15 Most Influential People in Web Design


The web design industry is continuously changing and there are many people who are setting the bar higher every day with their incredible work and contribution to the web design community. Here is a list of just a few of the people who are responsible for changing the meaning of web design with their awesome work and concepts. All designers listed here are equally amazing, this isn’t mean to be a ‘Top Ten’ type list, we’re not ranking them, just listing innovators in web design.

Also, with this list I have shared their Facebook, Twitter, Dribbble & LinkedIn information so you can always stay connected and get inspired by their work.

1. Jeffery Zeldman

Jeffery Zeldman is the King of Web Standards & co-founded The Web Standards Project. Zeldman was one of the first bloggers and independent publishers. He has written design books like “Designing With Web Standards”& “Taking Your Talent to the Web”.

Website: http://www.zeldman.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/zeldman
Facebook: http://facebook.com/JeffreyZeldman
Dribbble: N/A

2. Jason Santa Maria

Jason is a creative director for Typekit & founder of Typedia. Inspired by traditional print design and typography, he has worked with WordPress, Miramax Films, The New York Stock Exchange, PBS and many others.

Website: http://jasonsantamaria.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/jasonsantamaria
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jasonsantamaria
LinkedIn: N/A
Dribbble: http://dribbble.com/jsm

3. Dan Cederholm

Dan is a designer, author, and speaker and a co-founder of Dribbble. He is know as a CSS guy. He’s worked with some of the heaviest hitters in the web industry including: Google, YouTube, Blogger and many more.

Website: http://simplebits.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/simplebits
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/simplebits
Dribbble: http://dribbble.com/simplebits

4. Vitaly Friedman

Vitaly is a founder of Smashing Magazine which is one the largest online design magazines on the web. They regularly publish really high quality articles that help designers and developers across the world.

Website: http://www.smashingmagazine.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/smashingmag
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vitaly.friedman
Dribbble: N/A

5. John O Nolan

John is a talented designer from the UK and is working as a member of the WordPress UI Team, he is also developing user interface for Virgin Atlantic Airways. Besides his personal blog, he also contributes to Smashing Magazine, Web Designer Depot and Envato Network.
Website: http://john.onolan.org/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/johnonolan
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/johnonolan
Dribbble: http://dribbble.com/JohnONolan

6. Brian Hoff

Brian is a graphic designer who focuses on corporate identity & branding. His recent project includes redesigning Mojo Themes. Inspired by typography and layout, Brian focuses on usability & design.

Website: http://www.thedesigncubicle.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/behoff
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TDCBehoff
Dribbble: http://dribbble.com/behoff

7. Douglas Bowman

Douglas founded Stopdesign under which he worked with Google, Capegemini, Blogger & other big clients. Later, he worked at Google as a Visual Design Lead and after that he moved on to work with Twitter as its creative director.

Website: http://stopdesign.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/stop
Facebook: N/A
Dribbble: http://dribbble.com/stop

8. Aarron Walter

Aarron is a designer, author, professor and speaker. He is the lead user experience designer for MailChimp. He also leads the development of the InterACT curriculum project that helps connect the design industry & education.

Website: http://aarronwalter.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aarronwalter
LinkedIn: N/A
Dribbble: N/A

9. Ethan Marcotte

Ethan is a passionate designer, speaker and wrote ‘Handcrafted CSS’. New York Magazine, Stanford University, and the World Wide Web Consortium are some of the clients he has worked with. Ethan can be found blogging about design-related articles on his blog.

Website: http://ethanmarcotte.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/BEEP
Facebook: N/A
LinkedIn: N/A
Dribbble: N/A

10. David Airey

David works from a Northern Ireland-based home studio, he is a brand identity designer who has worked with clients of all sizes. His client list include Giacom and Yellow Pages. He writes on design at  Logo Design Love and davidairey.com. He also authored the book ‘Logo Design Love’.

Website: http://www.davidairey.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/davidaireydesign
Dribbble: N/A

11. Patrick McNeil

Patrick is more of a developer than a designer but he has contributed equally to the design community. He has been featured in .NET Magazine and authored the book series “The Web Designer’s Idea Book”.

Website: http://pmcneil.com/
Dribbble: N/A

12. Jason Beaird

Jason is a user experience designer and front-end developer with a degree in Graphic Design. He is currently working as a user experience designer at MailChimp and also authored the book ‘The Principles of Beautiful Web Design’. He has also spoken at many SXSW events.

Website: http://jasongraphix.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/jasongraphix
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jbeaird
Dribbble: N/A

13. Chris Coyier

Chris is currently working at Wufoo, he is the founder of CSS-Tricks which shares tons of useful tutorials and tips. He has also co-authored the famous book Digging into WordPress.

Website: http://chriscoyier.net/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/chriscoyier
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chriscoyier
Dribbble: N/A

14. Eric A. Meyer

Eric is the author of ‘CSS: The Definitive Guide’. He has been working with the web since 1993 and is an expert of HTML & CSS. He is also a co-founder of An Event Apart & GMPG.

