Deena Rosen

Hi, I'm Deena.

I'm a human centered design + behavioral design strategist, focused on design for social good.

I am an independent strategist and researcher based in San Francisco with 20 years of experience, an expertise in Behavioral Design, and a focus on civic tech, equity and environmental work. I advise startups, non-profits, and product teams on design strategy and best practices.

I’m passionate about using design to solve some of our planet’s big problems. As the head of design at Opower, I built products that nudged people to use less energy, with huge impact: Opower has saved 12 billion kWh (!) of energy across millions of homes. I speak and write about “behavioral design for good” at places such as TEDx, IxDA, SXSW, Medium, GOOD magazine, Stanford, and VentureBeat.

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, writing haikus, and helping people organize their lives.

Working together

We may be a good fit if...

  • You're creating something new (product, program, experience, campaign, behavioral intervention) and you need to understand your users and create your design strategy.
  • You're a small and awesome design team and could use help with process, prioritization, design principle creation, and mentorship.
  • You're a non-tech org and want to train your team in best practices in UX/design/agile thinking.
  • You need to hire a designer and want to better understand how to define, recruit and evaluate for your position.
  • 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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