Head of Research and Design for Alexa Devices, Amazon
About The Episode
Joanna Peña-Bickley has had an amazing arc to her design leadership career: from Chief Creative Officer at Matter Worldwide and IBM, to her current role as Head of Research and Design for Alexa Devices at Amazon, Joanna has always sought to design things that are “useful, usable, and magical.”
In this interview, we talk with Joanna about working cross functionally with both software and hardware teams, and what she’s learned about building a more connected workflow. We also get Joanna’s take on speaking design in the language of business, and how she works to bring more diversity into leadership at the companies where she’s worked.
- How Joanna approaches building high-functioning teams.
- What the opportunities and challenges are when designing for invisible interfaces.
- How to create partnerships that will make your team successful.
Joanna Peña-Bickley, Head of Research & Design, Alexa Devices at Amazon, is a 21st century renaissance woman, a design technologist, known as the mother of Cognitive Experience Design. She is propelled by a multidisciplinary acumen in design, data, media and technology, her insatiable curiosity moves the C-Suite beyond obvious ideas and products, towards enduring market making experiences for the connected era.
Joanna’s award-winning artist hand has helped the world’s most recognized companies and brands, such as Land Rover, Nokia, Sephora, American Express, John Deere, Boeing, MTV, Pepsi, and Jay Z imagine and make innovative breakthroughs, with a philosophy of radical collaboration, empathetic conviction and remarkable digital craft. Whether creating one of the first streaming video players, that changed the delivery of live news events for ABC, designing the first banking app for the Apple Watch, that made banking personal again for Citibank, reinventing the connected car as a cognitive mobility platform for General Motor’s OnStar, or inventing new Alexa Devices for Amazon, Joanna’s tenacious creativity disrupts industry and makes new markets.
Named one of 2020’s Most Powerful Women Internationally by Fortune Magazine, a Power Woman of New York, 2019 President of the D&AD Digital Jury and one of Silicon Alley’s “Top 100 Rising Stars” her creativity and design leadership are fueled by the belief that human truth, data and creativity are inextricably linked to designing inventions that matter for business and Spaceship Earth.
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With all of the immense challenges facing the world right now, in Season 5 of the Design Better Podcast we wanted to bring on guests who can share their wisdom—not only about how to build better products—but also how to navigate challenges in your career, and discover opportunities in the face of adversity.