The Well is a speculative project based on a smart coaster that lets users become their own bartenders at home. With the paired app, the coaster is a scale that allows you to pour with ease to ensure that you create perfectly crafted drinks.
How can we teach beginner mixology in a proper, yet unintimidating & educational way?
As I dove into my background research, I discovered that there some companies had tried to create similar products, but had no success. Through my competitive analysis, I believe that this may be because of poor marketing, bad usability, and not understanding their target audience. After this, I created two user personas to detail what needs users with different skill-levels would want in this type of app.
User Personas & Scenarios
For my first round of wireframes, I spent most of my time focusing on how the recipes would be laid out. The direction I was going for was playful, minimal and have a focus on photography. However, with photos in mind, I had to design layouts that would not involve types overlaying on photo, as cocktail photography usually involves many colours that would not have enough contrast to put type on top.
As I moved into higher fidelity concepts, I started to focus on how typography, photography and icons played a part in the final aesthetic. Throughout this process, usability and legibility were the focus when choosing designs.
Select concept iterations for recipe layouts
The Well Design System
Once some of the pages were designed, I created a system to ensure that the interface was cohesive throughout. This was also taken into account when making marketing products.
Final Application + Coaster
Mixology focuses on having the perfect ratio of ingredients, and even the slightest over-pour or under-pour can drastically change the flavour profile of the drink. To avoid this, as well as allow users to have the muscle memory of different pours, the Smart Coaster will measure the weight of each pour and tell the user when to stop.
Always measure the perfect pour
Once users choose a recipe on The Well app, their cup is calibrated to measure how much they are pouring. The lights will change from green to yellow to red to indicate when the user should stop pouring the specified ingredient.
The Well App
The paired app is a cocktail database that outlines the strength, flavour profile, and tasting notes of cocktails. Outlined are the ingredients for whoever wants to make the recipe.
Based on the application, I created a promotional website that highlights key features of the app, and also explains how the Smart Object is incorporated in the final product.
One of the main learning outcomes I had throughout this process is understanding the importance of the app softwares that I use for a project. I had this vision to include a walk-through of the app on the website, but creating the animation was tough since I used Sketch for the app design. With this, I needed to import the Sketch file onto Adobe XD, create a simple animation, and then import it to Adobe After Effects to add into the final animation. These were a lot of extra steps, and a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it work, that could have been avoided if I planned my end goals of the project better.
Next Steps and Revisions
This project is a speculative design of a coaster that connects to an app. One step that I want to pursue is user-testing a wider range of audience on usertesting.com in order to fully understand the usability of the app and gain more insights on whether this is a product many people would use. In the future, I want to create another product that is geared towards restaurants in order to make service more efficient but still maintaining the proper measurements and preciseness. Wit this in mind, I think that redesigning the bar-matt that bartenders use, but making it a light up scale will increase the target audience and the scope of this project.