Deena Rosen

Hi, I'm Deena.

I'm a design strategist, advisor, and coach. I work with mission-driven startups and non-profits using best practices in user experience and behavioral design.


I’ve been “the creative one” my whole life. I spent my career building user-friendly products and experiences, and I’m passionate about using design to solve some of our planet’s big problems. I speak and write about behavioral design for good at places such as TEDx, IxDA, SXSW, Medium, GOOD magazine, Stanford, and VentureBeat.

As the head of design at Opower, I built products that nudged people to use less energy, with big impact: Opower has saved 11 billion kWh (!) of energy and $1B USD across 50 million homes. In my past life, I spent 15 years designing user experiences across multiple industries, from consumer electronics to organic food. In my past past life, I was a software engineer, designing interactive software like CD-ROMs (remember those?) and global enterprise systems.

After leaving Opower and taking an exploratory year, I started working with mission-driven startups and non-profits. I help product and program leaders apply design thinking to their strategies and help organizations build thriving design teams and culture.

Other fun facts: I've sailed across French Polynesia, I'm fluent in Ashtanga and Kundalini, and I've meditated for 7 days in silence (twice). I love cooking communal vegetarian meals, painting tiny watercolors, and helping people organize their lives.

Working together

We may be a good fit if...

  • You're creating a new product, program, campaign, or behavioral intervention, and you need to understand your users to inform strategic direction.
  • You're a startup with a small and awesome design team, and they could use help with process, prioritization, design principle creation, and mentorship.
  • You're a non-profit and want to train your team in best practices in user experience and design thinking.
  • You need to hire a designer and want to better understand how to define, recruit and evaluate for your position.
  • You're an agency and need contract support on a project basis for user research and design strategy.
  • Your team wants an introduction to behavioral design principles.

I won't be helpful if...

  • You need an experienced hands-on UX or visual designer to create deliverables or embed into your product team. This isn't me anymore, but I may know of talented designers to refer to you.

Selected Speaking + Writing



Deena is brilliant. But more importantly, she’s able to share that wisdom with others in an approachable, actionable, and down-to-earth way. My team appreciated her guidance and candor, and was able to put her insights to work for our organization right away. She navigated our disparate levels of skill and skepticism effectively and with ease.
— Erin Simpson, Civic Hall Labs
The insights that came out of Deena’s research were nuanced and deepened our learnings. She has a great sense of both strategy and execution — she not only produced compelling insights, but provided us actual outputs that we could use as templates for our work moving forward.
— Christie George, New Media Ventures
Deena was an incredible manager and strategic design leader at Opower. As a manager she was a great advocate for me and did a great job unblocking our team so we could focus on doing great design work– we called her our forcefield. As a design leader she helped facilitate product strategy and design vision projects to help design have a seat at the table for strategic conversations. Most importantly though, Deena built and maintained an amazing design team, from 3 to 30+ designers, researchers, writers, and front-end developers. It remains the best team I have ever been a part of.
— Suelyn Yu, PM/UX Design Leader

Be in touch.

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