BEER COMPANION

UX DESIGN

November, 2013
Identifying markets of opportunity
While the success and propagation of social networks vary widely by intent and target audiences, one factor remains constant: the business model of the social network revolves around its users and the content they generate, share, and view. If the business model of the social network fails to do this simple thing well, their demise will not be far off. In order to successfully enter this marketplace, it is important to first understand the current marketplace to uncover opportunities for new networks that fill the needs of the all-important user.
Chances are you already use one or more social networks. This class itself facilitates social networking between the instructor and the students. But, how well do you understand what the social network you use does to fill your needs? What keeps you engaged and encourages you to log in day after day? As a design manager, you need to intimately understand your market before successful and strategic innovation can take shape.
Develop a business plan for a new approach to a social network that targets a niche and fills a gap in the existing market. The concept should appeal to and engage a specific target market that could benefit from the network structure in a social or business environment. The business plan should consider:
user segmentation
• social and networking environment
• standards of knowledge sharing
• branding and marketing.
NETWORK analysis
network design development
Network Goals
To facilitate the upward movement of beer lovers from one category to the next, i.e. from enthusiast to home brewer, or from home brewer to business owner.
• To encourage the further democratization of craft brewing culture through social activity at both the hyper-local and global levels.
• To simplify, standardize, and democratize the frameworks for understanding, evaluating, and enjoying beer as a means of safeguarding and preserving beer culture.
• To promote socialization of beer affinity groups through the application of education, technology, and commerce.

Audience
There are four key segments in the market. Two could be categorized as “providers” and two as “enjoyers,” roughly speaking. The aim is to bridge these two segments and provide resources for them to advance.

Enthusiasts
This segment is currently serviced by providers such as Beer Advocate and their own self-education, perhaps including a brewing class here or there. Their curiosity is waiting to be converted to passion.

Home Brewers
This segment is currently served chiefly by their own self-education and a variety of Web 1.0 forums, and perhaps brewing classes at their local brewing supply retailer. Their passion is just waiting to be converted into a business.

Brewpubs 
This segment is established and  can now contribute in more substantial ways to the advancement of craft brewing than just running their businesses. Their business expertise is just waiting to be converted to a cultural bequeathal. 

Microbreweries 
This segment houses much expertise and wisdom, both on the craft of brewing and the business of brewing. Their experience - failures and successes - is just waiting to be converted to legacy.
USER RESEARCH
Aside of doing extensive web search about the beer brewing and their networking, we conducted the two research methodologies: 
FLY ON THE WALL
Observation methodology will be conducted by using the “fly on the wall” approach. “Fly on the Wall” observations allows us to gather other responsive behaviors like body language, facial expressions, patterns and habits of interested beer drinkers, microbrew enthusiasts, home brewers and micropub owners. These responses are the closest to reality and can help confirm or cancel data gathered from surveying. 
Through the “Fly on the Wall” technique, we were able to observe a home brew with their members without any pressure on them that may arise through interviewing with the survey. This allowed for true reactions and behaviors to shine through. We were able to see how the home brew truly treats its members and how the members are using their network to share their beer brewing and drinking experience. This research is very valuable as judgments and actions were not altered for the sake of the survey.
VISUAL SURVEY
The survey took place in various micro-pubs, pubs, breweries and online, and this Visual Survey allowed us to gather information from gathering information from casual beer drinkers, microbrew enthusiasts, home brewers, micropub owners, networking and marketing materials.
This modern method included more visual clues and instant reactions from the possible clientele. This gave the surveyor the chance to be 100% candid with their answers and reactions. In order to gather the information, we used an app that can be used from either a smartphone, computer or tablet. After at least 42 surveys had been conducted, we were able to track the responses visually, gathering trending data. This methodology could possibly be one of the more honest ways we gathered information directly from patrons.
DATA visualization
defining network users    data results beer social networking
 MODELS
THE empathy map
PERSONAS / SEGMENTS
 SWOT
ABC Q 
DEFINING USERS' experience beer companion mobile network
  
WIRE FRAMING
PROTOTYPE APP
BRAND ID
The “Bc” is a simple play on the common rendering of chemical symbols, as depicted in the Periodic Table of Elements. This is suggestive of the fundamental nature of beer and its place in the universe, as seen by beer lovers.
The “beer” icon wants to support Beer Enthusiasts and Homebrewers.
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