Author: Carol-Ina Trudel
Carol-Ina Trudel is a user experience analyst. She has over 12 years of international experience as a consultant and researcher in the field of Information Architecture and User Experience.
She first became interested in cognitive ergonomics while working at the National Library of Canada. As she trained clients in the use of different information systems she wondered, as he colleagues did, why every client made exactly the same mistakes, over and over again. It is only as she discovered cognitive ergonomics that she learned to look at these systems from an entirely different perspective, and finally understood that it wasn't the clients' fault ...it was the way the systems were designed which led everybody down exactly the same, but wrong, path. This seems so evident now, but in the late 1980s cognitive ergonomics was a relatively new field
Carol-Ina left Canada with a degree in experimental psychology (University of Ottawa) and a lot of eye-opening work experience, and landed in Auckland, New Zealand. There she carried out research in the field of Human-Computer Interaction, a field in which she obtained her Masters degree (University of Auckland). Her research on the mental models people create to understand and guide their actions as they explore systems was featured in a science program on the Discovery Channel. This led to exposure with industry and designers who had many practical questions on how this work could be applied to product and software design.
She eventually left New Zealand in order to do her PhD in Cognitive Ergonomics - with a specialization in \"human-centered design\" at the University of Cardiff, Wales. Again her research focussed on how people explore information systems and what assumptions they make and what strategies they develop to guide their actions. In 1995 she moved to Paris for a post-doctoral fellowship at the INRIA (Institut national de recherche en informatique et automatique, Rocquencourt).
In 1996 she was recruited to work as a researcher and consultant at the Echangeur, a European Center for innovative technologies (www.echangeur.fr). She also worked for many years as a user experience consultant in Milan, Italy and worked on projects in Belgium, Spain, England, France, and now is established at the National Research Council of Canada, where she in the User Interface specialist in the Technology and Research group of CISTI.
Her background in information science, human-computer interaction and psychology enables her to propose solutions that are truly human-centered, that is, motivated by a commitment to consider products and services from the users\' point of view. She has told us that she feels privileged to have a career which allows her to walk around different cities and work with different companies noting everything that she could “ modify, improve, make more usable...
Trudel, Carol-Ina (1994): "Pictorial Communication in Virtual and Real Environments," edited by S. R. Ellis, M. Kais. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 40 (3) pp. 573-575.