top of page

What Makes Her Click? Top Women in Product Design to Follow Right Now


Top Women in Product Design to Follow Right Now

Product design offers various career opportunities for individuals passionate about creating impactful experiences and driving positive change through design, like UX/UI design, product management, UX research, interaction design, and design strategy, which require different skills and expertise. 

According to CareerExplorer, the gender distribution among product designers is relatively balanced, with 53% of product designers being female and 47% male, a significant departure from traditional tech sectors where women have historically been underrepresented. In Ireland, women constitute 41% of all product designers, surpassing the representation of women in the broader tech sector, which stands at just 20%. 

In this industry, some women have become leaders in various aspects of product design, serving as mentors, advocates, and role models for aspiring designers worldwide. These trailblazers have not only demonstrated exceptional design prowess but have also made significant contributions to different industries and disciplines. And so, in no particular order, here are the ladies in product design to follow right now: 

Top Women in Product Design

1. Nikki Anderson, MA   

Nikki Anderson

Nikki Anderson is the Founder and Managing Director of User Research Academy. She is recognized as an expert in user research and has written over 250 articles and spoken at numerous conferences and events. 

Anderson's passion for user research began in 2015, and she has since dedicated her career to helping others succeed in the field. Her expertise and leadership have inspired many user researchers to excel in their careers. 

2. Janelle Ward, Ph.D.   

Janelle Ward

Janelle Ward is the founder and principal consultant of Janelle Ward Insights. With over 20 years of experience as a researcher and leader in academia and industry, Ward has built UX research teams for B2B and B2C digital product companies, transforming decision-making, prioritization, and roadmap planning. 

Her unique approach to coaching and consulting draws on systems thinking and decision-making theories to help company leadership address complex problems and become more empowered leaders. Ward's work emphasizes curiosity and asking questions to define and understand the problem space. 

3. Sharae Gibbs  

Sharae Gibbs

Sharae Gibbs is the UX Lead at Google and is responsible for driving the UX strategy for signed-out consent flows. She focuses on collaborative leadership and partners with stakeholders to align user needs with product requirements and business objectives. 

Sharae is also the founder, CEO, and director of She Leads, a company that provides career development, mentorship, and training to women in tech. She creates curriculum and video tutorials to help students learn new technical skills, leveraging her Human-Centered Design and UX knowledge to mentor junior designers.  

4. Indi Young  

Indi Young

Indi Young is a well-known independent qualitative data scientist passionate about UX design, research, and strategy. She is a thought leader in Product Strategy and focuses on understanding people's thinking patterns as they pursue a purpose. 

She advocates inclusivity and teaches practitioners to listen deeply, build cognitive empathy, and adequately handle qualitative data analysis. With her expertise, she has authored several books, speaks frequently, and offers courses for practitioners.  

5. Amy Santee  

Amy Santee

Amy Santee is a Career Strategist & Coach specializing in user experience (UX) and user research. She has worked with professionals from various industries and offers services as a coach, advisor, collaborator, co-conspirator, and advocate. 

Amy's clients have landed jobs at prestigious companies, including Google, Amazon, and eBay. Before starting her coaching practice, Amy worked as a UX researcher and anthropologist in product design and strategy for organizations across different fields. 

6. Renee Reid   

Renee Reid

Renee Reid is a senior manager of UX design research at LinkedIn. She is a dynamic speaker, podcaster, and an active voice for representation and change in UX, design, and tech. Reid leads and scales a team of talented researchers to help marketers successfully reach their audiences. 

She also hosts "Tech Wrap Queen," a podcast that features industry leaders and innovators who share their stories about tech, design, and culture to inspire and galvanize listeners. 

7. Auzita Irani 

Auzita Irani

Auzita Irani is a notable figure in the product design industry, currently serving as the Head of Research at Airbnb. Before her current role, she led Sprig's research and annotation teams, focusing on providing real-time insights to product teams. She has also led the Facebook Shops research team, which aimed to enhance e-commerce through community-driven content.  

8. Frankie Kastenbaum 

Frankie Kastenbaum

Frankie Kastenbaum is a prominent freelance UX designer passionate about creating educational content to demystify the UX/UI and product design industry. She is a member of the Design Leadership Forum and works as a Contract Senior UX Designer at United Airlines. She is a UX Design Tutor at CareerFoundry and a UX/UI Mentor at adplist.org

Frankie was recognized as a Top Voice in Design on LinkedIn in 2020 and 2022. With her proficiency in Graphic Design, Software Development, and UX/UI Design, Frankie is committed to creating accessible designs that connect people. 

