©2018 by Paige Nuzzolillo, Wix.com

User Research

As a researcher, I am constantly fascinated by the human experience and the motivations, beliefs, behaviors and attitudes of people. I am particularly interested in health or social-mission driven research. I have a background in anthropology and have worked at a small community-based public health research institute and most recently, as the lead Senior UX Researcher at Delta Dental of WA. I believe in speaking directly to customers and users to create products and services that meet their needs and improve their experience. 

"If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful." - Alan Cooper

I am the first UX Researcher at Delta Dental of WA. I've wore many hats in the role and have led the following: 

  • Competitive analysis

  • Stakeholder discovery sessions

  • Study guide development

  • User recruitment strategy and execution 

  • Contextual inquiry/ethnography

  • Validation prototype testing, sprint by sprint

  • Data collection (interviewing, usability testing via UserZoom and Appear.in) 

  • Data analysis (Grounded Theory approach using DeDoose) 

  • Presentation of results to stakeholders and dev/product teams

    • Reports, infographics, PowerPoint presentations​

  • Persona building

  • Empathy workshop development

  • UX Testing (moderated and unmoderated), Research Ops tool evaluation

I have also been involved in UX culture building activities: 

  • Company-wide innovation newsletter development (design, copywriting, management) 

  • Interactive workshop development and facilitation for employees on interviewing customers, "Understanding Your Customers" 

  • UXPA 2019 Attendee in Scottsdale, AZ

  • "What is UX Research?" presentation to data visualization team at Fred Hutch

Participatory Action Research Projects

At the Institute for Community Research (ICR) in Hartford, CT, I collaborated with fellow anthropologists on numerous public health research studies. We focused in participatory action research (PAR), which radically involves community members affected by these issues in the formulation of research studies, collection of data, and presentation of data to policymakers or fellow community members with the overall goal of encouraging positive social behaviorial change.  

My research efforts at ICR centered around food justice and substance abuse prevention issues, and methods were mixed: 




Spanish and English






Substance Abuse Prevention among teenagers in West Hartford, CT (prescription drug abuse and misuse, binge drinking) 


Project Coordinator and Research Educator 


Participatory Action Research

Social Marketing Campaign 

Research Tools Taught to Teens: 

  • Survey 

  • In-depth interview 

  • Storyboarding

  • Video production 


  • West Hartford Substance Abuse Prevention Commission

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 

  • West Hartford Public Schools

A small group of teens conducted research with the guidance of ICR anthropologists/research educators. This data informed their production of short PSA-style videos (Epic Bail and Not A Prescription for Dating), used in a broader social marketing campaign. The videos were showcased in public school health classes and a Town Hall event funded by SAMHSA. Teens also developed campaign merchandise to spread the messages developed through their research. 

Photos courtesy of the Institute for Community Research



Healthy food accessibility, availability, "friendliness" of farmers markets for teenagers, food justice, urban farming/community gardens in Hartford, CT


Project Coordinator and Research Educator 


Participatory Action Research

Research Tools Taught to Teens: 

  • Survey 

  • In-depth interview 

  • Community mapping

  • Pile sorting


  • Hartford Food System

  • Capitol Workforce Partners, Our Piece of the Pie 

  • Perrin Family Foundation

A team of anthropologists and I at ICR taught research methodologies to a group of teens in Hartford, CT during this 6-week program. The youth gathered data from community members at community gardens, farmers markets, and also worked a few days a week at the urban farm run by Hartford Food System. At the end of the program, their data was presented to the larger community, in an effort to eventually present their findings to city policymakers.



Prior to writing my thesis for the University of Connecticut Honors Program, I collected data (surveys, in-depth interviews in Spanish and English) for a National Institutes of Health-funded study titled Sweet Inner Power at The Institute for Community Research (ICR). 


This study was focused on sexual wellness education/empowerment training, and the accessibility and availability of female condoms as a women-initiated prevention option.

I was inspired by my four years working at ICR to study similar issues surrounding women-initiated prevention options on my own college campus, the University of Connecticut.


The thesis is published on UConn's Digital Commons.