Food & Wine Festival Case Study



  • Desiree Daniels, Project Manager
  • Morgan Young
  • Neil Espiritu


  • Figma
  • Optimal Card Sort
  • Google Surveys


2 weeks

The Problem:

Austin Food + Wine Festival wants to include more information about their partner, Austin Food + Wine Alliance, on their website to bring more awareness to the local businesses it serves. The website also has some challenges when viewed on a mobile device. They would like to incorporate their client’s needs into the website.

The Solution:

There is a creative way to incorporate the Alliance that makes it fun and accessible to the public, who will in turn support the non-profit.

3 Ways to Integrate the Alliance

  1. Invite grant winners to participate in the festival by having booths to educate the public about their offerings and sell some great food.
  2. Split the grant winners up into 2 sections titled “local eats” and “community”. Call this out on the website so that festival-goers know how they interact with the recipients and learn about what services they offer.
  3. At the end of the ticket check out the sequence, notify purchasers that some of their ticket money is going to the Alliance, which will make them feel good. Add a link to the Alliance website so they can check it out further if they are interested


7 Sippers Sang the Same Requests

After interviewing 7 festival foodies, we synthesized all of the interview data through affinity mapping as a team. We looked for patterns and found 8 common wants and needs. Next, all of the social media praises and complaints were logged in a pros/cons list. Armed with both of these sets of data, a persona was created. The below list of wants was considered when ideating upgrades to the site.

8 Key Takeaways

  • I want to support those who help my community.
  • I need to stay connected without the internet.
  • I like to know in advance what chefs will be there.
  • I want diverse vendors with unique food options.
  • I like to document my experiences.
  • I want to know where I can go to get away from the crowds.
  • I prefer to buy tickets online due to the ease of use.
  • A smooth ticketing process is paramount.


Persona Designed by Neil Espiritu

UX Research Overview

  1. Competitive/Comparative Analysis
  2. Feature Inventory
  3. Task Analysis: Ticket purchasing
  4. Affinity Diagram: synthesizing interview questions
  5. Script for Interview Questions: (6) Interviews


Competitive Analysis

Competitor’s Use a ‘Nostalgia’ Page to Invite Their Guests to Post Photos

I performed a competitive analysis of other food festivals as well as two mainstream festivals, Coachella and EDC. I crossed referenced website features as well as the information architecture. One of the user’s desires was to be able to document their festival experience. We noticed that Coachella had a ‘documentation’ page on their site and this inspired us to have a ‘nostalgia’ page where people could upload their photos from the festival in an Instagram feed. This would also entice users to access the site after the festival.


Competitive Analysis Key Insight #2

Let's Do a Card Sort to Select the Best Menu Name!

Observation: All of the competitor’s website use different menu names for similar pages.

I noticed on the cross-reference that there were several different category names for the same information. On some sites, the Q&A festival facts were labeled under headings including info, rules, and faqs. The discrepancy led me to put together a card sort in order to gain more clarity on menu labels.

The Card Sort Didn't Work...

After performing the closed card sort we were no further along, as many of the participants used all of the categories instead of selecting just one.

But, this led me to an idea...

Is there a way to sort out the Grant Recipients?

Yes! Let's sort them into...

After sorting through the recipient winners, I noticed that there were 2 categories. The first were winners that had physical restaurants or stores that people could visit. The second were services or offered tours. Those we labeled community resources.

2 Categories

Sorting the alliance into two categories, local eats and community.

    1. Local eats: are grant winners who have eateries around town
    2. Community: are winners who have food delivery services or farms or dairy tours or other services.


Local Eats


Interactive Vendor Map

Creating an interactive vendor map that you can add the vendors you want to visit and then have the map sent to email.

Interactive Chef Schedule

On desktop, you can research the chef’s that you would like to visit. Select the Chefs you like to build your schedule.

Download to Mobile

Customize your vendor map or chef line-up on your desktop and email it to your phone. Or download directly from mobile and save to your phone on the mobile front page.


Old Home Page

New Home page

User Testing

Interactive Map Feedback

I implemented the ‘heart’ functions throughout the site. 

    1. User’s liked this to figure out the chef line up, 
    2. User’s did not like it to locate local vendors around town or hotels. 
    3. The vendor map should stick to the top of the page, so that you can see the map and the vendors you are hearting at the same time.
    4. User’s liked vendors taken off of the map, not added to an already crowded map or begin with an empty map with basics likes show tents and bathrooms.
    5. Wanted more vendor categories, ie. Just a wine section

To Plan or Experience, that is the question?

  1. The global navigation labels need to be changed. There was confusion over what ‘plan’ and ‘experience’ meant. What should be in there?
  2. There was no need for a hotel page. Users would go to kayak or other travel sites to figure out how to get there. If hotels are kept for special discounts, then put a page labeled “hotels” or “travel” in the hamburger menu.