About Us

User Research Atlanta was founded and organized by the following people:

Jo Wong (founder) – is a co-founder and principal at Apogee and co-founder of Make Meaningful Work, as well as the co-founder of UX Hong Kong. Jo grew up in multicultural Hong Kong, with a Chinese-Burmese father and Chinese-Indonesian mother. She collaborates with global teams conducting research in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Jo is passionate about the environment, political and economic systems and how we can live healthier and happier lives while not adversely impacting less fortunate people.

Daniel Szuc (founder) – is a co-founder and principal at Apogee and co-founder of Make Meaningful Work, as well as the co-founder of UX Hong Kong. He has been involved in the UX field for over 20 years, and has been based in Hong Kong for over 20 years. Dan has lectured about user-centered design globally. He has co-authored two books including Global UX with Whitney Quesenbery and the Usability Kit with Gerry Gaffney. @dszuc

jo and dan


Laurissa Wolfram-Hvass – is the Director of User Experience Research at Mailchimp. Her team uses a mixed methods research approach to understand Mailchimp’s customers, products, and competition—all of which play a vital role in prioritising product decisions, guiding feature development, and designing the customer experience. Laurissa earned her PhD in English Rhetoric and Composition from Georgia State University, where her work focused on how user experience research is used to inform and influence product decisions. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and in her free time enjoys traveling, wandering around farmers markets, and refurbishing old furniture.



Patti Carlson – is a Senior Manager of User Experience Research at Mailchimp, an all-in-one marketing platform for small businesses. With an extensive background in UX Research and Psychology, she guides her team in using a variety of UX Research methods to understand customer needs and help guide product teams toward effective solutions. Prior to joining Mailchimp, Patti built high performing teams from the ground up and guided the successful adoption of Design Thinking methods at multiple organizations, from startups to Fortune 50 companies. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in and around Atlanta with her family and her nervous rescue puppy, Bowie.



Matt Wallens – is a design research consultant with a mission to help clients understand their customers and employees to make a lasting, positive impact. In 2009, he founded 80 Watts, a consultancy focused on research, training, and experience design. Recent projects include conducting research to improve B2B service design and communication, the employee experience for a global call center, and the patient experience of a genome testing service. When he’s not working, Matt enjoys visiting mountains, whiskey tasting, and exploring Atlanta’s delicious taco scene.


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