Transitioning into UX

Hey, here's an exciting update:

Our friends at UIE are sponsoring An Event Apart here in DC on July 21-23. We will be raffling off two tickets to this event at the May meetup. You'll need to attend in person to participate in the raffle, and contact UIE by May 23rd to get yourself registered if you win. Huge thanks to Sean and the UIE crew for providing this for the group!


One of our most requested topics!

If you are interested in pursuing user experience design as a career, or just want to know what the letters "UX" mean, then this talk is for you. We'll cover the fundamentals of User Experience Design so you can find the right fit when transitioning into the field, especially in the DC area. More importantly, we'll show that this transition is doable, and you can do it, too. Ready? 

About David

David Panarelli is an independent UX designer and consultant. He is currently working with the independent UX design collective MAG7 on a variety of health care, non-profit, and startup clients. David is also an instructor for General Assembly's 12-week  Introduction to UX Design class.

Most recently, David was a manager on LivingSocial’s interaction design team and UX Lead for the sitewide architecture of Before that, he spent another stretch as an independent consultant, working with agencies like AKQA, EightShapes, and GMMB. That work included end clients like the US Postal Service, Cisco Systems, and the United Way, among others. He was also the first interaction designer at, where he redesigned the site’s checkout process. 

David has experience practicing Lean UX methodology as an in-house designer and as an independent consultant, but looks forward to sharing his knowledge on a wide variety of design methods.

When he’s not working, you can usually find David goofing off with his wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 2, in Arlington, VA.


This event will be sponsored by KitCheck, who focus on helping hospital pharmacists improve operational efficiency, patient safety and visibility of medications throughout the hospital while enabling more time to focus on clinical care. Thanks! 

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  • David P.

    Hey! I finally posted my reading list (sorry for the delay)! You can find it here:

    5 · May 31

    • David P.

      ^^^ probably those.

      1 · June 18

    • Anahita S.

      Thanks a lot David. I really want to transition more into UX and veer my career path slightly!

      June 19

  • Joseph H.

    Did you record the presentation and published it somewhere. If yes please share it. :) I missed this presentation - thanks!

    May 23

    • Jim L.

      No, sorry Joseph, I'm not going to be doing that going forward.

      1 · May 23

    • tom s.

      Jim, if someone wanted to take on that duty of recording and posting the presentation, would you be open to that?

      May 23

  • Chieun A.


    Thank you for the awesome presentation and encouragement for transitioning into UX! It was very informative and helpful. I'm looking forward to more meetups by NOVA UX!

    May 23

  • tom s.

    David, thanks for the talk. I especially liked two slides: 1. Breaking User Experience | Design into 2 parts, and explaining both sides. Like a slide you can pull out for clients. Hmmm.

    2. Explaining the 6(?) roles in UX.

    Well organized and thanks.

    May 22

  • Nick L.

    I thought David's presentation was so inspirational. He had so many good insights and delivered it with ease. Also such a funny guy!

    May 22

  • John S.

    Really enjoyed the presentation and meeting other members of the group. Not every group is as welcoming to people from the staffing side of the IT world as NoVA UX was yesterday which really means a lot to me. I am excited for next month and am happy to be a NoVA UXer!

    May 22

  • David P.

    I am so grateful that you guys enjoyed the talk! It was a pleasure giving the talk and speaking with folks afterwards. As promised, here are the slides, reading list coming soon!

    6 · May 21

    • Max H.

      Looking forward to that reading list. Great slides!

      1 · May 21

    • Becky W.

      Thank you very much for posting the slides on slideshare--posting them on slideshare is a great solution for folks like me who'd wanted to attend but weren't able to make it. I know there's no substitute for being able to get to a Meetup in person but this recap helps.

      May 22

  • Jim L.

    What a great time (and turn out!) last night. Thanks David for an informative and fun talk, Colin over at KitCheck for pizza, and UIE for the raffle tickets. Looking forward to seeing everyone next month!

    3 · May 22

  • Gary M.

    It was a really great discussion on the practical ways of making the transition to UX. I really enjoyed it and look forward to attending more of these in the future!

    May 22

  • Sophie K.

    Great session tonight amd some good thought on how to move in the US direction. Especially appreciate the talk about the school of "hard knocks"...could really relate.

    May 21

  • Jane R.

    Super well-thought out talk, and well-presented!

    1 · May 21

  • William M.

    Great session, very educational... The reading list is going to be a big plus. I'm not transitioning to UX, but looking to partner up with a designer/UX on a startup project. At least now I know what skills to look for! Thanks so much.

    1 · May 21

  • Howard P.

    For a first time attender and thinking about transitioning to UX, I found this group and presentation wonderfully affirming. Great group of people. Thanks David.

    1 · May 21

  • Bobby

    Great event! I'm recommending my team and colleagues to attend.

    1 · May 21

  • Iryna M.

    One of the most interesting industry meetup events I have attended. Great speaker. Thank you! I hope for more events like this.

    2 · May 21

  • Jane R.

    Jim, I have a friend in Pennsylvania interested in this topic - are you planning to live stream this session?

    April 28

    • Eric

      Well that's just disappointing. I understand streaming can be a pain but recording it and posting, even if its just the audio, shouldn't be too difficult. Next time I can make it, I'll hit you guys up and see if we can find a way to make that work. These talks are usually pretty good. We should get them out to those that can't make it.

      1 · May 21

    • Anahita S.

      The post meeting videos and audio is really helpful

      May 21

  • D

    I hope this event is repeated. I have a conflict and cannot make it.

    May 19

    • Jim L.

      We generally don't repeat events, there aren't enough months in the year! However, if David presents slides I'll ask if he can post them for you to check out after the meetup. Also, sometimes speakers give their talks at other venues - yesterday John Whalen and Jen Romano Bergstrom reprised their Psychology of UX talks at MoDevUX.

      1 · May 20

  • D

    Has anyone ever used Intuitionhq? If yes, what did you think of it?

    May 2

  • tom s.

    looking forward to the talk AND the raffle.

    1 · May 19

  • David P.

    Hey, folks! To be sure I deliver the most timely and relevant presentation, please help me out by completing this short survey:

    The results will be used to steer content of the 5/21 presentation. Fill it out and pass it on! Tell your friends!

    Thanks in advance!

    May 13

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