How can product leaders build inclusive products from a cognitive and tangible perspective? In this podcast, Willow Innovations Product VP Melissa Pickering meets with Atomic Product Lead Sunaina Kavi to discuss the art of designing products for inclusivity. They discuss Sunaina’s journey from academic studies to entrepreneurial ventures, revealing insights on data-driven decisions, storytelling, and revenue considerations. Explore how curiosity, diversity, and innovation can influence inclusivity in product.
- Sunaina’s passion is building inclusive products in tech.
- Her early experiences include a transition from gender-balanced undergrad to a male-dominated corporate setting.
- Her diverse academic background includes biomedical engineering.
- Adopt a “beginner’s mindset” for continuous learning.
- Sunaina has an entrepreneurial mindset from founding a startup.
- Sunaina’s role at Rivian focused on creating accessibility in product.
- Consumer research and user testing is crucial.
- Challenge assumptions with data to drive better decisions.
- Tie project proposals to revenue potential for executive buy-in.
- Learn from past mistakes by integrating revenue implications.
- Embrace failures for innovative product outcomes.
- The importance of asking simple questions is to understand the “why.”
- Focus on creating usable, useful, and delightful products.
- Cross-functional collaboration is crucial to holistic project development.
- Inclusivity in tech requires engaging diverse perspectives.
- Book recommendations: “Emotional Design,” “Invisible Women,” “Creative Competence.”
- Understanding the history of tech is necessary to address inclusivity gaps.
- Encourage diverse teams to contribute to product solutions.
- Impact of storytelling: connecting customer problem, business impact, and data.
- Drive change within organizations by presenting a clear path.
About the speaker
Part product designer, part engineer and part tech banker all rolled into one. I started as a biomedical engineer and realized the power of learning different skills across disciplines from the neural pathways of the brain to how a physical circuit reads data all the way to how people perceive illustrations has endlessly fascinated my curiosity. As I explore the world of inflammation and its role in women's health I am pleasantly surprised at how the body is created by nature for nature and we are merely scratching the surface. This is why I believe digital health can help bring that surface knowledge to light to help women understand their bodies and better manage depression, dysmenorrhea, and gut health. I aim to help digital health startups as a product advisor to keep human-centered at the root of their startup. I've advised women's health startups like WILD.AI, Station F startups like Parentally (a marketplace for parents), Solence (PCOS management), and Emagina (med device for preventing tearing during delivery).
About the host
I'm a purpose-driven change agent with a track record of building & leading cross-functional teams to develop & launch products for kids. From Disney Imagineering, to EdTech startup founder, to product innovation at The LEGO Group, I have spent over a decade building and leading product teams to innovate kids' play and learning experiences. Most recently, I have joined another purpose-driven mission at Willow Innovations to bring more joy to motherhood, building products to make moms' lives easier.