Website: http://meyerweb.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/meyerweb/
Facebook: N/A
Dribbble: N/A

15. Luke Wroblewski

Luke worked as the Chief Design Architect at Yahoo and was the Lead User Interface Designer of eBay. He has authored two design books and is currently the Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Bagcheck Inc.

Website: http://www.lukew.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/lukew
LinkedIn: N/A
Dribbble: N/A

Your Turn

Let us know about the designer you are influenced by and tell us which of the designer listed here you like the most.



  1. Hey there, The list is great and I like all of them and intent on Twitter following several of them. I am new to WordPress web design as freelancer and have had a few great guys help me out.

  2. Zed

    These are really guru in designing field. i love to see their work. True source for inspiration.

  3. Danny

    every day a lot people need your website for your company or for beging you own enterprise that is very good for have a lot traffic in you website

  4. Jhony Bravo

    When ready access to the Internet today, websites are becoming the way that leads to obtain information about products and services. This is why it has become important for companies is the online presence via a website. Creating a website with functionality which may look nice overall but if not fulfilling the need of that particular business is something which you have made but does not create value for your online business.

  5. aditia

    is Vitaly Friedman a designer too? to be influential we do not have to be designer itself

  6. Alex Patin

    I was going to say, I better see Brian Hoff’s name on this list! I love all of these guys – probably about half of everything that I know is due to these awesome people. It’s not just practice they teach…it’s theory. Something you can’t get anywhere else but experience, and boy do they have that experience.

    I only hope one day I can be as successful as these guys!

  7. Eric Reiss

    Fully a third of the folks on this list are CSS specialists. This is an incredibly skewed view of “influence on the web”. I would have hoped for a more well-rounded review.

  8. Julia

    I don’t disagree with a single name on this list, some are personal heroes of mine, but dude, you couldn’t find one freakin’ female to add even as a token?

  9. Tina Zennand

    Amazing list! Thank you for such a useful article. Additional thanks for the links to these brilliant people’s websites and social profiles.

  10. steve coultier

    and don’t forget the many talented girls and ladies. is there any designer out there who has not been impressed by verlee’s blog?

  11. steve coultier

    amazing list! i could argue that it would be relevant to have a few of the most well known css template designers on such a list. those guys have created designs that have been used on millions of websites all over the world. if that is not influence, then what is? i’m thinking about people like andreas viklund, viktor ‘arcsin’ persson and nodethirtythree. and of course designers of the most used blog themes, like michael heilemann who created the kubrick theme for wordpress. but then again, a shortlist could easily grow into hundreds of names.

  12. Great to learn about great web designers in the web. I’m a fan of many listed here especially Vitaly Friedman.

  13. Gavin

    I think you have completely hit the nail on the head with this list. I was expecting to see a list of the same ol’ people, but you’ve included people that have a major impact on web design and development! I’ve had the honour of working with some of the above in the past and they are truly brilliant people with a massive passion for this industry. Really pleased to see them getting the recognition they deserve!

    Excellent post matey!

  14. Valpo

    Yep, no women on the list, someone will always have something to say about it.. Title 9

  15. Creyno

    Great list, but where are the girls. Its quite depressing for our sex to not be mentioned anywhere

  16. DAG

    Hongkiat of Hongkiat.com is one of my favorite! He self-built an highly trafficked design blog.

  17. Shmilov

    Well, first I must say it is a great list. I’m missing Andy Clark on the list, but since he is more CSS expert i understand : )
    I’ll join the others and mention that we are missing female designers on the list.

    hmm…this is my candidate : )
    Suzanne Ginsburg
    Designer & Author of ‘Designing the iPhone User Experience.’
    She also runs the great Touchy Talk blog.

    • When I was writing the post I did not know I was missing something, maybe I would write another post delicately just for women & I have missed out some people in the list so that not to make it a large list & also few of them were really unknown to me

  18. Chris Coyier is my man! I’ve been following this guy blog CSS Tricks for some months and it’s been helping alot to improve my CSS skills.
    Besides there are alot of great famous people here I’d never dreamed of getting to know them. Thanks so much for sharing it! Cya around!

  19. I’m surprised and a little refreshed by the number of N/A’s on the account lists. It makes me feel better for choosing not to be on every fly-by-night social site when these guys aren’t even on Facebook of Dribble.

    Thanks for the list!

  20. Vijayraj Reddy

    Vitaly Friedman is my fav who is a talented web designer, i love his all posts on his website…

  21. Troy Templeman

    Great list. I would also add fellow Canadians Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain (www.31three.com) and Mike Precious (www.mikeprecious.com).

  22. Peter

    The only name I noticed that didn’t make the list is Dominic Leodoro. He’s a web guru out of Chicago and owns a small web design/online marketing company called web2night. I think he keeps a low profile though.

  23. Thanks, very insightful. I have worked through some of Eric Meyer’s training courses on lynda.com. But where oh where are the women in this list? Let this be a challenge to all the brilliant female geeks out there!

  24. Olivier

    I like Chris Coyier and his screencasts. He is a CSS / WordPress /JS guru …
    Browsing the guys websites, I’ve ended up on webstandardssherpa.com. I love the carousel / slider on the homepage. Has any one any idea how it’s made?

    Good article, thanks.