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Webtender is a cocktail recipe website used to help visitors both find new drinks to make, and recipes to old favorite drinks. The website has a very large number of drink recipes that can be explored in multiple ways.
Though Webtender is geared towards drink discovery for the purpose of mixing, the website has a few interesting features that would be worth exploring for our system. First, Webtender has a "Top Drinks" section to allow site visitors to see what the popular drinks are for a week and all time, as well as the highest rated drinks. With our system, this would add a social element that would appeal to Leighanne , whos personality drives her to want to know exactly what those around her are drinking. With a nightly popularity system, Leighanne would love to suggest drinks to everyone around her with the hopes that it appears at the top of the popular drinks lists of the night.
Webtender also filters drinks by ingredients, so visitors can explore drinks with certain ingredients.
Some bar patrons, such as Simon or Dave , don't have the vocabulary knowledge to explain exactly what they are looking for in a drink. It might be interesting to explore an ingredient exploration system by which user selected ingredients are mapped to flavor traits and not to just the ingredients chosen. Then, when a user filters by lemon, perhaps drinks with limes or grapefruit or other sweet citrus flavors will appear.
In the Webtender flowchart, the "Select Browse Category" has multiple options ranging from browsing by name to glasses to ingredient type. So many filtering options lead to excessive steps required to actually viewing a list of drinks. For example, to get to a list of drinks sorted by name, the user has to click "Browse Drink Recipes" then drinks "by name." Finally, the user has to click a specific letter. In addition, the resulting list contains about 150 drinks on each page. To make matters worse, there are no images on drinks on the entire website.
Madpoison UltraloungeDan Grieneisen Madpoison Ultralounge is a bar in Chicago that has a touch screen ordering interface. The lounge has one large touchscreen and five smaller touchscreens in private booths. The screens allow users to design and purchase mixed drinks, order beer, play touchscreen games, send IM messages to other booths and bid on the right to act as DJ and queue up the next song on the stereo.
In our design, we would try to incorporate some of the simple drink ordering interface as well as the drink design interface. The drink ordering system is relatively straightforward. After finding a drink by scrolling through a set of images of possible drinks, the user drags the drink into the center circle on the screen to order it. I was unable to find much more information about how to search for drinks, because of a lack of online documentation. Madpoison allows users to create any custom drink by selecting ingredients from a large list (they brag of having over 60,000 possible combinations). These drinks can then be saved so that users can come back to the bar later and get the same drink. Though they have this drink design tool, Madpoison does not seem to have a drink discovery system, which is part of the core idea of our interface.
There are also interesting social aspects of the interface, such as the ability to send drinks to other patrons or to send messages to them. Patrons such as Leighanne would probably appreciate these additional social interactions. That being said, sending a flirty chat message from one private booth to another is not the same as going up and chatting to someone at the bar. It creates a more impersonal social interaction. Likewise, their interface serves as an intermediary between the bartender and the patron, and it removes much of the interaction between them.
Merchant Hotel MenuRyan Mitchell Although it is not a great leap of technology, we should focus on the product that we are trying to replace. The Merchant Hotel in Belfast takes their menus very seriously. Their cocktail menu is an example of inspired design -- both graphically, and from a usability perspective. According to their website: "The Merchant Hotel was presented this prestigious award and two others ('World's Best Cocktail Menu' and 'World's Best Drinks Selection') at the world famous and internationally acclaimed Spirit Awards, as part of the 'Tales of the Cocktail Festival' in New Orleans. The Merchant was the only European venue to achieve any awards at this prestigious event."
They organize their cocktails primarily by bartender-created "types." Headings include "Corpose Revivers & Picker Uppers," "Milk Punches & Eggnogs," and "Sparking Sours, Slings, and Mules." In addition, they have a complete list of "classic" drinks (such as G&T, Cosmo, and Mai Tai) with various liquor choices. This offers the user two methods when searching for drinks.
Interspersed between drink listings are colorful designs and cocktail/drink-related quotes. The menu shows off the personality of the bar, entertains the patron, and looks beautiful on the table. It supplements the bartender without replacing them, and quickly guides the user towards their ideal drink.