User research starts with empathy.  It starts with caring that users are successful and efficient at the task they want to accomplish.   It's my responsibility that users always feel confident and never feel stupid using a company's product.
I am a User (UX) Researcher with more than 12 years of experience in conducting and managing qualitative and mixed-methods user research. I have a proven ability to translate research into design recommendations through wireframes and technical specifications to help designers and engineers make great products. I am a skilled collaborator, effective in working on cross-functional teams, with both internal and external clients. I am an innovator named on two patents. And I am experienced in mentoring and managing small teams and love to help new researchers figure out how to approach problems.


12+ years conducting quantitative and qualitative user research for software user experiences in the technology industry (consumer-facing software, internal company software, external web platforms, etc.)


6+ years conducting quantitative and qualitative user research for hardware user experiences in the technology industry (printers, consumer health electronics, appliances, etc.)

7+ years mentoring students and other team members


3+ years working remotely on distributed teams

3+ years interfacing with external clients



  • Qualitative user research; research planning strategy over product life-cycle; research-informed, iterative design; qualitative and quantitative analysis

  • Collaboration with cross-functional teams (designers, product and project managers, engineers and programmers, etc.), as well as external and internal clients to work within budget and schedule constraints and identify client needs.

  • Identifying potential target areas for generative research in order to define and address the biggest problems users are facing.

  • Working with technical teams, network engineers for router setups and networked printers, prioritizing features for internal tools based on interviews and surveys with subject-matter experts

  • Remote and international interviews, usability testing and iterative design





Independent Consultant (d/b/a Michelle Sublette, LLC) - Lexington, KY   (2014 - present)

User Experience Researcher

Provide freelance research activities on a remote basis for diverse business clients including quantitative and qualitative surveys, usability testing, and market research.

Client highlights: 

  • OECD-OPSI (2018) Designed and tested a research submission website for an international government organization. Conducted pre-design research that included 6 remote interviews as well as a feature survey with current site users worldwide. Managed remote usability testing and created and tested an interactive prototype using Axure. 

  • Bose (2019) Coded and analyzed qualitative data from 6000+ survey responses related to two Bose Wellness products and wrote report for executives.

  • SEIU 775 Benefits Group (2019 - present) Personally conducted more than 30 interviews and coded qualitative interviews with home healthcare workers. Designed and tested surveys and established survey standards and best practices for process design. Served as Qualtrics subject matter expert.

  • Microsoft (2018, 2019) Designed a survey template for customer satisfaction surveys and wrote an analysis plan to guide survey results analysis. Led a remote international study and analysis using card sorting techniques to inform redesign of Sharepoint documentation structure.

  • Fona International  (2017 - present) Designed, deployed, and analyzed surveys about flavor preferences.

  • Sphero (2018) Performed qualitative research and analysis for toy concepts. Work included in-person interviews with children and parents and delivery of a report with findings.

  • Accuity Data, LLC  (2017 - present) Created a new survey, edited existing surveys, added advanced survey logic, and entered surveys into Qualtrics.

  • ParkNFly (2019) - In-person and remote usability test of 10 particpants on current reservation website for benchmarking.  Analyzed results of test, created report of results, produced recommendations for changes to new design



University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY   (2014 - 2016)

Human Factors Researcher

Managed a 60-participant in-home study as an internal research project for the Computer Science department to identify users’ network privacy concerns and challenges in configuring and repairing their home networks.

  • Designed study protocol and successfully received and maintained Institutional Review Board approval.

  • Created participant screening questionnaires, recruited participants, and visited participant homes during router installations.

  • Created, deployed, and analyzed pre-post skills surveys.


IBM - Remote    (2012 - 2013)

User Experience Researcher and Designer (contracted through Eclaro)

Engaged by IBM to manage research activities used to define requirements and inform design of a new IBM employee website, with a focus on improved user experience and simplifying design while adding functionality.

  • Collaborated with a team of graphic and interaction designers, outside vendors, developers, and internal customers.

  • Gathered usability and functional requirements through interviews and surveys.

  • Created low-fidelity prototypes and wireframes using iterative design methodologies.

  • Conducted online, remote usability testing with global employees. 

  • Built test plans, reports, and presentations to define usability tests and specifications.

Lexmark International, Inc. - Lexington, KY,   (2010 , 1997 - 2010)

Served in usability and experience research roles with employment interruptions during full-time university study. Worked as a direct Lexmark employee (2001 - 2006) and in consultant roles through agencies AIC, Perficient, and Eclaro.

User Experience Researcher and Designer (Summer 2010)

Collaborated with a consulting group on redesign of a printer management portal.

  • Created low-fidelity wireframes, conducted on-site and remote iterative usability tests, and executed comparative A/B usability testing for prototypes. 


Usability Specialist - Network Team Lead (2001 - 2006)

Managed research activities to investigate wireless printer setups, design new screens/interface for printer software, and design printer operator panel to improve user flows, modernize look and feel, increase functionality, and ensure user success.

  • Conducted in-depth longitudinal ethnographic and contextual inquiry research in customers’ homes.

  • Created online survey based on user attributes determined from site visits (contextual inquiry), focus group interviews, usability testing and marketing input. Wrote, deployed and analyzed traditional and task-based surveys.

  • Created research-informed wireframe layout screens for printer software, operator panels, and printer setup.

  • Collaborated with graphic designers and software engineers to define look and feel for software UIs.

  • Reviewed and authored functional and behavioral specifications for all released consumer products.

  • Authored text for messages delivered to users by software and on the printer. 

  • Conducted usability/lo-fi testing of new screens and flows.


Technical Writer/Usability Specialist (1997 - 1999, 2000)

Managed research activities and designed processes to create new printer hardware and software setup flow.

  • Collaborated with engineers, box designers, marketing and technical writers to evaluate costs and designs of new setup process designs based upon data collected from user testing

  • Planned and moderated usability tests and presented design suggestions and results to team.

  • Designed, prototyped, and tested a new software interface using goal-oriented menu design and featuring side tabs for printer driver software through end-of-product testing and implementation in coordination with marketing, engineering, publications and management. This project led to two patents.



Visio, Balsamiq, OvoStudios, Morae, SPSS, Slack, Qualtrics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, MailChimp, Axure, OptimalSort, Survey Monkey, Dedoose, Microsoft Tools



Ph.D. Experimental Psychology/Human Factors, University of Kentucky

  • Dissertation: Usability Is Not Just Usability: Discovering the Strategies Used by Non-Experts in Making Usability Predictions

  • Taught Introductory Psychology Lab, Statistics Lab, and Cognitive Psychology Lab.

M.A. Experimental Psychology/Human Factors, New Mexico State University

  • Thesis: The Role of Information Type on Popup Messages in Learning to Operate a Computer System

B.S. Journalism, University of Kentucky

Certificate of Human-Technology Interaction, University of Kentucky


Printer properties graphical user interface computer icon for a display (USD450323S1)

Goal-oriented design for the printer property's graphical user interface (US6704033B2)

  • In-Depth Interviews

  • Survey Design

  • Mixed-Methods Research

  • Statistical Analysis

  • Competitive Analysis

  • Usability Testing

  • Online Experiments

  • Iterative Design

  • Field Studies

  • Documentation Design

  • Think Alouds

  • A/B Testing

  • Heuristic Evaluation

  • Contextual Inquiry

  • Cognitive Walkthroughs

  • Card Sorts

  • Applied Cognitive Task Analysis

  • Eye Tracking

  • Journey Mapping

  • International interviews and usability testing

  • Persona  Creation