Unit 10 – Self Directed Project: Brief 2 – New Direction: The Wine Project

After talking through my football project with friends I found it would be quite a difficult project in the short time that I have. This is mainly because I would have to find the content first, and then design it, and as said before I don’t have time for that.

So I have now moved on to another concern, interest, issue.


I am sure that I am not alone, but I have found it really difficult to buy a bottle of wine. Mainly because the labels all look the same so they do not really give any indication to what the wine might taste like. Also the standardised system that they do use to categorise the taste/type of wine is unhelpful. What is dry? Obviously this is a subjective issue, but is dry really the best way to describe the taste of a liquid? Especially when are taste buds are said to be Sweet, Bitter, Sour & Salty. Personally I would describe the dry taste of white wine to be more like a burning sensation that a taste.

I feel that this project is a lot about user experience, how someone experiences the process of selecting something where they only have the design and maybe some knowledge to guide them. I think this project will sit well with my “substantial body of work” as this project will really be based on content – the research I gather from wine as well as the content of the bottle! This project will be for the average wine drinker and not the wine expert.

It seems like I am not the only one who finds wine an issue

Image found HERE

Now, faceted classification isn’t inherently innovative. In fact, objects tend to have a fixed set of facets by which they are organized. Where innovation comes is through user research that listens to how the users/customers/audience think about and approach a task, and providing tools to allow them to approach it meaningfully.

Wine is a much-fussed-over subject that, over the years, has developed a language and organization of it’s own, an organization that happens to be faceted. Wines are typically organized by color, or varietal, or region, and occasionally by price. Online wine merchants, like Wine.com (now eVineyard), have exploited this, allowing their visitors to shop for wine in these time-tested fashions.

These, I understand! I know I tend to like “medium-to-full bodied” red wines, and that’s easy to find here. The proprietor ditched conventional wisdom, utilizing terminology they knew their users would better understand. In fact, the whole store is premised on this innovative nomenclature scheme, and it’s been frightfully successful.

User-centered approaches engender innovation by encouraging us to truly listen to and understand our audience, in order to best serve their unmet needs. In the same way that the focus of Design is shifting away from products (the thing in itself) and towards processes (things in context, in relation to people and the environment), innovation, which once meant “technological innovation,” will increasingly mean procedural innovation–a natural outcome of user-centered methodology.


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