Francois is a cognitive ergonomics and usability practitioner. Over the last 18 years, he has designed over 100 systems, performed over 2,000 cognitive task analysis in the field and 2,000 usability testing sessions.
After completing a B.Sc in Physics, he became interested in interactive systems through contracts with multimedia artists. He completed a Master's Degree in Cognitive Ergonomics at Polytechnique of the University of Montreal. While pursuing his Master Degree, he researched human errors, 3D display, and Usability Principles and guidelines.
In 1994, after 3 years as a practitioner at CRIM, he formed Cognitive Group Inc. Of note, he provided consulting in user interface design and process simplification to Hydro-Quebec and Bell CANADA call Centers, Hydro-Quebec Beauharnois Control Room, grid control system and dispatcher center, On-line Banking at Desjardins and Royal Bank, business banking process simplification at Royal Bank and National Bank.
He has published numerous papers on 3D display, wearable computers, input device, and task analysis.
He frequently gives workshops on usability, web design and task analysi. He is part time lecturer at University of Quebec and Polytechnique.
Just back from SanFrancisco, I was trying to find an address in Montreal.
I had to slow down in order to read the street name. While slowing down, a car almost hit my back bumper! Hope it doesn’t sound familiar but I am sure it happens frequently. Continue reading →
“Whitman says: “Despite its controversial reputation, nuclear is efficient and reliable.” Yet since 1950 there have been 20 nuclear accidents. One was major (on Mar. 28, 1979, at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor) and one catastrophic (on Apr. 26, 1986, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant). How can we say a major nuclear accident will not happen again?
You arrive at home after a long day and you rush to prepare food. You turn-on the burner but oups !, you realize that you activated the wrong burner. You feel frustrated and tell yourself “I should have paid more attention”. If it is a new stove, you might tell to yourself “I should have look at the instructions”. Some might even blame themselves for this error.
In September 2006, a bridge collapsed in Laval (a Montreal suburb), resulting in 5 deaths.An inquiry, the Johnson commission, is trying to understand this event and prior incidents.
As always, multiple factors are involved in this accident:bad design, shoddy construction, poor repairs and substandard construction materials. These factors are always boiled down to human errors:a design, planning, executions or maintenance errors.
LeRoi Gourhan, a French Anthropologist, observed that during pre-historic times there was a close relationship betweenthe evolution of the human brain and the hand. In science, the experimentation plays the role of the hand. There is a close relationship between new observations and new scientific ideas.
Apple is as hot topic in the business these days because of the Iphone. Apple’s innovation success is on the front page of The Economist July 9th edition.
The Economist retains 4 lessons from apple:
Innovation can come from outside. In the case of Apple, the GUI (graphical user interface) was invented at the Xerox Park by a group that included Larry Tesler who later went to Apple to work on the Apple Lisa and the Mac. The Ipod OS (operating system) was designed by Pixo, an external firm. To do so, making a Continue reading →
I just finished the book « Sketching User Experience » by Bill Buxton. This book in my view is an important book. It will have a profound impact on the designer community.They will say:
“WOW, I should have used this or that sketching technique and I would have saved huge amounts of time and money instead of building those expensive prototypes”.
It broadens the concept of sketching to the user interaction or in other words user experience.
In Wikipedia, a sketch is defined as a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not intended as a finished work.
The objective of a sketch is to verify an idea rapidly and cheaply. Bill extends the concept to user experience. He describes a multitude of sketching techniques such as Wizard of Oz, Video, and paper mockup as a way to test user experience rapidly and cheaply.
I recently assisted at a speech given by Michel Leblanc at the Big Bang on may 17, 2007.This is certainly one of the best speeches I have ever attended.I can assure you I have seen some, I have just arrived from the CHI 2007 conference in San Jose.