A member of the Access to Experts initiative, Edgard answers the Hub's Q&A so you can get to know him better.
A big believer in “We are not our users” and “Have more conversations about Why rather than How?”, Edgard is passionate about human interactions, user-centricity and designing innovative products that fulfil users’ needs, business requirements and above all, provide value to all stakeholders.
With varied knowledge in user experience, design, marketing, and engineering expertise, Edgard is equipped with both the creative and analytical skills for problem-solving.
What are two truths and one myth about your field?
People’s demand for “liquid expectations” is growing and is driving a number of important and pressing challenges that organizations and governments must work to address.
The capability of technology is always overestimated. The difficulty of great design is always underestimated.
“We do not need to waste time on research and talking to people. We know our ‘users’ very well.”
Another recurrent ‘myth’ that needs to be challenged: “Security, compliance and business are much more important than design and experience.”
Who would benefit most from your expertise?
I can advise on design and experience and mindsets (useability, aesthetics, product value, research, brand, messaging, UI/UX audit, etc)
What are some common challenges you've noticed entrepreneurs face, and why is it important for them to seek mentorship on these topics?
Creating value in the attention economy. The attention economy is formed around the idea that in a digital world, information is everywhere, and yet there’s only so much time we can spend engaging with all this info.
With human attention being a scarce resource, businesses and individuals seeking to capture our hearts and minds are having to get creative.
Building on this, entrepreneurs and startups are basically assumptions/hypothesis creators of what can be innovated and why.
Pushing through this land of uncertainty, they need to be escorted by SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) that deliver them sets of tailored incremental doses of value depending on their current status in their full journey.
They basically change and twist the way information is delivered to them and acquired by them, by utilizing the perspective of zooming in, to deliver detailed contextual information, and zooming out, to deliver the bigger picture.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of challenges that face entrepreneurs in this region where proper guidance and shared values [are still lacking]:
Successful entrepreneurs are too busy to advise (they tend to forget how they started).
The entrepreneurial ecosystem only cares about traction.
Entrepreneurs are treated with harsh judgment and biases.
Individuals do not know how and where to start.
Pitching is treated like a very intense experience where entrepreneurs feel that they are being judged to fail.
Primarily profit-oriented mindsets.
What are some of the best pieces of professional advice that you’ve ever received, and what is some advice you would share with your younger self?
Best professional advice would be: “Users do not care about the product. Fundamentally, what users care about is themselves. They use the product as a 'means to an end.'"
And a piece of advice to share with my younger self would be: “Risk more to fail more in order to be addicted to a ‘continuous learning by doing’ mentality.”
Edgard is part of our Access to Experts initiative, providing mentorship and support to prospective and existing entrepreneurs looking to grow in Abu Dhabi. Connect with him and other industry thought leaders here.