Cindy Brummer is the Founder and Creative Director of Standard Beagle Studio, a user experience design consultancy based in Austin, Texas.
Cindy began her professional career in television journalism but found her way to user experience design while working as the web producer an an Austin television station. She freelanced and worked as an in-house web designer and developer for 5 years before founding Standard Beagle in 2012. She currently leads a small team of UX designers and developers, helping clients improve their services and technology and make more delightful experiences for their customers.
Cindy graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She is now an adjunct professor at UT, teaching the UX/UI boot camp program through the McCombs School of Business.
For fun, Cindy teaches boxing and is a certified Level 1 boxing coach through USA Boxing.
How are you planning to celebrate Women’s Day this year?
I’ll be spending the day doing what I love best – empowering others to achieve their goals. It’s nice to have a day to recognize the accomplishments of women and the work to empower future generations. Still, I try to make that part of my everyday – working to mentor, inspire, and empower my team, my students, and all the people in my life.
Would you say there is an under-representation of women in UI/UX design?
I’m really not sure. I encounter a lot of women in my work at all levels. that said, I’m not privy to every workplace to be able to say for sure.
What are some personality traits of women that make them better (or worse) UX designers?
I don’t believe that gender traits make anyone more or less suited for any roles. That kind of thinking plays into stereotypes and bias, which I like to avoid. However, I have met a lot of strong and confident women who are empathetic, have a growth mindset, and a deep-seated desire to make better user experiences. And that’s what makes someone an excellent designer.
Who are some design leaders (male or female) you look up to?
I have always admired and respected Jared Spool. His candor and perspective is refreshing and I would seek out his presentations at conferences (back when we could go to conferences!).
As a woman, what’s the greatest challenge you’ve had to face as a designer?
My greatest challenge has been overcoming my own lack of confidence and imposter syndrome. For years I worried that I wasn’t good enough because design is a career I transitioned into. I didn’t get my college degree in art or design. So I was afraid of seeking feedback from other designers. It was only when I decided to reach out to the community when I realized that it was my own fear holding me back.
What, in your opinion, could we UI/UX designers do, as a relatively young and collaborative fraternity, to solve the problem of gender inequality?
We need to talk to each other and find ways to lift everyone up. What plagues many industries is this concept that if I succeed, it means that someone else has to fail. And that simply isn’t true. Competition doesn’t mean we need to break others down. So as a collective, designers must embrace a way of thinking that we can all succeed and we should help each other.
Your message to young women looking to make their careers in UI/UX?
Have grit. Life can be tough, especially design. It’s hard to have our work constantly evaluated, and it can knock you down. Your own grit will help you withstand the bad days and help you embrace your own success.
This article was last updated on November 26, 2023; Originally published on March 3, 2021