Empowering Budtenders through Seamless Digital Transformation


12 Weeks 


Service Blueprinting 
Product Designer 


Design Ops Lead
Sr Product Designer



A quest to refine dispensary operations and amplify customer experiences via a digital suite, harmonized with Genetica's advanced AI, Flora.

Setting the Stage: Unearthing the Challenges

Genetica, a trailblazer in the cannabis sector, embarked on a journey—integrating sophisticated digital technology with authentic human touchpoints. Central to this mission was Flora, an AI gem fine-tuned to provide personalized product suggestions. The real task? Ensuring Flora aligns impeccably with the needs of both budtenders and customers.

Exploring Genetica's Universe

In the sprawling landscape of the cannabis industry, Genetica shines brightly. Their mantra is clear: blend avant-garde technology into genuine human interactions. With Flora, customers entering partner dispensaries engage in a personalized experience, answering a specialized questionnaire. Post-analysis, Flora offers a curated list of top 5 product matches, ensuring they find their ideal fit.

Our journey wasn't without obstacles. Primary research indicated varying degrees of technological familiarity among budtenders, necessitating an interface that catered to all proficiency levels. Additionally, synthesizing diverse feedback from secondary research to create a cohesive solution posed its challenges. But through a collaborative effort and an iterative approach, we transformed these challenges into actionable design goals.



  1. Crafting a system that fulfills dispensary tech necessities and ensures user intuitiveness.
  2. Tending to the diverse needs and hurdles of budtenders.
  3. Achieving and assimilating stakeholder expectations and feedback.

Plunging into the User's World

To truly capture the pulse of our user base, we embarked on a focused exploration—conducting in-depth interviews with budtenders. Our subjects spanned a spectrum—from those working in Genetica’s partner dispensaries to those in unrelated shops. This breadth of interactions was crucial, not just to fathom the Genetica ecosystem better but to also tap into the universal aspirations and hurdles of budtenders across the board.

User Interviews & Takeaways encompassed:

  • 3 budtenders from Blue Sage (Genetica client)
  • 2 budtenders from Dragon Lily (Genetica client)
  • 2 from non-Genetica-associated dispensaries

Conducting in-depth interviews with budtenders from both Genetica clients and non-affiliated dispensaries, we uncovered shared goals and frustrations, setting the stage for user-centric design. One pivotal insight was the budtenders' desire for a more streamlined way to interpret Flora's recommendations, leading to the revamp of the employee portal's user interface.

Through Task Analysis, we discerned budtender roles:

  1. Customer engagement and requirement assessment.
  2. System consultation for product suggestions.
  3. Offering product insights and resolving inquiries.
  4. Streamlining inventory and sales entries.

Gleaning Insights from User Interviews

Conversations spotlighted budtenders' preference for:

  1. Seeking Efficiency: Budtenders juggled multiple customers, necessitating an interface that streamlined tasks.
  2. Desire for Knowledge: A craving for comprehensive product information to make informed recommendations.
  3. Motivation Mechanics: A wish for mechanisms that spurred growth, competition, and continuous learning.

From these conversations, a persona emerged—Eric. He became our North Star, reflecting the goals, pain points, and motivations of the budtender community. Designing with Eric in mind ensured that our solutions remained grounded in real-world needs and aspirations.

Meet the Primary User

Eric (he/him) – The “Terpene King”




Meet Eric, a passionate and knowledgeable budtender who works at "Dragon Lily Dispensary."

Eric takes pride in his work and genuinely enjoys helping customers find the perfect cannabis products to suit their needs.

With each interaction, Eric's enthusiasm for terpenes and cannabis lineage shines through, transforming complex information into delightful stories that captivate and educate. His dedication to continuous learning means he is always at the forefront of the latest cannabis trends and innovations, making him the go-to advisor for those seeking personalized recommendations and a touch of expertise.

But it's not just Eric's cannabis wisdom that sets him apart; it's the warmth and empathy he brings to every conversation. Whether he's easing a first-time customer's anxiety or sharing in the excitement of a seasoned enthusiast, Eric's welcoming nature instantly puts people at ease. With each interaction, he weaves a sense of community, building relationships that extend far beyond the dispensary walls.

As the cannabis industry continues to grow and evolve, the role of the budtender remains vital in shaping positive customer experiences and guiding consumers towards safe, enjoyable, and responsible cannabis use. By blending historical knowledge, cultural understanding, and product expertise, budtenders contribute significantly to the overall success and sustainability of the cannabis industry.

Behaviors and Tech Insights:

  • Eric, and many like him, leveraged collective knowledge, deep-dived into online research, and built expertise over terpenes, cannabinoids, and lineage intricacies.
  • Technologically adept, Eric was always on the hunt for tools that could elevate his performance.

Our Main Challenge:

How Might We... provide Eric with a fluid, intuitive platform that would allow him to harness this wealth of information and channel it effectively to instill customer confidence?

User Flow

Crafting the Solution

Meticulously made sure to had a clear understanding of the user flow mapped out by Eric's interaction with our prospective solution.

A journey begins with understanding the path


Design Iterations:

Feedback loops were vital. With our persona, Eric, in mind, highlighting the malleability inherent in great design. My leadership ensured that actionable insights, were promptly incorporated, emphasizing the importance of flexibility in design after 4 rounds of iterations to get the perfect flow.

User Feedback & Results 

System Usability Scale (SUS) Score:

Feedback loops played a critical role. An initial overlook of the "View Queue" button by users prompted its relocation to a more intuitive position. Similarly, the "Purchase History" hyperlink saw a repositioning closer to associated icons, improving its visibility. These shifts, derived from direct user feedback, epitomized our iterative approach.

The revamped employee portal showcases the best of data-driven design, achieving a 91% system usability satisfaction rating (SUS score). By the end of 2023, we anticipate its rollout in partnering dispensaries, marking a significant milestone in Genetica's journey.

Our effort's resonance was loud and clear:

My proactive approach ensured consistent alignment with stakeholders. Their feedback was instrumental, and the final design presentation achieved an impressive 99% satisfaction rating validating its consonance with user and enterprise goals. This collaborative spirit underscores Genetica's and my personal commitment to user-centric and results-driven design. 

The Genetica Solution

Refined Design & Tangible Benefits

Our design tenets, fueled by user narratives, blossomed into:

Empowering Autonomy

Enabled budtenders to manage customers effectively, thus improving productivity.

Identify Customer Needs

A redesigned customer profile page and insights from Flora assisted budtenders in providing tailored recommendations.

Motivation & Expertise

Introduced gamification elements and integrated comprehensive product info, making the system both engaging and informative.

Navigating the unique challenges of the cannabis domain, an iterative blueprint remained our guiding star. As we brace for the design's launch, post-debut feedback stands as the next touchstone. This expedition underscored the centrality of user and service-focused solutions, transcending industry norms.


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