As fast evolving disciplines, UX research and UI design have both their early stage luminaries and their timeless champions.

What follows are Fluid UI's picks for the top 11 thought leaders in the UX design industry - luminaries who have contributed to the sum of human thinking, inspired others to learn and set the standard for thinking across the entire industry. No small task.

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Jared Spool is the founder of User Interface Engineering (UIE), the largest usability research organization of its kind in the world.
Julie Zhuo is VP of Design at Facebook and one of the most admired product designers in Silicon Valley. She is also author of a personal blog: The Year of the looking Glass which offers insights and lessons to other designers who are working in the tech industry.
Tim Brown is President and CEO of IDEO and one of the earliest and strongest advocates of design thinking. In his book Change by Design he sets out why the techniques and strategies of design belong at every level of a business.
Luke Wroblewski is currently a Product Director at Google. He is synomous with mobile first and has pioneered the view that all design should begin with the smallest screen.
Don Norman is arguably the most influential designer in the field of UX and usability research. As well as being co-founder (with Jacob Nielsen) of the Nielsen Norman Group, he is probably best known for the seminal work: The Design of Everyday Things.
Frank Chimero is a design, illustrator and author of The Shape of Design which is now used in many design schools. It is a meditation on creativity and making things for other people.
Steve Krug literally wrote the book on web usability. Don't Make Me Think is now in its 3rd edition and remains one of the most important and accessible discussions of web usability.
Jon Kolko was VP of Design at Blackboard, the largest education software company in the world. He has also written 4 books on design as well as working at a host of top universities and he is founder of the Austin Center for Design.
John Maeda is an author, academic and designer among other things. He was Professor at MIT Media Lab for 12 years and has been writing and thinking about the intersection of business, design and technology.
Dan Saffer is a product designer and prolific author on design. Not to mention his blog and conference appearances. His most recent book Microinteractions is all about designing in detail.
Golden Krishna is a Googler, Designer and author of The Best Interface is No Interface. He currently works on design strategy and is shaping the future of Android.
Tomer Sharon was formerly a senior user experience engineer at Google and currently he is head of UX at WeWork where he and his team design work and living spaces, communities and services around the world. His most recent book Validating Product Ideas through Lean User Research is an excellent resource for any team who are looking to get a product off the ground.

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