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I love people.

So I design for them.


Wait, cow's milk can be sustainable? How can I get that?

We want users to say: I can do this and it will be easy.

User Research:

After interviewing many retired D1 athletes, we learned that above all, they self-identify as “lazy” when it comes to food choices. They do so much in their days, they often slip when it comes to finding the best food products.

Our interviewees stressed that they “know they should” change their eating habits to be more sustainable (especially being from Northern California and having taken Environmental Science classes). But they didn't know where to start.

So my Food Systems Design team and I worked to create a simple, easy way to close the gap between what our users wanted and what they felt they could accomplish.


We followed the design-thinking process, iterating on a personable SMS chatbot that we tested with multiple retired athletes. Excitingly, many test users informed us days after that they followed ShoppingBuddy's recommendations and loved the local cow's milk or almond milk they purchased.    

Rapid prototype: ShoppingBuddy

We prototyped a solution for users to text their way to more sustainable food products by using what they already buy.

The retired athletes that we tested it with were thrilled at how easy the chatbot was to text, driven in large part by our efforts to refine to simple UX copy.

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Final prototype: ShoppingBuddy 2.0

From the rapid prototype, we learned our users felt overwhelmed by the ability to customize for too many goals: health, environment, and/or budget. It made the instructions harder to understand and buried the solution to the largest user goal, environment.

So we updated our prototype.

A UX writing challenge we overcame was impartially asking users to consider switching to alternative dairy sources, which our users largely understood as being more resource-efficient. Our solution was centering sticking with cow's milk.    

This ensures users who stay feel valued and rewarded for updating the sustainability of their milk. It also supports those who make the switch, and testing showed it was effective to not center this path because users who chose to switch needed less reinforcement of their efforts.

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Shopping Buddy 2.0 was an adored success, empowering users to feel they can update their milk buying habits in a fast, easy way. 

Where it matters most:  design-thinking for mental health resources

Product Opportunity Statement:

How might we give students agency to find long-term mental health solutions given short-term campus resources are inadequate?

After interviewing students and mental health service products for my Designing for Impact class, my team 

of 3 learned that the transition from short-term campus services to long-term resources off-campus is a severe "pain point".

Using design thinking, we focused on designing a solution that put students first.


Brainstormed four different

Product Opportunity Statements.

Interviewed 11 students,

an Outreach Director,

and profiled 3 observation sites.

We ran in-person tests of prototypes with 10 students and with 3 staff members from mental health organizations.


We wanted a full understanding of every detail of this space. But mental health is influenced by an increasing number of factors; trying to address too much at once would prevent us from being most effective. 

We learned to aim on a micro-focused solution: Improving the few transitions months from Stanford to off-campus service providers.

After brainstorming dozens of ways to take actions, we ​wanted to systematically predict our success. We scored our ideas on 4 criteria we collaborated on:

1. Doable in 7 week timeline?

2. Would it delight the user? 

3. Is this a unique solution?

4. Do we have a direct impact on these transition months?


Rapid prototype

I led my team in creating our rapid prototype. We opted for a paper wireframe because we could easily simulate functionality by shifting papers.


And with the prototype, we get the added benefit of users critiquing and commenting on this solution, rather than focusing energy on early font or color choices.

Final prototype

We executed a nearby-therapist recommender as our final prototype, and tested with users who had searched for off-campus mental health services.

Looking back, we met our 4 indicators of success, completing a prototype and testing within 7 weeks, delighting our test users with the ease of finding a therapist, developing a unique solution, and having a clear impact on this transition.

To develop a truly unique solution, we needed to allow users to hyper-filter their therapist search. Our users needed an easy way to get their transition right.


But overly-long UX flows can tire users. I collaborated with my team to design ways to keep the search process fresh. We use exciting colors and bold design, and iterated to write helpful UX toolbar tips on the most intricate steps to prevent flow abandonment.

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©2022 by Tommy Bruzzese. Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne.

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