© 2019  Ashlea McKay

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ashlea mckay

about me

I am a UX researcher, writer and keynote speaker with a decade of experience spanning both the public and private sectors in Australia and most recently internationally in the SaaS space. I’ve worked across a wide variety of roles that have included working: in-house for a large government department in multiple UX roles, as a UX consultant at a Big Four professional services firm, as a freelance professional writer creating technical and blog content on an ad hoc basis and lastly as a remote contractor embedded within a team leading large and complex pieces of user research. 


I co-founded UX advice column UX Agony Aunt with Optimal Workshop in 2015 and am heavily involved in the global UX community through industry publications, mentoring, and conference speaking engagements. 


I am also a proud autistic person who was diagnosed later in life. After spending 30 years not knowing I was missing a key piece of my identity, finding out I’m on the spectrum was the best thing that ever happened to me. Being autistic means I think differently. My brain essentially runs on a different operating system. My autism gives me a unique perspective that is especially handy for problem solving, pattern recognition, storytelling and detail oriented tasks.


My core UX strengths lie in user research, content and information architecture and I am currently writing my first book on life as an autistic UXer.


UX Manager // Synergy Group Australia // July 2019 - Present

Senior UX Writer and User Researcher // Ashlea McKay // July 2015 - Present

Senior Consultant // The Experience Centre PwC Australia // February 2016 - October 2017

UX Technical Writer (Freelance) // Optimal Workshop // July 2014 - June 2019

User Centred Designer // The ATO // February 2014 - January 2016

Graduate Business Designer // The ATO // February 2013 - January 2014


Graphic Designer // CEA Technologies // February 2012 - May 2012


Bachelor of Industrial Design // University of Canberra // 2011

Volunteer Experience

Ability@PwC National Lead // March 2017 - October 2017

Ability@PwC Canberra Lead // May 2016 - October 2017

Mentoring // February 2014 - present



UX writing // User research // Usability testing // Information Architecture // Content design and strategy // Information design // UX education


Diversity & Inclusion

National and local leadership // Event management // Strategic planning and engagement // Disability SME // Creative communications // Advocacy and thought leadership