Bulleit Whiskey Website Evaluation
The Bulleit Research project was to focus on their website and find shortcomings with userflow and compare with competitors in the industry to discover what is effective or not. The website acts as a marketing tool for end users to learn more about the company and provides information on mixing beverages as well as visiting the main distillery.
A major goal in this project was to validate that users were able to efficiently complete tasks and a flow to obtain feedback on improvements. We wanted to confirm if UI elements were discoverable, and create a hierarchy of user needs based on their behaviors. A deep competitive analysis, heuristic reviews, contextual reviews, and card sorting were used in this study.
Speed, Efficiency and Flow
We wanted to test and make sure that the Bulleit website was performing as well as it could, using the same content as they currently had, and then wanted to do a competitive evaluation to see what similar companies were doing or experimenting with.
The site is fairly straight forward and simple, but with a few shortcomings on content in relation to some of their competitors that could help their business goals going forth.
It was necessary for me to conduct some interviews to dig in deeper to who the users are and learn how they may feel about the company or industry. The reasoning around user research was also to hopefully make it easier or faster for users to navigate the site so they may not bounce to another competitor's site.
I kept questions broad when screening participants before interviews, and asking participants frequency of drinking and narrowing down to either types of alcohol or brand. Once I dug down deep enough, I interviewed four participants, and had a good idea of what they were looking for in a drink or a brand.
I spent a couple days going through a content audit on the Bulleit site and chose to spend some time conducting a card sort to see if users were first getting confused or having trouble locating certain parts of the website based on the information architecture and navigation. I did my own closed card sort and then ran a card sort with 6 participants via Optimal Workshop to get some more qualitative data, which ended up matching up closely with my initial findings. Since doing this research, the site structure has been updated and much of the confusion (mainly around drink recipes) from the homepage has been addressed.
Takeaways & Retrospective
The Bulleit site was in good shape going into the project and acting mostly as a marketing channel for users to learn more about the products with a few nice features sprinkled in. Minor navigation recommendations and clearer. The site today has been adjusted from a one page layout with few pages to a more structured layout that takes users to direct pages based on their interest. Some new marketing features have been added as well that will help the site with more diverse content. The biggest takeaway at the end was that users were generally happy with the way the site functioned and they are fans of whiskey and the brand overall.