André Dubreuil, UX Strategist
Role: UX Strategist
Academic background: College degree in arts
With Kinova since 2018
What is your role?
My work consists of two main components.
Collect, analyze, and document information on the processes and actors involved in a customer journey according to the user experience, and the desired results.
Conceptualize new products and functionalities, design user flows, interactions, mock-ups, prototypes, and design standards based on research with users, their needs, best practices in design and ergonomics, as well as established business goals.
An effective experience strategy must solve business problems, identify gaps in its processes, and take into account a large number of factors to engage and retain customers through rewarding experiences while using its products and services.
How would you explain it to your grandmother?
Designing the user experience of a product mainly consists of making it more accessible and user-friendly. If I've been involved in the design of a product, you should be able to use it without hesitation or delay. Its use should be natural, and satisfactory in terms of responding to an immediate need and performing a task.
When you have difficulties or frustrations while using a product, it's because someone like me probably didn't do their job well, or a company didn't care enough about its users and their needs when designing a product. If I've done my job right, you probably won't even notice it.
What do you like most about your job?
Having the opportunity every day to work to facilitate the use of products (and in a way a part of their life) for the users who will be called upon to interact with them.
What brought you to the field of robotics?
Kinova’s assistive clients. I was working for a marketing communications and digital services agency on a UX research and strategy project and Kinova was my client. The research part of this clientele and my interviews with clients about Jaco particularly touched me. One of the motivations for my work is to make life easier for the users of the products I was involved in designing. It’s so empowering to know that you can make a real difference in the lives of people who want to get or use a product like Jaco. Working with them to fully understand their needs and their process of discovering, purchasing, and using such a product was a professional life experience for me.
How is your role different from your other colleagues?
UX design is about understanding users’ needs, putting them forward, and enabling technology to be humanized throughout a product development process. The UX Strategist becomes, in a way, the user’s advocate within a team. It is an area of expertise that lies at the crossroads of several disciplines: strategy, information architecture, cognitive sciences, ergonomics, interface design, which together set up a collective approach in which a UX Strategist becomes like a conductor.
Does your role exist outside of the field of robotics? If yes, is it different in our field? How?
Problem-solving is at the very heart of UX design. User experience is therefore used to resolve problems encountered by users and to optimize the overall experience of using a product or service. My job can therefore be found everywhere, regardless of the type of industry.
On the other hand, we are witnessing certain democratization of robotics, which means that the type of typical user tends to change. Rather than being reserved for roboticists and other specialists, the development of new programming interfaces allows novice users, coming from different backgrounds, to quickly learn how to use them, to gain autonomy in the creation of new tasks, all by reducing the risks and complexity of projects for which the use of robotic solutions can be considered. We must therefore constantly improve the user interfaces and robotics programming to make them simpler and thus facilitate the learning of a much larger and more heterogeneous user base than before.
How were your studies helpful to prepare you for your role?
Understanding what forms a good visual composition, which is a very important part of the design part of my expertise.
Outside of school, where did you acquire the knowledge and skills useful to your job?
The field of experience and service design is still relatively new academically (universities have only just started offering full programs on the subject in recent years). Fortunately for me, there are some publishing houses and several online resources that specialize in covering the various areas related to my profession. So you learn a lot on the job by reading a lot of books, blog posts, etc.
Anything else you would like to add?
Always have post-it notes or a notebook with you.
More Jobs in Robotics
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