Crafting the perfect cocktail: A user experience design case study
Meet Lisa, a stay at home mom out for a rare night of drinks and appetizers with her friends. She is feeling adventurous this evening and wants to try one of the establishment’s specialty cocktails rather than go for her usual pinot grigio. She asks her bartender (that’s me) to make her my personal favorite drink. This happens to be a scratch margarita made with Del Maguey Vida mezcal, fresh muddled jalapeno, and a taijin salt rim. Lisa bravely takes a huge gulp and immediately regrets it. She dislikes everything about this drink.
Goal To have a good time with her friends and try something new
Behavior Doesn’t know much about cocktails
Likes Beverages with a light, sweet and fruity flavor profile
Dislikes Spicy and smoky flavors and any beverage with a strong alcohol presence
How might we create a personalized drink for Lisa that is new, fun and exciting to compliment her girls night out?
Deliverables A positive and satisfying dining experience complete with a delicious beverage
My Role Bartender, Guest Experience Researcher and Designer
Duration 10 minutes
Tools Customer Service, Cocktail Knowledge, Figma (just kidding)
At this point I realized I needed to conduct a user interview. I asked Lisa the following questions.
- What is your go to drink?
- Which spirits do you prefer?
- Do you prefer drinks that are sweet or dry?
- Do you prefer liquor flavors to be subtle or noticeable?
I quickly affinity mapped the insights and came up with an “I” statement.
“I like rum based drinks that are sweet and fruity, that don’t taste too strong.”
With my research to back me up I began brainstorming cocktails that I thought would meet the criteria. I thought a mojito, made with fresh mint, agave syrup fresh squeezed lime juice, and barbarosa silver rum would fit the bill, but I needed to add a “fruity” element.
I came back to the user, Lisa, and inquired whether or not she liked prickly pear flavor, which would add a nice fruity element to her mojito. In fact she was not sure because she had not tried prickly pear. I described it to her as a sweet fruity mix between raspberry and watermelon flavor profiles. I could see she still had some apprehension, and I realized I needed to conduct a usability test. I offered her a sample of prickly pear puree, and too both our delight she found it to be delicious.
Wasting no more time I quickly returned to the bar well and added all the ingredients to a pint glass, packed it with ice, snapped on a shaker tin and shook the hell out of it to really release the mint flavor. I returned to the user with her new cocktail and waited to see how she liked it.
The user showed delight and enthusiasm for her individually hand crafted cocktail, and ordered a second when her first was completed. She also left a generous tip and wrote in to leave a glowing review.
Further research and testing could lead to a more unique and personalized beverage for the user, leading to a more memorable experience. Also, I still need to take their food order.