Helping Users Navigate the Self-Pour Experience
Self-pour breweries are a relatively new trend. Several of its benefits include saving on money from having to serve beer and the ability for customers to sample a variety of beers without having to commit to a full pour. The presentation of the beers can vary from place to place, but I’ll be focusing on a design concept for Brewport Tap House located in El Segundo, CA.
The self-pour experience can be a little overwhelming for first-time users as it’s a lot more interactive than simply choosing from a menu and asking a server. It’s on users to decide which beer and how much of a beer they would like to sample, which may lead to decision fatigue.
“The beer taps are overwhelming and it's not easy to discern flavor profiles,” says Yelp user and Brewport customer Colleen B.
My goal with this design concept is to help expedite the process of choosing a beer.
- Beers are frequently replaced and, therefore, they’re not organized in any particular order (e.g. alphabetical, by ABV).
- Users can pour only up to 40 oz. of beer or wine.
- Users are provided a wristband with which they tap against the bottom of the screen to enable the pouring function.
My process involved: Researching design requirements, conducting competitive analysis, developing the user flow, and designing low to high-fidelity prototypes.
SurveyMonkey found 57% of people reported taste being the most important factor in choosing a beer. As for craft beers, Brewer’s Association found 99% and 94% of respondents considered flavor and freshness, respectively, as the top two factors.
After deciding on the content that would be included in the design—for the main screen at least—I analyzed their competitors and compared them to Brewport.
From here, it became clear which areas needed improvement and which features should be added to enhance the user experience.
Planning the user flow helped inform which screens needed to be designed.
I sketched a few screens.
For this project, I used paper prototypes to test my initial designs. A key finding from this test was eliminating the CTA button on the screen. I found it was more natural for users to tap their wristbands and begin pouring rather than press a button on the screen, tap their wristbands, and then pour.
With a more solid idea for the UX design, I worked on the wireframes.
High Fidelity Prototypes
If I were working as a product designer for this project, I would conduct more user testing sessions in the ideation phase. I would also validate my high fidelity prototype to ensure all or most major usability issues had been resolved before shipping the product.