Sculpteo

Product Owner, UX Designer


Roles and responsibilites

UX Designer

From September 2013 - December 2016 I was Sculpteo's UX designer, piloting a wide range of projects. The user base was quite varied since Sculpteo served both non-technical customers as well as highly specialized professional customers. This variability introduced interesting challenges regarding how to present information that was simple without being simplistic.

During my time at Sculpteo I had the opportuntity to:

Product Owner

In January of 2017 Sculpteo started development of Fabpilot, a collection of its internal tools that would be offered as SaaS to provide a platform for Additive Manufacturing to other service bureaus. During this time, with appropriate training I worked closely with our Scrum Master to transition our team to Agile/SCRUM, efficiently delivering new releases every two weeks.

Some of the roles I performed during this period were:

  • Presence and presentations at international events in Europe and the US
  • Requirements gathering across our whole customer base
  • Prospection and customer support
  • Legal and commercial negotiation
  • Aligning the entire application with strict WCAG2.0 accessibility guidelines

This period was incredibly enriching and convinced me of the need to offer such architectural services to smaller companies.

Video overview

Transcript

Introduction

Hi, so I'm Alex gryson, I've been with Sculpteo since 2013, I originally joined as User Experience Designer and since then for about a year and a half I've been the Product Owner for Fabpilot, our software for additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

My job is basically to go to our customers, to be able to talk to the people internally as well, the technical teams, to be able to talk to anyone who uses the software or who would like to use the software, understand their needs, understand where they want to go with the product, what they would like to do with it and what we can do to improve that product.

Then based on all that needs gathering and requirements gathering I need to sort it out into a prioritized backlog which is ready for our sprints for the production team, for the development team to be able to manage those in manageable chunks and make sure that we're delivering value constantly and in an iterative fashion. So that we're always and at every release releasing something that is of value to the customers.

Web Technologies

The technologies that we use on the backend would be for example C C++ for the 3D, we'd also use Django for the templating of the website. On the frontend we'd use CSS, JavaScript various libraries fo rthat so basically it's a fairly modern webstack with the additional idea that we're using 3D. That 3D is in the browser so that's fairly novel so it's not just for web people, if you're more sort of application based, C C++ and you wanna get into 3D it's a very good area for that because we're doing a lot of cool stuff with the 3D and the web integrating together.

Technical Challenges

Up until now Sculpteo has been doing a lot of offering 3D printing as a service to people who are maybe new to 3D printing or maybe don't do it that much and nwo with Fabpilot, the product which I'm Product Owner of we're doing a lot more work with people who work with much more industrial machines, much more instensive use. So we're encountering a lot of challenges and we want to be able to meet those challenges with regards to richer 3D tools, being able to edit and manipulate 3D more efficiently in the browser, much more quickly, much more reactively - not having to wait for things to come back and being able to basically get that kind of, the feel you get from using a modern web application despite that fact that it's a very heavy, rich 3D application.

So those two things things together bring a lot of challenges which are very intersting if you're a developer to try to meet those performance challenges and also interaction challenges if you're more on the User Experience or frontend side, so there's really something for everyone there.

Agile / SCRUM

So in Fabpilot we use an Agile method, so it's kind of SCRUM so every two weeks we'll finish a sprint so we're delivering a new release every two weeks so it's standard enough. At the start of every sprint we'll have a sprint planning, we'll move things into the sprint. During the sprint we'll try to get all of that done. In the meantime I'm also reviewing the last release with customers and getting feedback very quickly from them so that we can react.

And at the end of the sprint we do the review and demo so the person who does the work is responsible for the work, demos the work to the rest of the team and makes sure that everything's in tip top shape before we ship it - and then we'll ship and and we'll do it all again.

And we make sure that we do the retrospective at the end to constantly improve things so it could be stupid things like "My chair's uncomfortable". OK, we'll try to make sure you have the right chair for you to get your work done. Or the most recent case is "I want a 3D pritner in the office so I can do tests directly" - so OK, we'll make sure we can do that kind of thing as well.

So there's constant feedback not just with our customers but also with the developers to make sure that we're constantly improving the way we work and make sure that the environment is the kind of an environment that's conducive to you doing work that not only you enjoy, that not only is useful for the product but also is work that you can do effectively and comfortably as well.

3D printing is cool

Really, in the domain of 3D printing and additive manufacturing I think the coolest thing about it when you're a developer is that in any other domain - what you do in code stays code - it'll appear as pixels on a screen but that's the end of it. When you're talking about 3D printing, what you do as code ends up as physical objects - you've maybe seen them in other videos or other images.

I think the coolest thing for me when I got into 3D printing was I no longer saw things that were just pixels on a screen or buttons that moved - it was actually physical objects that was in a set of headphones or that was going to space in a satellite or doing things like this. So I think that's really - you're never going to find that in any other industry or in any other company and I think that's one of the coolest things about working with Sculpteo specifically is you get to move from electrons to atoms and to actual physical objects.

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