Honing the Product Vision
The in-person session took us pretty far toward defining our big "what to do make" question, but we hadn't done anything to refine our many good ideas into one, to really run with. So we started user testing. Lots and lots of testing. We even wondered if we had done too much testing. We tested prototypes (3). We did competitive testing to see how people engage some related wine websites (3). We created storyboards (14) and had people react to those... At each of these moments, we were looking to see what features resonated with people. And not just what features but what combination of features were most compelling to users. What experiences. We ended up with a long list of possible features - that ranged from "delivers wine to your door" to "picks the best wine for a group based on user preferences."
We eventually narrowed down our list to three things that Millennials want out of a digital wine experience: they want something that connects them to their friends, that helps them learn about wine without much effort, and that uses "algorithms" to personalize the content. No one called that machine learning, but that's what they wanted. To pull it all together, we tweaked those findings into a product vision statement that could guide what we did next: we envisioned “a platform to help you confidently discover new wines, and grow with you as you explore your palate.” After the huge open-ended ask at the beginning of this project, we were pretty excited to get this much clarity about what to make that might actually address why people drink wine. We had enough direction to start bringing the product to life.
In-Person Ideation Session for Product Design for a Remote Team
At this point, we'd learned some pretty compelling reasons why people drink wine - so the next big question we asked was: what can we create that addresses these real motivations that people have around wine? I should pause here and mention that our team is remote. For most of our capstone, all our collaboration was remote. But for brainstorming and ideating, being a distributed team is kind of a problem. There's just no replacing the energy and buzz that you get when a group is talking ideas in a room together. Especially when cell phones are turned off. So, I organized a weekend-long ideation session in person. I called it...our design jam.
I modeled the design jam after the Google Design Sprint, as outlined in Google Ventures Sprint book. Our goal here was to come up with as many good ideas as we could, pick the best ones, and test them with people. Using the Push/Pull diagrams to guide us, we flared and focused to develop good ideas, and once more to sketch the strongest ideas. By the time the design jam was over, we had prototyped and tested our five favorite ideas with a few wine drinkers. Turns out that some of our ideas really resonated with people, so we took those with us. But others, we could eliminate right out the gate, with very little time wasted on them, which was also a win for us. For further information on the design Jam, see the Medium post below.
WINE SCOUT - PRODUCT DESIGN
For my Capstone Project at UCI, my team and I worked with Accenture Labs to innovate in the area of wine and technology. At this point, we had our research as a foundation for our product, for additional background on the project link to the research using the button below.