9. Sarah Doody 

Sarah Doody

Sarah Doody is a renowned UX Researcher and Designer and the Founder & CEO of Career Strategy Lab. Her program helps UX and product professionals navigate their job search and articulate their skills through individualized coaching. 

Sarah's clients have landed jobs at Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce. She also does user experience research and design projects for several clients. She frequently gives talks and teaches workshops around the world and online.  

10. Michele Ronsen 

Michele Ronsen

Michele Ronsen, Founder & CEO of Curiosity Tank, is a professional graphic designer and design strategist who learned the ropes at Pentagram and Michael Osborne Design. She has worked as a design leader for Nordstrom and in finance at BofA and Wells Fargo, where she developed a passion for service design. 

She completed the Leading By Design Fellows Program and now consults for clients globally, advocating for human-centered and socially responsible design. She is known for her creative, analytical mind and passion for tackling complex challenges. 

11. Kelly Jura 

Kelly Jura

Kelly Jura is a design trailblazer known for her empathetic problem-solving and strategic mindset. She has influenced design, marketing, software, and user experience. Kelly is the Vice President of Brand and User Experience at ScreenPal, where she champions asynchronous video communication for educators and students. 

Her leadership has transformed ScreenPal's communication and education through video technology. She has been featured in industry publications and serves on the Design Management Institute board. Kelly is an expert in human-computer interaction and user-centric design. 

12. Paige Elaine Nuzzolillo  

Paige Elaine Nuzzolillo

Paige Elaine Nuzzolillo is a Senior UX Researcher at Healthgrades. She is building the UXR practice at Healthgrades and setting annual and quarterly roadmaps for research. As a solo UXR, she is responsible for conducting high-impact generative research, training Designers and PWDR, and managing all ResOps duties that make her research happen. 

Paige is also NNG Master UX certified and has a background in anthropology, community-based participatory action research, and design thinking. She was recently named one of 36 "active UX leaders to follow on LinkedIn."  

13. Caitlin D. Sullivan 

Caitlin D. Sullivan

Caitlin D. Sullivan is a renowned Founder and Customer Discovery Advisor at User Research Studio. With over 13 years of international experience across User Research, Strategy, Design, and founding her own business, she helps startup product teams find opportunities, prioritize better, and launch products that matter. Caitlin's mission is to enable more startups to implement actionable customer insights systems and make product-market-fit faster. 

Caitlin typically helps teams with four things: setting up lean customer discovery processes, upskilling for customer interviews, establishing systems for using insights in product decisions, and coaching teams on demand. Caitlin has worked with clients like Google, Spotify Business/Soundtrack, and Dunkin' Donuts. 

14. Julie Zhuo 

Julie Zhuo

Julie Zhuo is a Co-Founder of Sundial, a data analytics company. Before her current role, she worked as VP and Head of Design and Research for the Facebook app. While at Facebook, she worked on several social communication products and learned how to create and scale them worldwide. 

She is also the author of the bestselling book, "The Making of a Manager." Julie writes about design, product management, and technology on various platforms, including Twitter, Medium, and her mailing list, The Looking Glass. 

15. Patrizia Bertini 

 Patrizia Bertini

Patrizia Bertini is a Design Operations strategist at 8x8. With over 20 years of experience in UX and product design, she has worked with international agencies, consultancies, and global brands. Her expertise is in UX, user and market research, design systems, design & product strategy, and digital transformation. 

Patrizia has successfully led cross-disciplinary design and product initiatives, managing, scaling, and growing multidisciplinary teams of UX/UI designers, researchers, content designers, and service designers. She is known for her ability to create quantifiable business value and promote an insight and data-driven approach to design and product development. 

16. Stéphanie Walter 

Stéphanie Walter

Stephanie Walter is a UX Design Consultant specializing in Enterprise UX. With over 13 years of experience helping clients across different industries, Stephanie seeks to create user-centered, inclusive, and accessible products and services by understanding user needs and business strategies. She is a Google Dev Expert in Web technologies and an author of "User Journey Mapping" - SitePoint. 

