Credit: Matthieu Cannizzaro / Mobile design pour Corporico
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Matthieu Cannizzaro, Head of design and Product designer

27 February 2024 Portraits
Published by Sophie JEAN
Viewed 85 times

Graduating from the Digital Project Director/UX Manager course in 2016, Matthieu Cannizzaro began working as a Product Designer before progressing to a Head of Design position. A fervent advocate of design, he campaigns to make UX an essential strategic position within companies.




Could you summarize your career path since graduating as a Digital Project Director/UX Manager in 2016?

Right out of school,I was hired by the agency where I'd done my work-study program, to develop their experience design offering. This first part of my agency career gave me a behind-the-scenes look at a profession that was still in its infancy among advertisers.


I then worked for Maisons du Monde for a year, where I was able to deepen the discovery aspect of my job. Until then, I'd mainly worked on delivery.


Then I joined Digital Recruiters, a SASS application for recruiters, where I was lucky enough to be the first in-house product designer. I started by working with the production teams on setting up the organization, then moved on to design implementation and management. I set up a number of processes around design to develop its strategic position within the company.


I left the company at the beginning of January 2024. I'm considering various options for the next stage of my career: continuing my experience in a company in the HR sector, this time focusing on the candidate experience, joining a start-up studio or launching myself into entrepreneurship as a coach for start-ups.




©Matthieu Cannizzaro - Application mobile - Digital Recruiters 

Matthieu Cannizzaro - Mobile application - Digital Recruiters

What did your job as Head of Design at Digital Recruiters entail?

I was lucky enough to be able to build up and develop this position. My role was divided into three areas:


  • People: withrecruitment and management of the design team. The major challenge here was to motivate the teams by creating a stimulating working environment.
  • Process: with the creation and deployment of design discovery and delivery processes integrated into the product organization. To do this, I identified the right tools for the right uses, and coordinated interactions between teams, looking for logical connectors between them.
  • Purpose: with theco-construction of a roadmap for the various product teams around value creation.



I also had a mission to "evangelize" the design culture, to defend the strategic importance of design within the company, which goes beyond deliverables.



What do you like about your job?

In all aspects of UX, thehuman being is at the center of the process, and that's what I like about this job. We're working on digital, but it's always for human beings.


I also find this aspect in the job of Head of Design, with team management. You have to motivate them, help them find meaning in their work and make sure they're not just executing things.


It's almost become a philosophy of life. In my opinion, if you focus solely on business and technology and forget about the desirability of the user, you're on the wrong track.


When you're a designer, you have to think about the person who will interact with your creation, whether it's a chair, a controller, glasses, a website... this is crucial in the digital professions.




©Matthieu Cannizzaro - Design System - Digital Recruiters 

Matthieu Cannizzaro - Design System - Digital Recruiters

Why did you choose UX?

It's the meeting of the two worlds in which I evolved in my academic career. Before GOBELINS, I trained in marketing and digital communications. I already had this creative, design aspect. I was keen to add value to ideas, to package the offer.


I found the union between the two with UX design. I can be creative while still being in touch with the user, his uses, expectations and needs.


The first cliché that comes to mind when you think of UX is that we color and run workshops with post-it. But behind every choice (size, shape, colors, positioning, message...) there's an impact on the user.


What interests me more today, with almost 10 years' experience, is how to take the world of design to the next level, how to take it out of product or marketing and show its strategic impact within a company, so that we can see more Chief Design Officers and VP Design on boards of directors.




Which project has impressed you the most?

The redesign of the SACD (Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques)website , which I worked on during my work-study program. SACD offers various services to authors (management and declaration of rights, claims...). At the time, almost 90% of these services were only available on paper, which made the process very tedious for authors.


From a personal point of view, this project was a real sign of confidence. Froma professional point of view, it was this project that made me realize the importance of the human element in UX.


I was able to carry out a wave of tests and user meetings with the authors, which made me aware of the impact of this digitalization of services on their lives. With the user protocols, I was able to see how happy users were when they discovered the prototypes of the site that would considerably simplify their procedures.




©Matthieu Cannizzaro -  Corporate Hub - Attijariwafa bank

Matthieu Cannizzaro Corporate Hub Attijariwafa bank

You've been a freelance product designer for 7 years. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

This parallel activity allowed me to feed the UX andhave a pressure relief valve. I didn't do any canvassing, it was all word of mouth.


I created this status to be able to create a logo or graphic identity for friends who were starting out, and to be able to give courses at my old school. I've always wanted to be a speaker. I love coaching and mentoring juniors.


I opened this status as soon as I started working in an agency and closed it at the beginning of 2024 to leave myself the possibility of launching myself as a freelancer this year.


This experience gave me the opportunity to build a network, experiment with project management, customer management and negotiation, andlearn how to sell myself and how to say "no".




How has your training helped you in your career?

It helped me get rid of the impostor syndrome. GOBELINS enjoys an excellent reputation, which reassures companies.


It helped me to launch and redirect my career, and I was able to build up a network. In fact, I landed my job at Maisons du Monde through Estelle Broihanne, who was a lecturer at the school.


The training also helped me understand that there isn't necessarily a pre-applied method, and that ux is a whole host of tools that you need to know about and know how to use wisely.


The school gave me lots of tools and encouraged me to cultivate an entrepreneurial culture, not to be afraid to take the plunge and to take risks.




©Matthieu Cannizzaro - Branding & website - Île seguin - Rives de seine -

Do you enjoy working with GOBELINS alumni?

I haven't particularly worked with alumni, but I do maintain professional relationships. Recently, I put in touch a former student of mine who lives in Guadeloupe with a freelancer I met who was moving there.




What advice would you give to a recent graduate?

Take risks and be serious, but don't take yourself too seriously. Our job is relatively simple; we don't save lives. You have to know how to take risks to enjoy what you do.


Don 't hesitate to ask for help and listen to other designers' feedback . Don't hesitate to share your work and open up to others.


You also need to campaign to make companies understand the strategic position of design. We all stand to gain. You can do this by showing the impact of your work by systematically connecting data and ux. By connecting data, we can demonstrate that design has an impact that goes well beyond the aesthetic aspect of the interface, that it generates sales.




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