4 Female Software Designers Who Changed the World

Anna Johansson

March 22, 2020

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For years, software developers have been transforming the world with programs that make our lives easier and make businesses more profitable. Most people tend to think software programmers and designers are men, but women have been coding, designing, and developing for years. In fact, the first known person in history to code was a woman named Lady Ada Lovelace.

Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron and a mathematician. She wrote an algorithm for an invention called the Analytical Engine. Her algorithm was designed to calculate the Bernoulli sequence of numbers. Unfortunately, Lovelace died from cancer before she could see her code executed.

Since Lovelace, thousands of female software designers have seen their valuable contributions come to fruition. Here are four contemporary women who have contributed to some of the best software applications of our time.

1. Maryna Honchar

Maryna Honchar is a designer from the Ukraine who describes herself as "a designer with a passion for sustainability and lifelong things." She's currently a designer for the award-winning Ukrainian-based company MacPaw.

Honchar helped design the current interface for CleanMyMac - the classic cleanup tool Mac enthusiasts consider the best free spyware remover on the market. Since its first launch in 2008, CleanMyMac has provided Apple computer users with a fast and easy way to keep their systems clean.

Over the years, CleanMyMac has evolved to include the following features:

- System speed enhancement through scans that identify and remove unnecessary system junk and malware
- Faster scan times
- A CleanMyMac Assistant that reminds users when their machine is due for a cleanup
- Optimization for resource-intensive apps to speed up system response times
- Improved user-friendly and aesthetically appealing interface

Mac users have high standards for user interface designs. Honchar is committed to meeting these expectations and continuing to make CleanMyMac easy and aesthetically pleasing to use.

2. Ingrid Cruz

You've probably heard of Infusionsoft - the $100M SaaS customer relationship management software that quickly became an industry standard for marketers. Before becoming the Director of User Experience at RainFocus, Ingrid Cruz led Infusionsoft's UX team in Utah as the Manager of Product Design and Experience.

Cruz has nearly two decades of design experience, is a natural-born problem solver, and brings her design expertise with her into her team management practices.

Cruz is passionate about helping designers become self-aware and using that self-awareness to grow their careers. Her design experience gives her a special advantage when it comes to helping teams foster a culture of feedback - something she discusses at length in an interview with the Design Much crew.

For marketing teams who rely on Infusionsoft (now known as Keap), no other options come close. Cruz's contributions to the Infusionsoft team are priceless.

3. Laura Gallisá

Laura Gallisá made some major design contributions to both Dropbox, Tendigi, and Twitch. With a focus on accessibility, Gallisá approaches problems from all sides until she finds the solution.

Gallisá has an extensive background in designing for macOS, Android, and iOS. According to her LinkedIn profile, she's currently a design manager at Fleetsmith, growing the design team and working hard to democratize IT and security through transparency and automation.

4. Leah Culver

Leah Culver is the cofounder and CTO of Breaker - a social podcast app that lets users find new podcasts, create custom playlists, and see what their friends are listening to. Culver decided to create Breaker when she had to sift through 660,000 podcasts to find something interesting to listen to.

When finding new and interesting podcasts became a chore, Culver used her expert design skills to create a podcast platform with better content discovery capabilities while maintaining a simple design and navigation.

Even more impressive are Culver's author contributions to 0Auth 1.0 and 0Embed. 0Embed is used by YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Twitter, and other social media platforms to embed photos and videos. She also co-created the HTTP client Hurl, which tests web APIs and has since been acquired by Twilio.

Culver also worked on several popular projects including the micro-blogging site Pownce (acquired by Six Apart), Grove (hosted IRC), and Postagram.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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