The user at the centre as the engine of product design: Cristina Franco and her work as UX Design Specialist.

Cristina Franco, UX Design Specialist at INFINITIA, chose Product Design and Development Engineering – a degree from which she graduated four years ago – “because of the fusion between technical and creative aspects”, as well as “the connection between products and people”. Although over time he has added new attributes to his profession – as he later became interested in User Research, among other things – his beginnings have been the impetus for where he is today.

During her last year at the University of Zaragoza, Franco did an internship at INFINITIA as a Product Design Engineer in the Strategic Design Department, the same department she is now part of. During this period she discovered other specialities that caught her attention and, at the end of her contract, she wanted to have an international experience. So he went to Copenhagen for half a year to work in a product design studio. There he was able to develop more global projects from the perspective of sustainability and materials, always with the user as the focus.

In 2021 he studied a master’s degree at the Escuela Universitaria de Diseño, Innovación y Tecnología (ESNE) where he specialised in User Experience Design for Digital Products and Services; a discipline focused on the design methodology for analysing the user experience that encompasses other disciplines such as UX Design, UX Research, Service Design, etc.

Afterwards, he returned to Zaragoza to join again INFINITIA, where he started (and continues now) his working life. His current functions consist of analysing the market and getting to understand the users, their perception, habits and needs within each project, putting them at the centre. All with the aim of taking into account their needs and desires to generate new designs or validate concepts trying to improve their experience as much as possible.

On this path, Cristina vindicates the importance of design in all its disciplines, as she considers that “on many occasions, the role of the designer is not understood”. “When working on a project that consists of developing a product to launch on the market, it is essential to analyse the environment to detect opportunities and investigate users to find out their needs and desires, validate concepts and ideas,” she explains. “This way, when you launch the product, you will be sure of its viability,” she adds.

Cristina also highlights as milestones two awards received throughout her professional career. Both were achieved in 2018: one, the prize in the packaging design competition in the Packaging Cluster, and the other, the prize in the factor-idea competition in collaboration with the University of Zaragoza and BSH Electrodomésticos España.

However, he points out that “each project is a success”, as “none of them is the same as the previous one”, which “allows us to develop them with motivation” and “understand them as challenges”. In short, she points out that, “being able to carry out such disparate work – on food, the environment, the automotive industry, the home… – allows you to have a global vision of many subjects and to learn about them”.

However, Cristina still has a long way to go. In this sense, among her professional inspirations, she highlights: “To increase the number of projects and clients, turning them into strategic design references and being able to have an impact on them that helps to improve the user experience”.