David Parmelee, Designer in Kissimmee, FL, United States
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David Parmelee

Verified Expert  in Design

UX Designer

Kissimmee, FL, United States
Toptal Member Since
March 15, 2018

David uses UX design and user research to help founders and developers grow their businesses through increased user retention in their best target audiences. Drawing from over 14 years of experience spanning UX, development, and business, he was the author of UX for Development Shops and hosted More Than an Interface (>UI). He is an early adopter of UserTesting.com, OptimalSort, and Treejack. David works on UX research and strategy for a large global nonprofit.


Work Experience

UX Strategist

2019 - PRESENT
  • Served as the organization's main expert on three industry-standard user research platforms.
  • Created and run research studies for a 5000+ page web property, an intranet, an enterprise application, and several mobile apps. Created new proposed information architectures or new product visions for several of these products as a result.
  • Conducted extensive user interviews, surveys, and deep research synthesis for an organization-level customer experience project.
Technologies: Usertesting.com, Treejack, OptimalSort, Miro, Google Sheets, Google Docs, Google Slides

Product Designer

2018 - 2019
Hitachi Vantara
  • Performed design vision casting to help the company market a hardware maintenance product to a new vertical.
  • Created user stories and vision-casting prototypes for a new framework meant to unite several major product lines.
  • Contributed to the team’s kits to standardize project discovery and user research efforts.
  • Participated in a workshop in Portugal which examined ways to relate multiple product lines from the several companies which merged to create ours. Presented to two C-level Hitachi Vantara executives and one of their counterparts from Hitachi Ltd.
Technologies: Adobe Experience Design (XD), Google Slides, Pitch Decks, User Personas, Product Vision, UX Process, UX Prototyping

Owner | UX Strategy Consultant

2012 - 2018
Thrill & Create
  • Collaborated with C-level executives on user research, information architecture, interaction design, and product strategy.
  • Designed the user experience of the DC Trails Hop On Hop Off Tours app which has received thousands of downloads through the app stores for iOS and Android and has helped raise DC Trails' average rating on Yelp by 19%.
  • Conducted user research, created a new information architecture, and prototyped navigation improvements for a large global consumer goods company—leading to a 20% increase in monthly active users for an intranet web application.
  • Designed responsive websites, web applications, and mobile apps for clients who are often bootstrapped or funded startups.
  • Ran usability studies, card sorting, tree testing, user interviews, and surveys.
  • Wrote and self-published UX for Development Shops, an eBook that teaches other technical people about user-centered design.
  • Hosted More Than an Interface (>UI), a video series on topics at the intersection of UX and development.
  • Graduated from Double Your Freelancing Academy, which helped freelancers use their skills to generate more revenue for their clients. Topics included positioning, market research, services, messaging, automation, social media, and authority-building.
  • Used UserTesting.com since 2012 and OptimalSort and Treejack since roughly 2014; still use all of these tools in my current role.
Technologies: User Testing, Apple iWork, Treejack, OptimalSort, Axure RP Pro

Software Developer

2010 - 2012
Bay Bridge Decision Technologies (acquired by Interactive Intelligence, then Genesys)
  • Prototyped a new module for the company’s flagship product, a long-term forecasting, analysis, planning, and workforce planning product for contact centers.
  • Consulted other departments of BBDT on usability-related matters.
  • Mentored a new developer weekly on topics that included human-computer interaction.
  • Performed maintenance development and feature improvements for both of the company's main products.
  • Interviewed candidates for open positions on our software development team. The company hired three of these candidates.
  • Collaborated with an offshore development team in Indonesia until Bay Bridge decided to bring all development onshore.
  • Successfully recommended better development tools to management after seeing how deficiencies in our team's existing tools were hurting team productivity.
Technologies: Infragistics, Visual Basic 6 (VB6), Mercurial, FogBugz, C++, C#

Junior Software Engineer

2009 - 2010
Orbit Logic
  • Performed full-stack development for STK/Scheduler, a satellite mission scheduling application for Microsoft Windows.
  • Demonstrated ability to come up to speed in a new domain quickly by becoming the company's only developer to earn a Satellite Tool Kit (STK) Certified Rocket Scientist certification after only a few months on the job.
  • Won a spot bonus for speeding up a Microsoft Excel macro so much that it gave answers to a potential customer within minutes instead of days.
  • Began to occasionally work remotely in this role. Also occasionally worked remotely during my next position and have now worked remotely almost exclusively as an independent UX consultant.
  • Regularly collaborated with the company's president, Vice President, and other upper management as the only full-time developer responsible for STK/Scheduler.
Technologies: Satellite Tool Kit (STK), Visual Basic 6 (VB6), C#

