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About Me

I came from the high school where grunge was invented. If I told you why we dressed that way, it would ruin the mystique, but you are welcomed to come and ask me…

I have two teens and a fur child so spare time very rarely happens, but when it does, it’s quickly filled with Sims4, vampire fiction or dancing to Soca.

Closeup of my face, smiling

My formal education is in literature, writing, and teaching. But I was given a strong “homeschooled” education in computers by my mother, the developer… who wanted me to follow in her foot steps, but I had to do it my way with fine and language arts. Anyway, while working at Microsoft and Accenture, I made the jump to web design and development, and eventually focused on user experience. Most of my UX career has been in the private sector working - some times as an in-house designer and other times as a consultant. I feel I’ve finally found my home at ICF working in the public sector. These days my focus is on building design systems, data visualization, and “raising” a team of UX strategist.

Experience Overview

Ms. Pressley brings more than 15 years’ of experience working in web design with specializations in the areas of user experience (UX), product strategy, and large content managements systems. She is currently the director of User Experience at ICF, working with several federal agencies to redesign web properties for both front-end user experiences and back-end authoring environments, and coaching the user experience practice.

Prior to working with ICF, Ms. Pressley worked both in-house and as a consultant in the private sector with corporations such as Time Warner Cable, AOL, CustomInk, and Microsoft. Most of these projects involved redesigning and maintaining large scale content management systems or complex applications and involved working with technologies such as Adobe Experience Manager, Tridion, Sitecore, Drupal, and custom Rails environments.

Highlights from Project Experience

User Experience Lead, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBSHQ) | ICF | 2016 – Present.

Over the past 6 years, I have led the product and design vision for CBSHQ web properties. This includes completely overhauling the front-end experience to make the reports more accessible to users and improve the readability of the site, improving data visualization tools, and removing redundant information to streamline the content. Through collaboration with my client to understand the needs of researchers, policy makers, and other people needing to work with government data. I utilized best practices to create usable, accessible, multi-device experiences. Proved my solutions with human centered design, including the utilization of metrics, heat mapping, and other tools in addition to user testing to experiment and iterate when developing and maintaining a website. And worked with a team of developers, business analyst, and project managers to bring these visions to life.

Product Strategist, Office of Population Affairs | ICF | 2016-2018

I completely redesigned the OPA’s Title X Locator, creating a new experience for public citizens to find information about clinic location and services. I worked with raw data files to create reporting functionality within the system for administrators and regional officers, replacing workflows that they were doing manually, enabling them more easily manage are report grantee information to government officials. I led a cross-functional remote based team through a fully collaborative design and development process.

Lead Experience Architect, Time Warner Cable | Siteworx | 2011-2013

I lead 5 concurrent projects with Time Warner Cable to consolidate their web properties into one consistent brand. This included two projects for Residential, Business Class, MyAccounts, and RoadRunner. Each of these projects, were moved from static HTML web pages to content managed pages using Adobe Experience Manager. This move required both front-end experience and database design. I led a team of visual and user experience designers, content strategist, and front-end developers through a Design plus Agile to deliver assets to the TWC internal development team. I then consulted with the internal team on implantation.

Senior Experience Designer | AOL Shopping | 2007-2010

After MapQuest, AOL Shopping was the second largest channel at AOL, bringing in millions of page views each day. I was responsible for creating new shopping experiences which encouraged shoppers into a purchase pathway for participating brands. Through research and testing with potential shoppers, studying real world experiences, and examining the data feeds from the incoming products, I envisioned measurable experiences that complete revolutionized the channel. Most significantly, were the internal team changes that I ushered, including changing our documentation to be wiki-based, modularly structured, and united both product and design requirements. This allowed developers to synthesis information more quickly and supported our Agile Development processes for collaboration.

Highlights of Qualifications

  • 10 years’ experience in product strategy
  • 14 years’ experience in user experience
  • 16 years’ experience in database design


  • UX / Lean Agile
  • Rapid Strategy
  • Design Thinking
  • Design Sprint
  • User Centered Design
  • Pattern Libraries & Design Systems
  • 21st Century IDEA & USWDS


  • Certification in Multimedia, University of Washington, 2001
  • MFA, Writing, Columbia College, 1999
  • MA, Teaching Writing, Columbia College, 1999
  • BA, English, Scripps College, 1993

Employment History

  • Product & Experience Strategy, UX Director ICF, 2016-Present
  • Lead User Experience Architect CustomInk, 2013 – 2016
  • Lead Architect Siteworx, 2010 – 2013
  • Senior User Interface Designer AOL, 2007 – 2010


Dara Pressley 2023
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