We are proud to introduce our plenary speaker, Anna Ewing, Executive Vice President of Corporate Solutions at Nasdaq. Anna has won various business leadership and technology strategy awards and was ranked 13th in Institutional Investor’s 2013 Tech 50. She has been a strong advocate for design within the Nasdaq product development lifecycle, and has supported Pro/Design since its inception.
Tell us about how you've come to be in the role you're in today.
If I think about the common thread of my career, where my passion lies is to build transformational product for a client. Whether that client is a consumer, or B2B, or internal, it’s not just about building something that’s a utility or functional. What I love to do is build something that changes the paradigm, whether that’s ease of use or providing insights that weren’t there before, or creating fun.
My career, through technology and product development, has always been involved with innovation through something new.
Have you seen the industry shift toward design thinking? How have you seen the landscape evolve?
I’m dating myself, but when the PC became a viable model for the end-user to use, we could put more power in the hands of consumers to build models, by using spreadsheets or apps that did not involve engineers, to having those engineers to build client facing apps. Going through web 1.0 and 2.0 to now, I’ve been privileged to be along that journey.
Now we are seeing how technology intersects with content and with high touch. Those things need to come together to create some value for a user.
I think the element that is really transforming how we need to think about our product is that fun element. When I think about the emotion that comes with the apps that we use as consumers, whether it’s a game, getting the weather, maps, restaurant reviews, things that we use in our day to day life. Ease of use, look and feel, and it’s an extension of our life.
What has led to the continuing investment in a product design team at Nasdaq?
We talk about how we can bring the consumer experience into the enterprise. The business that we’re in is B2B, and we’ve invested in how to take that experience and start with design.
And we are making sure the experience is client driven. We call it client-driven design. Having the talent, the discipline, [an understanding of] the lifecycle, and client input come together is a true differentiator for us. It’s how we think about our product and how we launch what we’re doing. I think this is key to look at in terms of B2B.
How have you seen Nasdaq use design to differentiate itself?
The design and client commitment needs to happen through the full product development lifecycle. It’s got to start with “What problem are you trying to solve?” or “What experience are you trying to create?” It’s got to be purpose-driven, first and foremost. Then you’ve got to define how to deliver on that workflow. How do I improve it? What are the pain points that my user has? How do we think that through into the design?
I think it’s important that this is a partnership, obviously with the client, but with a product development person, product designer, and engineer working together. There are different points of focus depending on what phase you’re in, but it’s got to be working together. Then working with marketing to go after the appropriate segment with the appropriate messaging. That all has to work together through the whole lifecycle. That’s the magic, in terms of how we’re able to successfully incorporate great design into our product.