Design Thinking 101: Thought leaders

Welcome back to another highly educational round of Design Thinking 101. While we have covered books, television shows, documentaries, podcasts and quick reads that will help you to get up to speed on human centered design, we haven’t even scraped the surface when it comes to talking about the humans at the center of design thinking, so without further ado, here is our list of 5 design thinking thought leaders and influencers.

Shelley Evenson

While she is now the Managing Director of Fjord Evolution, developing design thinking solutions for Accenture, Shelley has also worn many other hats through the years. She was the founder of the International Service Design Network, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a frequent speaker at AIGA’s Design Conference, IA Summit, IIT’s Design Research Conference and IxDA.

John Maeda

As a “humanist technologist” John has devoted his life to blending the disciplines of engineering and design, spending 12 years at MIT fostering a community of coding designers and designing coders called the Aesthetics and Computation group. In 1999 he was recognized by Esquire as one of the 21 most important people in the 21st century and his book “Laws of Simplicity” is a bestseller.

You can see one of John’s TED talks here.

Julie Zhuo

The VP of Design at Facebook and one of the most admired product designers in the whole of silicon valley, Julie might have already crossed your radar thanks to her amazing Medium essays. She has been with Facebook for 12 years, and is the mind behind many of the innovations that have kept that platform engaging, as well as fostering a culture of hackathons and bottom up innovation.

Jon Kolko

The founder and director of the Austin Center for Design, where he teaches interaction design and social entrepreneurship, and former VP of Design for Blackboard, the world’s largest education software company, Jon is the author of several books on design thinking including “Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving” and “Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love”.

Don Norman

One of the most influential designers in the field of user experience, the Director of The Design Lab at the University of California, an active visiting professor at KAIST, and one of the founders of the Neilsen Norman Group; you might also know Don from his industry leading book “The Design of Everyday Things.”

You can see one of his TED talks here.

That is all that we have time for this month, but check back in next time for another round of Design Thinking 101!

The Labs Team

Sutherland Labs