UX Insights, Expert Interviews, UX in Australia

A Deep Dive into UX Testing: Australia's Unique Role and Insights Revealed

UX Insights: Interviews with Industry Experts Part 1


Explore the insights and advantages of UX testing in Australia 🐨🦘, revealing practical solutions and diverse perspectives in the field in this interview with Susan.

03 MIN

With this series of interviews, we want to show how diverse the field of UX is and what interesting stories our partner companies from the UX Alliance can tell. The UX Alliance is a network of leading UX research and design companies around the globe. Australia is covered by our partner company Bayfront UX, led by our colleague Ilana Kaplan.


Susan J. Wolfe is a renowned figure in User Experience (UX), with a career spanning over four decades. Her professional journey, enriched by experiences at NASA and Tandem Computers in Silicon Valley, has been significantly influenced by her roles in Australia. At Hiser, she sharpened her expertise in user-centric design and helped put UX on the map in that part of the world. As the founder of Optimal Experience, she further demonstrated exceptional leadership and innovation, setting a high bar in UX practices.

In recent years, Wolfe has dedicated herself to education, playing a crucial role in guiding career changers into the UX field. Her efforts as an educator have led to the successful transition of over 550 individuals into UX careers, showcasing her dedication to the growth and evolution of the UX industry.

Interviewer: Based on your extensive professional experience in the field of UX research: Should I test in Australia?

Wolfe: My answer could be “Don’t waste your time!” Comparatively speaking, Australia is geographically the size of the 48 contiguous states of the US, but only approximately half the population of California! Why bother testing in Australia if there’s no one here?


Interviewer: I assume that you don’t really believe it’s a waste of time! Since you partially built your career on UX testing in Australia, I’m guessing you think that Australia is a significant place for UX testing.

Wolfe: 100 percent, for a number of reasons!  Firstly, UX aside, Australia is a good place to trial new ideas in general. Australia is used as a sandbox for exploring new technology because it's an affluent  English-speaking country with solid infrastructure. Despite what I just said, the smaller market size is actually advantageous as it provides a controlled environment for testing new ideas.

Furthermore, I’ve observed that Australia is often more willing to adopt new technologies. This is evident in areas like mobile communications and financial services, where I’ve seen Australia lead, rather than follow, what the US does from the tech perspective.

Finally, technology development is very practical in Australia.  It’s not about inventing tech for the sake of tech, but about solving actual problems. Australian companies like Cochlear and ResMed, providing health solutions known worldwide, originated from this practical approach.

Not surprisingly, all of this means that there’s a real role to play in understanding how well solutions work in the Australian context. Yes, you should do UX testing here!


Interviewer: Does the social and cultural environment in Australia influence UX testing outcomes?

Wolfe: Definitely. The diverse and multicultural nature of the Australian society allows for testing a broad range of user experiences and preferences. This diversity is a microcosm of a global audience, making Australia an excellent location for international usability studies. Moreover, the practical and targeted approach to innovation here leads to more realistic and applicable insights for product development.


Interviewer: How does the population distribution in Australia impact UX testing?

Wolfe: The population distribution along the coastlines simplifies logistics for widespread testing. It's easier to reach different demographics in a smaller area, making it efficient for recruiting participants from diverse backgrounds. This geographical aspect allows for a more comprehensive and varied testing process.


Interviewer: Is testing in Australia a substitute for testing in larger markets like the US?

Wolfe: Testing in Australia is beneficial, but it's not always representative of other markets like the US. The mindset, expectations, and infrastructure can be quite different. For instance, the response to electric cars or healthcare products might vary significantly due to differences in infrastructure and systems. Therefore, while Australia offers a great starting point, it’s important to test in other markets for a complete understanding.


Interviewer: In summary, what is the unique advantage of UX testing in Australia?

Wolfe: The key advantage is the ability to test in an environment that challenges existing biases. Australia offers a range of perspectives, thanks to its diversity and different societal values. This leads to more insightful and varied feedback compared to testing in more homogeneous environments. The focus is on practical and applied solutions, not just on technology. This aligns with the general mindset in Australia, which is less about technological dominance and more about addressing practical, real-world challenges and solutions



Curious about international UX testing? 🧐 Get in touch with us to discuss!

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Jan Panhoff

Jan started working as a UX professional in 2004 after completing his M.Sc. in Digital Media. For 10 years he supported eBay as an embedded UX consultant. His focus at uintent is on automotive and innovation research.

Moreover, he is one of uintent's representatives in the UX Alliance, a global network of leading UX research and design companies around the globe. With his interview series he wants to show how diverse the field of UX is and what interesting stories our partner companies can tell.

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