Stephanie is also a speaker, mentor, and educator who teaches design in various schools and universities and has spoken about user experience research, accessibility, design process, mobile design, perceived performance, and more at tech events and conferences worldwide. 

17. Mia Blume 

Mia Blume

Mia Blume is a design executive coach and CEO of the Design Dept. She has previously held leadership positions at companies such as Pinterest, Square, and IDEO. In 2016, she founded the Design Dept. to help creative leaders transform their work through coaching, workshops, and customized workplace learning. 

Mia is also the founder of "Designing with AI" in 2023, which offers a unique curriculum and community of peers to help professional designers learn and apply the latest technology and tools. 

18. Pamela Olomola  

Pamela Olomola

Pamela Olomola is a top Product Experience Leader with over 20 years of experience in digital product experience design. She is the VP of Product Experience & Design at Trulioo, where she oversees the design of solutions that help clients verify the identity of people and businesses worldwide. 

Pamela is also the Founder and President of Brave Achievers, which provides immersive bootcamps to empower learners with the knowledge and skills to succeed as product experience designers and digital product entrepreneurs. Her career highlights include pioneering the Learning Experience Design space in IT service management at ServiceNow and building the company's first Customer Learning Platform. 

19. Gitta Salomon 

Gitta Salomon

Gitta Salomon is a versatile and seasoned UX leader with over 25 years of experience in user experience design. She currently serves as the VP of User Experience at Cricut, leading a team of designers and researchers to create engaging experiences for millions of crafters. 

Before joining Cricut, she founded and ran Swim, a UX/UI consultancy that served clients such as GoPro, Gap, Metromile, and NeuroPace. Salomon also worked at IDEO and Apple, where she honed her skills in strategy, research, design thinking, and interaction design. 

20. Irene Pereyra 

 Irene Pereyra

Irene Pereyra is a User Experience (UX) Director and Founder of Anton & Irene. She has extensive experience leading program management and UX initiatives for clients like Google, Spotify, EA, and Kickstarter. HVarious prestigious organizations and design awards have recognized her work 

Irene has also lectured at over 100 design conferences and educational institutions worldwide. She is the co-chair of the Interaction Design program at Harbour.Space University located in Barcelona and Bangkok. Quarto published her book "Universal Principles of UX" in March 2023. 

21. Kat Holmes 

Kat Holmes

Kat Holmes is an Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer at Salesforce, focusing on driving the future of AI, Data, and CRM experiences. She has previously worked at Microsoft and Google, where she led experience design for some of the most influential technologies in the world. 

Kat is the author of the best-selling book "Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design," which highlights the importance of designing with excluded communities to drive better solutions for everyone. Various publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, and The Economist, have recognized her work. 

22. Katie Dill 

Katie Dill

Katie Dill, the Head of Design at Stripe, has a proven track record of building strong teams, fostering a customer-focused culture, and delivering impactful products. Her experience spans industrial, service, and digital design, research, and business strategy. 

Katie has worked at Lyft and Airbnb and is passionate about building meaningful customer experiences through thoughtful coordination of every touchpoint. She is an active writer and speaker on design leadership and innovation. She has been recognized as one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, Business Insiders' 10 People Transforming Technology, and Girls in Tech's Creator of the Year. 

Closing Remarks 

Product design is a fascinating and ever-evolving field that offers exciting opportunities for aspiring designers. Mentorship and career guidance are crucial in shaping the path to success. A mentor provides valuable advice and support, offering personalized feedback, sharing industry insights, and providing encouragement.   

Additionally, mentorship programs provide hands-on training and guidance from industry experts, equipping designers with the tools and confidence to succeed. Women pursuing careers in tech can face unique challenges and opportunities, but seeking mentorship and networking opportunities can help you thrive. So, if you haven't followed these women yet, I hope you do. 

GoCreate USA Bootcamp and Mentorship Program 

If you're ready to take the next step in your product design journey, please join the GoCreate USA Bootcamp and Mentorship Program waitlist. Our hands-on, project-based courses and personalized mentorship offer the perfect blend of theory and practice to help you learn, grow, and succeed in the dynamic UI/UX design and UX research field. 

Take advantage of this opportunity to receive expert guidance from industry professionals, hone your skills, and propel your career forward. Join our program today by filling out the waitlist form below. Seize the chance to unlock your full potential and become the designer you've always dreamed of being. 

Read More:  

Comments


bottom of page