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  • Who we work with

    Our client list has included the government organisations ASIC, ACCC, the Productivity Commission and the NSW Police;  financial services brands like ALI Group, Industry SuperFunds, and Westpac; not-for profits such as CCNB and ZAA.

    Our work has been used by governments in developing policy and by financial services firms and not-for-profit organisations in submissions to government. We have helped clients develop better targeted marketing, channel and communication strategies. We have used our linguistic and sensemaking skills to to give our clients the tools and greater confidence to create clearer communication and more suitable and desirable products.

    Why us?

    We have the research expertise, resources and processes specifically designed for clients like you. Your situation is unique, so we take time with you upfront to understand your organisation, your strategy, your category and your customers, members, users, donors etc so we can design research to give you the insights you need. We then use our social science training to design innovative techniques that sit beside the tried-and-tested research methods that we use for deep understanding, and provide robust, actionable interpretation of the results. We are based in Sydney and have helped small, medium and large businesses, government agencies, and not-for-profits across Australia. 

    Is your world changing?

    Many of our clients come to us because their world is changing.  What once seemed certain is now very uncertain.  Of course, the pandemic has had much to do with this, but it is not only pandemics that cause uncertainty. New regulations in financial services, many coming into effect in 2021, are placing greater demands on our clients who ask us for insight and direction.  Other clients are experiencing highly dynamic competitive marketplaces, so they have come to us for insights about new service channels or to explore rebranding options. Others are seeing changing social trends that they need to make sense of.

    We design research to meet your needs. All you need to do is request an obligation-free proposal from us by emailing me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Our aim is to help you make the right decisions about your business or organisation. I look forward to hearing from you,   

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Our innovative and unique services

  • One of the most difficult tasks for anyone in a large organisation is knowing how to communicate complex or technical material to the general public. We see this all the time and empathise.  When you are writing about legal processes, you must use precise language.  We get that. The problem is that members of the general public may not understand it, so in the end you have not achieved your aim.

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  • The years before retirement in Australia is a time of transition, that is partly behavioural but is also a search for meaning and a rethinking about identity.

    Lots of changes can happen at this time. Some people cut back on their work hours, some people retire and then go back to work. The decision to retire is (of course) partly about money. Many pre-retirees worry that they will not have enough to live on.

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  • Sense-making is a new way to think about customer experience research and decision-making research.

    Sense-making is about how people make sense of the communications we test. It explains why they get somethings right and others wrong. It is about how people make sense of service experiences. It explains what is going on the mind of the customer during a service journey and how people make sense of the products and sensory experiences we test

    Sense-making adds a unique perspective and a greater depth of insight to all our research.

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Some case studies

  • Case study: Retirees

    Case study: Retirees

    How do people choose when to retire? How do they plan, if they plan at all?  We conducted a survey for Industry Super Australia which they submitted to the Retirement Income Review. You can find it here.  
    Read More
  • Case study: membership

    Case study: membership

    A membership organisation asked us to review how well they were engaging with their members,  to gain a clearer understanding of the reader base and members' reasons for belonging and engaging with their newsletter.
    Read More
  • Case Study: Self-service challenges

    Case Study: Self-service challenges

    We know that many businesses aspire to self-service delivery models, but creating the right model can be a challenge. One recent project in financial services has shown us how challenging it can be to get this right.
    Read More

In Financial Services, the term ‘consumer testing’ means testing a document with members of its intended audience to determine whether the document is easy for them to read, use, and understand. Nowadays, we use consumer testing for all kinds of digital documents and forms as well as traditional pdfs.

Elements of best practice in document or consumer testing are

1. Testing should always be conducted as an individual interview and never in group discussions.

2. Participants should be members of the intended audience who have not been involved in the design or writing of the document.

3. If the sample for the testing is the general public, it should include men and women, younger and older people, people with lower and higher levels of education. 

4. Testing should be conducted by an independent researcher who has not been involved in designing or writing the document.

Susan Bell Research is an expert in this form of testing.   For clients who have not worked with us before: we have a trial offer. See below for details.

Trial offer

To see the benefits of this form of testing, we are offering new corporate clients a 'try it' offer. We will design and conduct five webcam interviews with members of your target market at a discounted rate. We need to quote on application because target markets vary but you should expect it to be under AUD 5000.  This offer includes: design, recruitment, incentives, webcam interviews and PowerPoint debrief.  This is obligation free. If you decide that you can learn more from a larger study we will transition you to one of our full offers (as described below).  If you are not interested in going further, that's fine. 

If you are interested, email Sue with 'Trial offer' in the subject line: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our full offer

Our full offer is for a qualitative only, or a qualitative and quantitative test. The qualitative sample will have between 10 and 30 participants. If we conduct quantitative testing, assume sample of N=100 or 200. We will give you options when we quote. 

  • We will commit our resources to understanding your material as well as we can. This takes a little bit of time upfront, but you will see the benefit.
  • We design the test specifically for the material we are testing. We may create questions for you that we have never used before to meet your specific needs.  We are trained in linguistics, so we bring our technical language skill to this.
  • Tests can be quantitative with large samples or qualitative with smaller samples. The quantitative tests are descriptive; the qualitative test are more diagnostic
  • The end result for you will be actual suggestions for rewording and restructuring your material.  We don't say 'you must write this more clearly'. We say 'this is how to write to more clearly'.



Tags: Disclosure, Consumer testing, Compliance

For a quote or a confidential discussion about your research needs