Dara Pressley is a user experience architect currently working as a lead designer at ICF. She has had many years working as a consultant and as an employee at AOL, Microsoft and Accenture. Dara believes both that the purpose for the web is to deliver content and that that content needs to be readily available in which ever way the user chooses to consume it. Having a solid information architecture and designing in code for responsive design are just a few of the ways Dara works achieve these goals.
2015 to present
Consulting: Working with clients to facilitate and design useful experiences for their web properties. The projects include, but are not limited to: the creation of Personas, site architecture and hierarchy, user process flows, content management strategy, content strategy, concept designs, user testing, and multi-device digital strategy.
2013 to 2015
Interaction Design: Turn conceptual product and feature ideas into valuable and useful experiences for our users. Contribute to product vision and strategic decisions in collaboration with other team members and stakeholders
User Testing and Usability: Design and test prototypes of new site experiences with users through small-scale usability tests and live on-site experiments. Incorporate feedback from user testing, site analytics, group critiques and other sources to continually improve designs
Experience Design: Lead the development of personas, user flows and scenarios, goal/task analyses, and other key tools of user-centered design. Creation and maintenance of a design lead – code based – style guide.
Collaboration: Work closely with product managers, engineers, visual designers, and other “Inkers” to ensure a user-focused approach from concept through launch
2010 to 2013
Digital Strategy: Defines and drives design strategy for large-scale projects. Facilitates client meetings, design and strategy presentations. Concepting new digital experiences both optimized for particular devices and responsive to multiple screen sizes.
Team Leadership: Provide significant leadership across cross-functional project teams including experience architects, visual designers, and content strategist to deliver high quality deliverables with a focus on best practices and innovation.
Thought Leadership: Identifies and implements process improvements, design methodologies, design process, and change management to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Mentorship: Mentor individuals with the goal of enhancing their abilities and expanding their expertise.
2010 to 2012
Research, Competitive Analysis, and User Testing: Research and competitive analysis of the industries; evaluation of existing sites and creating strategies to enhance and improve; user research through testing, focus groups, and interviews. Working with clients and product teams to discover project goals and create unique experiences.
Architecture Consulting: Providing gap analysis for designs and documentation provided by other vendors. Suggesting improvement and efficiency for designs.
Information Architecture: Site maps, data gathering from vendor APIs, Taxonomy for navigational menus, content strategy.
Digital Architecture: Working with various experience platforms including: website and web applications, mobile devices, tablet devices and, digital consoles for cars.
User Interface Design: Concepting new experiences; development of personas to help communicate user type goals and interactions to teams; creating sketches and wireframes of experiences with annotations and other documentation; creating use cases and process flows to assure a holistic design; working with and supporting development teams to actualize interface architecture; working with visual teams and front-end developers to realize visual presence and voice.
2007 to 2010
Lead user interface designer for AOL’s Shopping, Shopping Wap, and Mobile Desktop Channels. Responsibilities included:
Research, Competitive Analysis & User Testing: Research and competitive analysis of the industry; presentations on possible industry futures for our products; evaluating new experience trends on the net; evaluation of user analytics within our pages to enhance and modify; user research through testing, focus groups and interviews.
Information Architecture: Site maps, data gathering from vendor APIs, Taxonomy for navigational menus.
User Interface Designs: Concepting new experiences; development of personas to help communicate user type goals and interactions to teams; creating sketches and wireframes of experiences with annotations and other documentation; complete design Shopping Wap and redesign of Shopping and Mobile Desktop; interim solution designs for AOL Tickets and AOL Personals ; creating use cases to assure a holistic design; working with and supporting development teams to actualize interface architecture; working with visual teams and front-end developers to realize visual presence and voice.
Product Management: Working with business and product teams to align project goals, understanding vendor contracts and commitments to assure the product met with their requirements and needs.
Certification in Multimedia
Masters of Fine Arts in Writing
Masters of Arts in Teaching Writing
Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing
2013 Art Director’s Club of Metropolitan Washington Merit Award for Time Warner Cable
2013 Best Media Website WebAward for Time Warner Cable (Web Marketing Association)
2012 Web Award, Medical Standards of Excellence for American Society of Plastic Surgeons
2011 Interactive Media Award in Health & Nutrition for American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
2009 Design for Shopping Wap site was a featured web application and staff pick for Apple