visual Design Summit, our team has been fielding tons of ongoing requests from our attendees, many of whom want to transition into a career in design, to get more exposure to designers in the industry. I’m not surprised! Our summit featured 6 talented ladies who have pretty diverse careers in design between them – from product design to design researcher and everything in between!
There’s never been a better time to learn design – and whether you’re looking to change your full-time career or just want to pick up some skills to launch a side hustle or hobby site, I encourage you to check out the replay links from our #visualdesignsummit here.
The summit was a jam-packed day full of incredible career advice, inspiring stories, design tips, and best practices for beginners. To top it all off, our diverse panel of guests provided insights into what a typical day (if there is such a thing in such a dynamic, exciting field) looks like for them.
After the summit replay, If you’re eager to learn even more about the exciting world of design, I strongly recommend beginning by following this list of 39 designers who are kicking ass and taking names in the biz – and sharing what they do and what they learn along the way with us.
The list includes designers who received feedback from POTUS himself (can you imagine that redesign process?), renegade designers who left enterprise companies to pursue innovative tech at small agency start-ups, designers of famous books covers (think authors like Stephen King), young talent defining the future of the industry and seasoned veterans who literally wrote the book on groundbreaking web concepts and technologies.
After following this group on Twitter, sign up for our Visual Design Blueprint – no prior skills required.
Who knows – you could end up hob-nobbing with these greats in 3-5 years.
Designers Featured in the Visual Design Summit
1. Aisha Souto-Maior – Our Lead Designer here at Skillcrush, Aisha often shares her tips for adapting as you progress in your career.
2. Becky Simpson – Becky is a freelance illustrator, the author of 2 books, and the founder of online design shop Chipper Things.
3. Danielle Moser – Danielle is a product designer at design firm Funsize (and my coworker too!) here in Austin, TX. She transitioned from a career in project management to product design.
4. Karen Timmermann – Karen is a Mexican visual designer transplanted to the midwest. She works as a freelance graphic designer and app designer.
5. Natalie Cosgrove – Natalie is a lead designer at HelloFlo, a women’s health content and e-commerce brand. She’s a go-to source on brand strategy and identity.
6. Ximena Vengoechea – Ximena is a design researcher, writer, and illustrator who currently works as a user researcher at Pinterest.
7. Jonathan Snook – Jonathan is a well-known web designer, developer, writer, and speaker. He authored the book Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS and also runs an active blog full of great design and development tips.
8. Sarah Parmenter – Sarah probably has the most title slashes of everyone on this list. She’s a designer / entrepreneur / teacher / speaker / author / singer / actress / podcast host. And there are still most likely several titles I missed. She’s a must on your Twitter feed, and everywhere else.
Noticing a shift in UX on social media where the networks are trying to actively discourage so much name-tagging, in favour of real comments
— Sarah Parmenter (@sazzy) May 27, 2016
9. Larissa Meek – Larissa is the Creative Director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers Experience Center. She regularly speaks at SXSW, Future of Web Design, and the Front End Dev Conference. Her writing is featured in publications like Smashing Magazine and .net Magazine.
10. Amira Hailemariam – Amira is a recent designer-turned-developer who does lots of smart things, including maintaining this great list of awesome women on Twitter, on Github (hey newbies – what a great first project to contribute to!)
11. Dan Cederholm – Dan co-founded Dribbble. Yup. THE Dribbble. He runs design studio SimpleBits (SimpleBits is also the name of his blog). Dan has written several books, including two for A List Apart on Sass and CSS3—we recommend his titles all the time here at Skillcrush.
12. Yesenia Perez-Cruz – Yesenia is a Design Director at Vox. She was previously at Happy Cog and has worked for clients like MTV and Zappos, to name a few. Her feed is full of design and development resources as well as tweets about her personal interests and daily life.
14. Sophie Shepherd – Sophie is a designer at Github and an instructor at Girl Develop IT, where she teaches Responsive Design and Sass. She’s also a Dribbble organizer and super active in the design community.
There’s a long way to go but I’m proud to be a part of a team that takes this stuff seriously: https://t.co/Kb8kHZ6b5R
— Sophie Shepherd (@sophshepherd) May 26, 2016
15. Andy Budd – Andy is a user experience designer, author, and partner at Clearleft in England. I always bookmark a ton of the stuff he Tweets and writes.
17. Ashleigh Axios – Ashleigh is the White House’s former creative director and digital strategist. Ashleigh led her team through the process of redesigning the Whitehouse.gov website—imagine having POTUS provide feedback on your work!
18. Victor Ng – Victor is currently a designer lead on the digital team at Hillary for America. He previously worked at Pinterest where he helped launch buyable pins, guided search, and messages.
