Sentier Strategic Resources

Sentier is a custom research agency, helping our clients understand the behavior, perceptions, and expectations of their market.


We understand that when you hire a research firm you are giving money to strangers – and that your reputation is at stake within your organization.

We take that seriously and will make you look great by providing research that builds on your business strategy, is accurate, usable, methodologically sound, and executive-presentation-ready.

You can choose to engage with us in several different ways – from contracting with us to develop a full research roadmap to engaging on an individual project basis. We are good at tough business questions, connecting with hard to reach audiences, dealing with complicated project logistics, and we are not limited by geography. Here’s some examples of how we can support your business objectives.

Research Design


Product & Service Development

Research Design


Product Development

We are methodologically agnostic – we are not confined to just focus groups, surveys, or lab-based usability testing. We will take your (tough or simple) business questions and design a research approach to get you the answers you need.

You are here, your business strategy is there… how will you gather the customer insight to lead you in the right direction? Sentier can help you map out a phased approach to customer research.

We have the right mix of tools to provide customer insight to inform your product (and service) development process — from concept testing, design support, go-to-market planning, launch, to mid-life refresh.

Market Research

User Research

Strategic Ergonomics & Accessibility

Market Research

User Research

Strategic Ergonomics

We design custom market research projects to inform feature prioritization, positioning, pricing and communications strategies based on your market.

We can help you gather the insights you need to deliver delightful, seamless user experiences. From contextual evaluations for discovery to behavioral usability testing for design refinement, we can help your team stay user-centered.

Our staff is also available to help you design for use. We have the expertise to provide the ergonomics insight to support your innovative design solutions.

Our Work

Flexible Approach

Sentier is a full-service consultancy that can handle every step in the research process. Projects are designed to fit into your development cycle, timeline, and budget.

Usable Data

We take great care to make sure each project delivers reliable results and our recommendations are realistic. Our reports go beyond simply sharing the data to explain why and how this relates to your business.

We are a team of social scientists with expertise in a broad range of behavioral and observational research techniques. We will work with you to choose the right approach to find the qualitative and/or quantitative insights you need to help you make decisions.

Here are a few examples…

• Communications Research
• Concept Testing
• Cross-Channel Evaluation
• Design Research
• Employee Research
• International Research
• Mobile Testing

• Observational Research
• Product Development Research
• Product Trials / Beta Program Management
• Productivity and Efficiency Research
• Strategic Research
• User Experience Research


Our Team

Our senior team is made of up social science PhD-level researchers with industry experience. Their expertise in cognitive science, human factors, business, and technical communication guides every phase of client engagement. Sentier takes a collaborative approach to research design, thereby offering our clients the best of what each discipline has to offer in addressing your specific need while enabling depth of insight and consistently high quality services throughout the engagement.

Tom Thornton

Tom Thornton, PhD


Tom is a cognitive psychologist specializing in the way memory, attention, and perception limit human performance in day-to day tasks.  His specific areas of expertise include user experience testing, market research, and user interface design. He has led projects for Verizon, DARPA, AT&T, Diebold, Redbox Instant, Dell and many others. The National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health have supported his research. He has published in a number of academic journals, including: Science, Psychological Review, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, Cognitive Psychology, and the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Tom’s expertise is sought out by national publications such as B2B Magazine, PC Magazine, Computer World, Wireless Week, Business Week, Forbes, Ecommerce Times, Washington Post, Denver Post, Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Houston Chronicle.

    Kelly Terry

    Kelly Terry, MS

    Managing Partner

    Kelly is Sentier's Founder and Managing Partner and oversees all the aspects of client services and administration for Sentier.  Kelly has more than 25 years of experience in technology assessment and commercialization.  She received a Masters of Science in Science and Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas at Austin and the IC2 Institute.  She also holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Texas Tech University.  She has served on the Global Advisory Committee for the City of San Antonio and as the Chair of the Subcommittee for Foreign Direct Investment for the Free Trade Alliance.  Kelly serves on the Board of Directors for The Refuge of Austin and for the SA Christian Hope Resource Center in San Antonio, Texas.

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      401 Congress Ave, Suite 1540
      Austin, TX 78701  USA

      508 E 53rd St, Unit 101
      Austin, TX, 78751 USA