Associate Software Engineer

2007 - 2009
Integral Systems (acquired by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions)
  • Performed Java web services development for phase A of a large U.S. government contract.
  • Performed full-stack development for a small C# thick-client application for Microsoft Windows.
  • Filled the role of a configuration management (CM) specialist temporarily while Integral was looking to hire one.
  • Maintained project schedules for multiple development teams and releases in a Microsoft project.
  • Chaired weekly change control board (CCB) meetings for a project team of about 30 people.
Technologies: Web Services, Java

Programmer Analyst

2007 - 2007
CSC (sector merged with SRA International to create CSRA)
  • Performed integration testing for a financial application which has processed refunds for tens of millions of U.S. taxpayers.
  • Served on multiple tiger teams alongside senior subject matter experts as a result of recognition for high performance, despite having only a few months of industry experience at the time.
  • Created test plans, coordinated test execution with related specialists, and validated test results.
  • Successfully shipped multiple releases.
  • Assisted in code reviews.
Technologies: IBM Mainframe
2009 - 2009

Certified Rocket Scientist in Satellite Tool Kit (STK)

Analytical Graphics, Inc. - Landover, MD, USA

2001 - 2006

Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science

University of Maryland - College Park, MD, USA


Satellite Tool Kit (STK) Certified Rocket Scientist

Analytical Graphics, Inc.


Axure RP Pro, Excel 2010, Apple iWork, Apple Pages, Apple Numbers, Vim Text Editor, OptimalSort, Treejack, FogBugz, Mercurial, Satellite Tool Kit (STK), Usertesting.com, Figma, Miro, Adobe Experience Design (XD), Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Docs, Apple Keynote


WordPress, Windows, OS X, Mobile, Android, iOS

Industry Expertise

Transportation & Shipping, Education Technology (Edtech)


C#, C++, Visual Basic 6 (VB6), Java, HTML5, CSS


User Testing, UX Research, Web UX, UX Design, Research Synthesis, User Research, Usability Testing, Wireframing, User Experience (UX), Tree Testing, Unmoderated Remote Usability Testing, User Surveys, Personas, User Personas, Research, Research Analysis, Web Design, Registration & Sign-up, App UX, User Interface (UI), Design Consultation, UX Audits, UX Analysis, UX Assessment, Rapid Prototyping, Tourism, Social Networks, Communities, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Roadmaps, User Modeling, Windows UI Design, Quantitative User Research, Software Development, User Interviews, Stakeholder Interviews, Empathy Mapping, Website Audits, Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), User Onboarding, UX Process, UX Wireflows, Consulting, Freelancing, UX Prototyping, Responsive Design, Agile Software Development, Usability, Card Sorting, Remote Usability Testing, UX Strategy, Ideation, Interaction Design (IxD), Information Architecture (IA), Critical Thinking, User Flows, Analytical Thinking, User-centered Design (UCD), App Design, Annotated Wireframes, Notes, Infragistics, Web Services, IBM Mainframe, Persona Design, Goal-directed Design, Cluster Analysis, Sitemaps, Business Development, Business Positioning, Prototyping, iOS App Design, Cross-platform, Redesign, Website Redesign, Navigation Redesign, Visual Design, ZURB Foundation, Theme Customization, Attractions, Pitch Decks, Product Vision, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), Mobile Web, Landing Pages, UI Design, Web App Design, Online Shopping, Desktop Web Design, Mobile Web Design, Foundation CSS, Financial UX, SaaS, iPhone, UX Flows, UI Audits, Fortune Global 500, Fintech, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Digital Agencies, eCommerce UX, Biotechnology, Microcopy, Product Strategy, Qualitative Research, User Stories, User Requirements, User Retention, Client Management, Conversion-driven UX, Ebooks, Typography, Color Schemes, Content Management Systems (CMS), Empathy, Market Research, Market Research & Analysis, Use Cases, UI Style Guides, Sketching, Project Planning, Project Management, Writing & Editing, Scrum, Agile UX

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