• 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

UX Research Overview

  1. 7 User Interviews 
  2. Script for Interview Questions
  3. Competitive/Comparative Analysis
  4. Feature Inventory
  5. Task Analysis: Ticket purchasing
  6. Affinity Diagram: synthesizing interview questions


7 Users 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 6 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.

6 User Requests

  • 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 like to document my experiences.
  • I prefer to buy tickets online due to the ease of use.
  • A smooth ticketing process is paramount.


The Competition Uses Nostalgia, So Should We...?

Competitors use a ‘Nostalgia’ menu option 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...

What do the grant recipients have in common and is there a way to sort them...?

...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.


Local Eats

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.

Don't forget the User's Requests!

Interactive Chef Schedule

On the desktop, you can research the chef’s that you would like to visit. Select the Chefs that you like to add to your personalized schedule. Then send it to your phone as an attachment for easy access later.

Download the Chef Schedule to Mobile

The users expressed that the internet connection at festivals is often terrible. To solve this, my team and I agreed that the user needed a way to download and store the map on their mobile device. Since the desktop was primarily used for research, the User could customize their map there, with the locations and vendors that they wanted, and then email a .pdf to themselves, which they would then open and save on their phone before they left for the festival. In a time-boxed quick sketch exercise, I added the CTA for the map download on the front page for easy access on mobile. This way if they remembered in the car on the way over, they would still have time to download it to their phone.


Old Home Page

New Home page

Setting up the Vibe

The original homepage has a wall of text on a beige background. The site’s original color palette was black, white, and red. Since one of the user’s needs was to document their festival experience, we decided to use the words nostalgia to guide our new color palette. We wanted to create a warm friendly vibe with a nostalgic feel, while also pulling colors from the wine itself and the oak barrels that it was aged in. We each made a mood board and felt that the one here best described a nostalgic friendly mood. 

Romantic, Nostalgic, and Warm

The New Mood

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.