Meet Jeremy Higgins
Our interview took place in full pandemic protocol: remotely.
Jeremy Higgins is an established User Experience (UX) designer and director from France. Higgins moved to Quebec three years ago to fulfill the role of CEO and launch Atecna Montreal. In his time here, he has succeeded in turning the company into one that is both prized and recognized. Comprising of three main pillars: user experience (UX), development, and digital performance - Atecna Montreal Agency works hard and collaboratively to produce optimal user experiences.
Teaming up with Shopify, and the city of Montreal, Atecna and Higgins himself, have a hand in the development of the upcoming UX Design program, launching in January 2022, via Concordia’s Continuing Education.
As a leader, Higgins is hands-on and pragmatic. He is fueled by problem solving and supports an inclusive environment which makes him a great team player.
As an instructor at CCE, Higgins hopes to bridge the gap Montreal’s UX market is facing: a lack of skilled designers. The lack of talent within the market slows down the field, and that is something that needs to be addressed. “That’s why we need institutions like Concordia involved in the change,” Higgins explained.
Looking forward, Higgins is happy to pass on his knowledge to his students, and is not only ready, but eager for their challenging questions to come. “UX is important and it needs to be taught broadly, because it helps analyse our world. I think that knowledge is made to be shared. Plus, students always have really tricky questions that no one has asked me before, and I like that” Higgins mused with a smirk.
As the lines between url and irl (in real life), or shall we say digital and physical, continue to blurr, it should come with no surprise that UX is becoming a booming industry. Higgins stated, “Because we can no longer do without it, caring about UX is vital for business if you don’t want to lag behind your competitors (and in the digital sphere your competitors can come quickly from anywhere). Moreover, UX is vital for inclusivity. Elderly, minority, people with disabilities, those living in remote communities - UX is essential to help these people access online services and information.”
When asked what makes up some key qualities in an aspiring UX designer, Higgins said: “being pragmatic, a good listener, and to enjoy solving problems, even the small ones”.
And finally, some advice we can all use if we are needing a little creative fuel or boost to our work rhythm. Higgins suggests taking work breaks that force us to use high levels of concentration, on something completely unrelated to your job. This could be something crafty, meditative, or physical - Higgins often opts for a guitar session or rock climbing.
Jeremy Higgins’ upcoming workshop UX Fundamentals and the Science of User Experience will debut as a six hour intensive on May 11 & 13 from 9 am - 12 pm. We hope to see you there!