Designed for the casual beer drinker who wants to become involved in craft beer culture, the Red Racer app for Central City Brewing allows users to educate themselves on beer while tasting, socializing, and dedicating themselves to the Central City brand.
For this project, I conducted research into the craft beer industry to help develop our concept and figure out what our app could do to help educate the user on craft beer, while also keeping them interested. This research, including the "beer terminology," heavily influenced the content of the individual beer pages and the "Compare Beers" page. I was also responsible for laying out and designing most of the mobile interface, including the aforementioned individual beer pages and comparing page, the restaurant and liquor store pages, as well as all of the pages through the "Face the Flight" activity.
4 weeks – Fall 2014
Class: IAT 438 – Interactive Objects and Environments
Team: Hana Mareck, Tobi Cheung, Dilara Dinc, Shirley Mao, and Wendy Lu.
Central City Brewing Co is a growing beer company based in Surrey BC. Their operations include not only a brewery, but a restaurant, tasting room, and liquor store. They have had a good amount of recent success, winning multiple awards. However, after conducting a thorough brand analysis, we found that their brand lacked focus, and didn't stand out among the growing craft beer competition.
Our initial brand analysis of Central City Brewing
We noticed how several smaller craft breweries were attracting a certain clientele that Central City was not, notably those into craft beer culture. But instead of shifting Central City's model to attract these customers, we decided to go in the opposite direction. Why not make Central City an attractive choice for casual beer drinkers who want to be part of craft beer culture, but may be intimidated by the options out there?
We set out to create an app, for people who don’t know much about traditional brewing, that would encourage learning and appreciation of the finer qualities of beer while simultaneously dedicating the customer to the Central City brand.
We imagined an app with detailed profiles on each beer, including alcohol volume, bitterness, maltiness, hoppiness, and other beer descriptors. A description of the beer and a list of the special ingredients are included. And because we knew that many of these terms may not be understood, we included a descriptive glossary. But we also wanted the customer to be able to compare beers against one another, so that they could find the perfect beer for them with even more simplicity. The Compare Beers page features a number of sliders, representing different beer values. When the slider is dragged, the nearest beer to that point is displayed, and can then be explored further.
There is also integration with Restaurant and Liquor Store sections, where the customer can see what sizes a beer is available in, for what price, and whether it is in stock at the Central City Liquor Store. If they want to pick it up at another location, a map of liquor stores carrying Central City brews is available, highlighting the nearest store to them.
At this point, we thought our app was getting there, but was still was missing a knockout feature. Then we had the idea of creating an in-restaurant social activity that would allow customers to taste while using the app to learn about beer, and also test their knowledge against their friends' — Face the Flight.
When the customers starts Face the Flight, four random Central City beers are chosen, and sent to a server where they can be accessed by the server. The server then knows which beers to pour, and brings them to the customer, who then tries their best to identify each beer based on the values displayed in the app. When they're done, they can see how they did and compare with their friends.
We decided we could extend the value even further from here. After playing, the customer is prompted to choose their favourite beer, where they can then prepare a to-go order of beer from the neighbouring liquor store. This purchase is added to their restaurant bill, simplifying the experience, so the customer only has to walk next door to pick it up. This aspect is important because Central City would be able to measure the amount of additional sales made through the app.