Ironhack UX Case Study VI
Islamorada Brewery & Distillery Rebrand
Brief: Research and design solutions to improve the brand of a local brewery in South Florida.
Timeline: 2-week sprint
My Role: Individual project — User Experience & User Interface Designer. I applied the Double Diamond Design Thinking (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver) methodology to help guide my process and gain a greater understanding of the users, problems, and stakeholders to generate feasible solutions.
Islamorada Brewery & Distillery is a family-owned, local business in the Florida Keys. Originally and most popularly known as Islamorada Beer Company for their crafts beers, they’ve expanded their brand to include a brewery, distillery, beer garden, food trucks, live entertainment, merchandise, and since inauguration and their aging spirits. One could say that the challenge and business goals are one, in the sense that the stakeholders desire to bring brand awareness and clarity to who they are, and improving their user’s experience while engaging with the business.
I began my process by conducting market research to gain a deeper understanding of the liquor industry and what similar businesses are offering their users. I looked at direct competitors such as Florida Keys Brewery Co., Funky Buddha, Cigar City Brewery, and Sierra Nevada Brewery Co, in addition to indirect competitors such as Corona, Malibu, and Margaritaville.
I defined businesses whose main purpose is to commercially make+sell beers on-site (breweries) as direct competitors, while others such as Corona and Malibu have established internationally recognized brands through the distribution of their alcoholic beverages as indirect competitors. Additionally, I looked into Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, whose franchises promote the island way of life, which similarly simulate Islamorada Beer Co.’s brand identity and slogan: “an island state of mind”.
By organizing my research using a competitive feature chart, I was able to determine the features users expect to find while engaging with these businesses, and most importantly to identify feature gaps in the market that could potentially serve as opportunities to create a stronger product/service.
Subsequently, I used a market positioning chart tool to visualize the uncontested, innovative areas of the market (this strategy is also known as the Blue Ocean). What I discovered was that by striving for a more seamless and engaging experience for users, our platform could stand out amongst its competitors whose similar business models were more traditional and less engaging to its users.
Conducting user research is very important to understanding the HOWs, WHYs, and WHATs behind user’s decisions and driving forces. By using the Lean Survey Canvas, I was able to identify what we already know and who we can reach out to to fill our knowledge gaps. This tool allowed me to strategically develop a more concise survey with clear, actionable insight from the results.
On my survey, I received 30 responses that emphasized the significance to users that a business is local, considering that 42% would revisit a brewery because of it and 73% drink craft beers to support one. Additionally, we were informed about the importance of the locale’s atmosphere and additional amenities.
To gain more qualitative data, I conducted interviews with both the stakeholders and users, which allowed me to gain some insight into each party's pain points and needs. On behalf of the stakeholder, exposing their true brand identity and everything they represent is crucial for their success. Larissa — a subject matter expert — is the brewery’s manager in the Florida Keys location; she explained how they are trying to inform their audience that they are “beyond just beer”. They want the brand to bring that “island mindset” into their consumer's minds. Yet, when talking to one of the brewery’s users and acknowledging brand awareness being one of the stakeholder's main goals, I learned that users often find themselves confused when looking for information on the business’s (multiple) sites.
Moving on from our Discovery phase, where we just gained a better insight into the user’ and stakeholder’s problems and needs.
The affinity map is a very helpful tool I used that allowed me to synthesize and categorize the discoveries from the previous phase in an organized way that allowed me to uncover themes and opportunities.
Through our discussions with our stakeholders, we were able to uncover 3 main user types they regularly get on site.
But for this design project, we will be focusing on the “weekender” types, which are considered locals. Having that said, allow me to introduce Allan the islander. He lives in Miami but constantly comes down to the Keys with his family to relax and embrace the island life. His frustrations are not knowing where to take his family and being misinformed by a lack of communication. He strongly values trustworthy channels.
Through a user journey, we got to visualize a typical day of Allan’s life when visiting Islamorada and the different emotions and thoughts he experiences throughout the day. Here we can identify what kind of setbacks he encounters, which allows us to see potential opportunities to fix these.
Reframing the problem
Minimum Viable Product
- A platform that performs seamlessly & naturally for users to accomplish their desired goals.
- Introducing gamification.
Jobs To Be Done
(refer back to market positioning)
When I want to visit the brewery I want to know what is being offered that day so I can make the best of my day and plan accordingly.
When I commit to being loyal to the brand I want to actively engage with others so I can feel and be part of a community.
Through my lo-fi, I was able to brainstorm while simultaneously design the content and flow. This is very helpful for allowing ideas to flow and test out in rapid iterations.
In mid-fis, I began to see the content organization more clearly, based on the usability tests done on the lo-fis. Highlighted are some of the features that were called out in mid-fis usability tests, such as the use of slide galleries rather than scroll actions. Some headers were confusing.
Task: 1) Explore the various amenities at the Florida Keys location; 2) Learn more about the Islamore+ Program — join! 3) Visit the Beer Garden
Check out my high-fi:
Success & Failure Metrics
- UX Solutions: that sweet spot that works in the best interest of both the business and user goals in a technically feasible way.
- Test high-fidelity prototype
- Figure out the logistics of the business and rewards program implementation
Key Takeaways & Learnings
- logistics of the business and rewards program implementation