Susan Wolfe, Managing Director
Susan has spent over 25 years evangelising the value of usability and user-centred design to create successful user experiences, and has extensive experience making it work in the real world. Now as Managing Director of Optimal Experience (with previous roles as Director of Consulting at Adobe, Director of Client Services at Different Solutions, and for many years MD and Principal Consultant of The Hiser Group), she has collaborated with a vast array of corporate and government clients across industries to introduce and reap the rewards of user-centred practices. This has involved a combination of identifying and delivering the services, and establishing the ongoing processes, principles, staff and structure to deliver highly successful results.
Prior to finding herself in Australia, Susan learned what does and doesn’t work from the internal perspective by championing and then establishing and managing the corporate-wide Human Factors Department at Tandem Computers. She held previous roles delivering usability and user-centred design services for General Electric Company (at NASA Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory), and she cut her teeth in the industry at the IBM Human Factors Center.
Susan is an energetic and passionate speaker on the topic and frequently delivers highly-rated workshops and conference presentations, and has published a number of articles as well. She served for many years as an adjunct faculty member (at the University of New South Wales, La Trobe University, and San Francisco State University), establishing and delivering undergraduate and graduate curriculum on Human Factors and Computer Human Interaction. She is also very active in the professional community, being highly involved over the years with the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (SIG-CHI), and the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA).
Susan holds an MA from San Francisco State University in Research Psychology and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a Certified Human Factors Professional.