19. Andre Jurgensen – Andre is a product designer at Funsize working from the high desert of Central Oregon. He loves crafting elegant solutions for clients from all walks of life. He believes deeply in staying balanced and finds design inspiration hiking and biking in nature.
20. Jeffrey Zeldman – Every student of the web probably hears about Jeffrey Zeldman as part of their day 1 orientation. Entrepreneur, designer, author, podcaster, and speaker, Jeffrey Zeldman founded A List Apart, A Book Apart, An Event Apart, and the design studio Happy Cog. Basically, my advice here is read everything he posts.
What Can’t Tech Money Buy? https://t.co/hSmJ4bZszS
— Jeffrey Zeldman (@zeldman) May 28, 2016
21. Jessica Ivins – Jessica is a UX designer and faculty member at Center Centre. Her blog covers great topics like how learning to code can provide a UX designer with major advantages.
22. Phi Hoang – Phi is a senior product designer at TrendKite in Austin, TX. His feed is part design, part hilarious puns.
23. Denise Jacobs – Denise is a design entrepreneur, speaker, and author. She’s published several books on the web including The CSS Detective Guide and Redesign the Web (Smashing Book #3), just to name two.
24. Brad Frost – No list on the web is complete without Brad Frost. Brad’s another one of those multi-talented people with numerous slashes in his title—designer, speaker, consultant, and writer. He’s a wealth of knowledge so be sure to check out his website too.
Work hard. Don’t be an asshole. Share what you know.
— Brad Frost (@brad_frost) March 31, 2014
25. Liz Danzigo – Liz is a designer, educator, writer, start-up advisor, and NPR’s Creative Director (dream design job anyone?). She oversees visual design and UX across all of NPR’s products and platforms.
26. Greg Storey – I’m lucky to call Greg a dear friend. He’s a huge talent, currently serving as the Design Practice Lead at IBM Design. He’s also incredibly kind, helpful, and brilliant. His twitter feed is a mix of design musings, hilarious insights into the mundane, and occasionally, Duran Duran. Win/Win.
27. Linda Eliasen – Linda’s Twitter is bold, smart, and absolutely hilarious. I feel like we’re kindred spirits because we both made recent moves from cloud storage companies to smaller, innovative digital agencies (sup Linda?). Linda previously worked for Mailchimp, SquareSpace, and Dropbox.
Just picked up our new potty sign!
— Linda Eliasen (@littlenono) May 26, 2016
28. Jane Pyle – Jane is a User Experience Lead at Genentech focused on iOS app design. She posts great examples of terrible UI/UX on her feed.
29. Debbie Millman – Debbie is a designer, author, and educator as well as the host of Design Matters—one of the design world’s longest running podcasts.
30. Tiffany Wardle de Sousa – Tiffany is a typographer, graphic designer, consultant, and educator. Her tweets are varied, and include mini case studies on type in 140 characters.
31. Laura Kalbag – Laura is a web designer at Indie—a socially conscious design studio in Sweden. Laura talks privacy, ethics, accessibility, and diversity on her feed.
32. Alice Lee – .net’s Young Designer of the Year in 2015, Alice is an illustrator who has worked for places like Dropbox, Google, NYT, and Venmo.
33. Tobias Van Schneider – Tobias is an award-winning designer from Germany who currently resides in New York City. Tobias was the lead product designer and art director at Spotify and also serves on the AIGA Board of Directors.
34. Dan Mall – is a creative director, designer, founder and strategist amongst other things. His blog is a must-read in the industry as is, of course, his Twitter feed. Lots of smart stuff here.
35. Resh Sidhu – Resh is the creative director for Framestore’s Virtual Reality studio. Resh’s expertise includes virtual reality, creation direction, interaction design, conceptual ideation, strategy, and leadership.
— Resh Sidhu (@webkitten) May 21, 2016
37. Nicole Fenton – Author of Nicely Said—a guide for writing for the web, Nicole lives at the intersection of design and writing. She’s a strategist at 18F (an innovative start-up within the federal government) and her feed includes resources on content strategy and design as well as insights into her daily life.
38. Eric Meyer – The CSS reset all students learn in Skillcrush 101? It belongs to Eric Meyer. Eric is known around the world as one of the leading experts in HTML and CSS. He’s a frequent keynote speaker, writer, and educator.
39. Ethan Marcotte – No budding designer’s education is even close to complete without devouring all the books and articles written by Ethan, widely known as the father of Responsive Web Design.
Sign up for the Visual Designer Blueprint today! Or, check out the FREE Beginner’s Guide to Landing a Junior Web Design Job.
Dee is a fun-loving instructor with diverse tech experience across Fortune 500 companies, early-stage start-ups, government agencies & non-profits. Dee works at mobile product design studio Funsize, in Austin Texas where she lives with her husband, 2 border collie mixes, & 2 cats.