Marty is a generative research pioneer, serial entrepreneur, and VP of User Experience Research at the nation’s preeminent human experience firm, Lextant. He leads a team that defines people’s desired experiences for clients, and his research has produced business value for a veritable who’s who of leading brands, including P&G, ConAgra, Kohler, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Whirlpool, Ford, GM, Stellantis, Honda, Lowe’s, Case New Holland, GE Appliance, GE Healthcare, P&G, GSK, Pfizer, Abbott, Kimberly Clark, Meta, and Nationwide Insurance, among others.

Prior to joining Lextant, Marty founded two successful design research firms, Rocket Surgery and SonicRim, both of which were at the forefront of generative research. He also helped establish Fitch, an award-winning global brand design firm, become a leader in participatory design research.

Marty has published widely on design research, including a chapter on participatory design research methods in Human Factors Testing and Evaluation Methods, articles in the Human Factors Society Consumer Products newsletter, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting Proceedings, Plastics News, Package Design News, Boxes and Arrows online journal, and Innovation: The Journal of Industrial Designers, a special design research issue that Marty also guest edited. His research philosophy and methods are featured in Agile User Experience Design, the Almanac of Architecture and Design, and The Routledge Companion to Design Studies.

 A recipient of numerous design awards, Marty has also served as jurist on IDSA’s International Design Excellence Awards and as the IDSA User Research Section Head.

A skillful storyteller, Marty has enlivened audiences at the Human Factors Society Annual Meeting, the Human Factors Society Consumer Products Technical Group Conference, About With and For Conference, World Usability Day, Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC), Boxes and Arrows Conference, The Market Research Event (TMRE), Health Experience Design Conference; design retreats with Steelecase, Kohler, and Motorola; and user research groups such as Preely in Copenhagen. A frequent speaker at IDSA conferences, Marty has addressed their national conferences, been the keynote speaker at their Education Symposium and over thirty district and local chapter events.

He also lectures at schools including The Cranbrook Academy, The Ohio State University, the Design Research Conference at Arizona State University, and at The College of Creative Studies, where he co-directed a research project of the ideal millennial transportation experience with students and Chrysler Corporation’s Innovation Group. After several years of lecturing at The Savannah College of Art & Design, Marty, co-author Spencer Murrell, and CEO Chris Rockwell collaborated with SCAD Dean Victor Ermoli and Professor Kwela Hermanns to develop a course and certificate in the most market-proven approach to applied design research, preparing students for professional careers in both business and design industries. This collaboration paved the way for publication of User Experience Research: Discover What Customers Really Want.

Marty holds his bachelor’s in psychology from Hendrix College and earned his Masters in human factors psychology from Wright State University.


Spencer Murrell is a product designer, research innovator, and partner at the nation’s preeminent human experience firm Lextant. During a forty-year design consulting career, he has been awarded over twenty patents and a trademark for his research method, Insight Translation™, which makes a unique contribution to the design research process at precisely the moment it matters most: when research findings are synthesized for sharing with non-researchers within multiple corporate functions, from R&D to Marketing. Spencer’s Insight Translation™ method has provided design direction and common language for numerous leading brands and Fortune 500 companies, including Honda, GM, Fiat Chrysler, Stellantis, Stryker Medical, GlaxoSmithKline, Samsung Electronics, Kohler, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide Insurance, Grange Insurance, Cardinal Health, Conagra, and others.

Spencer has shared his design research innovations and expertise with audiences at several Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) conferences, most recently at the International Design Conference & Education Symposium; at World Usability Day; The New MR Virtual Festival; the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID); and the International Conference on High-Density Interconnect and Systems Packaging. He lectures at The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Columbus College of Art and Design, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. At SCAD, a course and student certificate in  “Design Research and Insight Translation” evolved from a four-year partnership between the college and Lextant, and, ultimately, the publication, with co-author Marty Gage, of User Experience Research: Discover What Customers Really Want.

Prior to joining Lextant, Spencer spent seventeen years at Fitch, a global design firm, where he developed an award-winning product development practice, combining industrial design, mechanical and electrical engineering, human factors and participatory research, and interactive design. He ultimately led the design team that created the zip, Ditto and Jaz product lines for Iomega Corporation, increasing Iomega’s stock value 2500%, and earning Bloomberg Business Week magazine’s  “Design of the Decade” award in 2000.

Spencer’s design work and ideas have been featured in Innovation: Quarterly of the Industrial Designers Society of America; ID: the Magazine of International Design; Design Management Journal; Designing for Humanity (University of California Press);Product Design (University of Michigan) Volumes 3 and 4; Human Engineering Guide to Equipment Design; and Design, User Experience, and Usability. The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design has showcased his design.

Spencer holds a degree in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati.