Now available: Managing Priorities by Harry Max

Creating a More Impactful Business While Still Feeling Like a Designer with Ellen Chisa

Have you ever felt like the product people want to move too fast? You realize that speed is important, but the quality of the product is going to suffer and the results are going to disappoint.

Or have you ever wished you had a seat at the table during the initial strategy sessions of a new project, rather than being brought in mid-stream?

Do you feel intimidated when talking to the folks on the business and finance side of your organization?

If so, this episode is for you. Ellen Chisa has a background in engineering and an MB. She is a founder, venture capitalist, and partner at boldstart ventures. In short, she has to care about the business side of things. But she also cares about user-oriented product design, and she wants the voices of those in the design space to be heard.

The best place to start, she asserts, might be by listening and learning. Ellen encourages designers to familiarize themselves with their organization’s business models and financials. If you’re feeling squirmy about that prospect, Ellen lays out a workable approach that will put both you and the business analyst at ease. 

Ellen’s goal is to help you create more business impact while still feeling like a designer.  Ellen will be the opening keynote at the November 29 Design in Product virtual conference.  


What you’ll learn from this episode:

  • About Ellen Chisa’s background, her current position, and the contribution she’ll make at the Design in Product Conference 2023
  • Where Ellen sees the future going—combining APIs with generative AI
  • Why designers will benefit from learning about the business and financial side of their organization
  • How a designer can approach a business person with ease and curiosity
  • A strategy for getting a seat at the table for the initial strategy sessions of a project


Quick Reference Guide

[0:00:20] Introduction of Ellen Chisa and Design in Product Conference

[0:02:22] The double diamond approach to design

[0:04:09] Potent combinations of design tools

[0:05:02] Ellen looking ahead at where technology will go

[0:07:08] Creating more business impact while still feeling like a designer

[0:09:45] How to get a financial toolkit for designers

[0:12:08] Accessible metrics for non-business people

[0:17:32] Design Ops Summit, October 2-6, 2023 

[0:19:02] Feeling like a designer and building a coalition

[0:21:12] How to slow the cadence

[0:23:04] Is it better to focus on revenue and growth or derisking?

[0:25:09] Advice for those who feel reserved about approaching others

[0:27:06] Ellen’s gift for listeners


Resources and links from today’s episode:

Design in Product Conference 2023 

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