My graduate school capstone project is about Diabuddies, a mobile app that helps connect people living with diabetes for mutual mental health support. As the founder and lead designer, I was in charge of the overall product direction and branding designs.


8 months

UX Research, UI/UX Designs
Diabuddies is a mobile app that allows diabetics to connect for mutual mental health support to find their diabetic friends. The high level concept is Tinder/ Bumble BFF for diabetics, with the functionality for groups and direct connections. Users will also be able to create or join groups around commonalities such as location, interests, and recency of diagnosis.

IG: mydiabuddies


Problem Space

Managing diabetes is a full time job that can easily lead to stress, anxiety and depression and even eating disorders. These mental health issues frequently occur with diabetes, yet it usually remains unrecognized and untreated in patients with both these conditions. Many diabetics feel alone in their struggle, as it is difficult for even close family or spouses to fully understand and empathize with the day-to-day battle. If diabetes is not well managed, patients are at an increased risk for serious short and long term complications, including eye damage, foot damage, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Whose problem is this and how do we know?

Currently, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10). Approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes, and approximately 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes. The prevalence of clinically relevant depressive symptoms among people with diabetes is approximately 30%. often associated with diabetes distress, psychological insulin resistance, and persistent fear of hypoglycemia.

From joining the Facebook group for Type 1 diabetics, I noticed people commented a lot on their mental health issues online.


I wanted to understand how people deal with emotion side of living with Type 1 Diabetes, so I interviewed 6 people living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Here are some of the interview insights:


Using all the research results, I created a hypothesis

People experience a lot of anxiety from diabetes. We could create a buddy system to allow diabetics to connect to find their right diabuddies for mutual support.


Next, I created some sample personas from the diabetics I talked with to validate my hypothesis.


Next, taking the users personas as a sample of users, I created 2 rounds of surveys to validate my hypothesis. Here are some of my results:

  • Most challenging part since the diagnosis:
    • 15 (58%) replied feeling alone, 13 (31%) indicates they struggle with burnout.
  • 17 (63%) would want an online friend, 18/27 (68%) would want to meet with somebody local
  • 26 (96%) are interested in venting this disease with somebody else
  • 22 (81%) are interested in sharing stories, discussions
  • 23 (85%) are interested in providing motivation for each other
  • 21 (78%) are interested in sharing diabetes management tips



Joining by a team of students from Design@USC, we  pitched the app idea to endocrinologist & people living with diabetes, and that validated our hypothesis.

“This would be the switch from being controlled by your diagnosis to in control of your diagnosis.”  – Dr. Chu


We found the project viable because of the very large incidence of diabetes in the country and world at present, a figure that is constantly growing in percentage of population. 


We tested the prototypes on 10 beta testers & reiterated 4 rounds of revisions. 

Here are some of the feedbacks we implemented:

Suggesting adding onboarding tutorial


  • Feature of finding T1D  nearby when you’re traveling in case you need to look for emergency insulin supplies


  • Suggested including T1D News,  Newest study, Insulin prices update, Newest technology updates
  • Suggested having a discussion board where you can post questions for everybody using the platform

Diabuddies App Prototype Video


The Shire

As the lead designer, I had the opportunity to revamp the web design & mobile app for the online job recruiting website for an easier experience for job seekers and job recruiters.


The Shire

Interaction Design, Web Design, UI/UX

The Shire is a video recruitment platform for job seekers and job posters. The organization was facing challenges with maintaining a user-friendly, visually appealing website. As the lead designer, I worked on the revamping of the website and collaborated closely with the developers.


The Previous Experience

The previous experience is the major channel for job seekers to find and apply for jobs, and job posters to list jobs. However, the current website has severe usability problems that make it challenging for visitors to achieve their tasks quickly and accurately.  Some major usability issues were:

    • Lack of visual hierarchy and confusing CTA
    • Disorganized content
    • Confusing navigation
    • Unintuitive flow


Goals for Redesign

I talked with the stakeholder to determine the goals of the redesign.


The goal is to improve the usability by improving the browsing experience. It will allow users to navigate quicker.


Improve the branding and UI to attract more site visitors.

Identifying Usability Issues

I used Heuristic markups and card sorting to identify the major usability issue of the website and fix them with user’s expectations.


  • Too much information, on hierarchy
  • Unorganized menu
  • No match between system and the real world: The system doesn’t speak the users’ language, with words, phrases and concepts familiar to the user, rather is a system that a developer will understand.

  • Problem with user control and freedom: Issues with not putting the user in charge and give them the ability to do things freely. User cannot go forward to the next page without filling all the information. undo and redo. Users should have the ability to “go back” and fix mistakes without hassle. 

Based on research findings, the site needed to organize the navigation structure so that users can find content intuitively and effortlessly rather than finding everything under one menu button. I redesigned the IA by adding the categories.

New IA

Design Decisions

Navigation Bar & Dropdown Menus

Search Bar

Card View

Information Designs
Redesigned the information displayed on the Pricing page.


Final Mock Ups

The Shire App

Taking the design directions from the website, I helped  the design to the mobile app format.


Cook For Me

My project at Design@USC is focused on designing an experience that allows users to search for all levels of independent chefs for home cooking meal services. As an UX designer in the team, I help designed the product experience and branding of the service.

Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator, Marvel

Adam Cho, Katie Wilkes, Jasmine Bulin

Completed in a semester in the USC Iovine and Young Academy Program (4 months
A personal chef searching mobile App to connect users with local chefs to come to their homes for unique dining experiences.

- Research, Problem Definition
- Defining User Flow, customer journey, UI,  prototype, logo & branding



We noticed the following themes:
  • Online/app services tend to serve high-density, city populations
  • Most “services” (aka not one private chef for long-time hire) rely on fixed/non-custom menus

  • What is your job/experience?
  • What events do you cook for?
  • How would you describe the experience of each event?
  • How do you get to the event location?
  • What is your price range?

  • Not knowing what kind of kitchen a chef is walking into is problematic at all levels of the industry
  • Customers focused on/will pay for experience (not just the meal)
  • Chefs often form long-lasting relationships with specific customers
  • Only 10% of Americans love cooking. 4/10 say they don’t have enough time to cook, which results in Americans eating out at an average of 4.6 times a week.

We distributed this survey to participant peers and gathered results from 50 participants. Our participants fall into the following significant demographics:
  • 60% are 25-34 years old
  • 60% live in a family unit

We noticed the following themes:
  • Majority (82%) of participants use food delivery services
  • Majority of participants can envision themselves using a private chef service for larger events
  • Majority of participants are either indifferent or uncomfortable with a chef coming into their home
    • However, at the end of the survey LA-based participants were asked if they might be interested in having a private chef come to their home on our behalf and 25 participants typed in their email to indicate interest.


On demand chef services fail when they don’t offer an experience. How might we bring back the experience of a home cooked meal?

OUR SOLUTION - “Dinner Is at Five”  

Make a personal chef an affordable luxury

When you come home, dinner is ready. A trusted, consistent experience with chefs who know you.

Cook For Me aims to solve the problem by making home cooked meals accessible and affordable through an app. Independent chefs can connect directly with users, bringing their own expertise and resources. While the food is diverse, the experience is trusted, consistent, and comforting. 


MOM, 38 years old
Los Angeles, CA

“I am a busy mom, so if I am not working I’m taking care of my kids.”

  • Married, has a family with 2 kids, one 10 year old boy and one 7 year old girl
  • Works full time job as a HR
  • Makes 100k
  • Jessica and her husband both work full time

Goal: After a long day of work, she just wants to put food on the table for the family without spending too much time cooking and spending too much money

Frustrations: finding time to cook, finding time to spend with family, finding food delivery expensive

Behaviors & Habits: Jessica is always connected on the phone. She tries to not bring work home but occasionally does. During the week, she leaves office, pick up kids from after school activities, goes home to cook for kids, help kids with homework before she can spend some time on her own.


When booking a meal, diners navigate through a variety of menu and chef options to select their perfect, home-cooked meal up to 24 hours in advance. They are then prompted to include all the necessary information in an easy-to-navigate platform, with details including party size, dietary restrictions, home entry directions, and even a photo and description of their kitchen.

Much like Wag or Uber, diners will receive real-time updates as their chef is en route, and-- if the diner has selected for the chef to arrive while they are away from home-- notifications for when the chef has entered the building, when the meal has been cooked and plated, and when the chef has exited.

Chef receives a notification when a meal has been booked and chooses to either accept or reject the reservation. Once the chef accepts, they confirm and prepare any necessary ingredients already sent to them from the Cook for Me ingredient delivery system.

Chefs are then guided through the navigation, parking, home entry, food preparation, plating, serving, and cleaning instructions specific to their reservation using a Cook for Me reminder system to help them stay on track. They are encouraged to add any personal flair or instructional entertainment if the diner is home, while using the system to remain on an clear timeline, ensuring they can meet their next reservation or simply make it home at a reasonable hour. Once the meal is prepared, plated, and enjoyed, both chef and diner may rate and review their experience.


The concept of the logo involves a hand holding the bowl gesture that represents act of receiving warm and cooked ready-to-eat meal from chefs.


This is the email templates designed for users

Low Fidelity Wireframe

Mid-Fidelity Wireframe

Final Design & Prototype



You can view the prototypes here:

User Feedbacks


“Liked that food was prepared. Child with special preferences. Important for her to give cues. That way it worked out for everyone. Really like that I don’t have to think.”

“It was fun. I would use it either for friday night family dinner- to celebrate end of week. Small parties (up to 10 people- more than that, I would just get catering). Maybe use it for meal prep on sundays. I don’t think I would ask for something crazy (I have my kid and my life- just trying to get this human fed). “
“I’m not the type of person who uses things thing on demand- but that was cool. I’m a very DIY person. We don’t do it because a) we have the skills and b) I already feel obligated- but having them spend a couple of hours felt great to take a couple of hours for myself. Try before you buy.”


Dietitian App

Branding, UI/UX Design


User Flow, customer journey, UI, mockups, prototype, logo & branding, illustrations

Nour is the prefix of ‘nourish’, in line with this app promoting health & wellness through food advice. It also stands for ‘the light’ in Arabic, signifies the dietitian acting as a mentor and ‘light’ for users.

As the team designer, I designed a mobile app that promotes health & wellness through food advice. The app connect users with Dietitian to help with personal health goals: gain weight, lose weight, or any other health concerns.

100 Days UI

Personal Projects – 100 Days UI challenge

© 2020 Amy C Hsieh