I'm a Craft Beer Lover and I live in San Diego. I am surrounded by some of the best brewing companies in the nation or perhaps even the world. So what better way to spend time as a UX Designer by making a case study I knew the Stone Brewing Co. site would be the perfect candidate. To be honest when it comes to this company, I'm very impartial to the taste of their beer. I am not their No. 1 super fan nor am I their worst critic. The one thing that separates them from other breweries is their ubiquitous nature. I can order Stone in most places that never carry craft beer.
So lets begin! The deconstruction! Lets disect and critique! BTW, my main focus will be branding. And since it would be a gruesome challenge to breakdown every single thing about their website I will only focus on three things that I think will help boost their image and user experience. Lets focus on the information architecture or sitemap, the navigation, and layout.
It's kind of standard for alcoholic beverage companies to have a an intro page. Asking if you are old enough to drink. In their case, It comes on really strong as a brand. I will try to make my case as simple as possible by writing notes on top of their designs and I will offer my solution as a toggle switch.
I hope as you review this that you will agree with me that the Sitemap is poorly planned. Just like this website, you really don't want to go anywhere because it's crammed with links, buttons and drop downs. I have made some notes for each primary age. Please click on the drop downs to see it. My solution is right below my notes.
My goal was to clean up everything in the navigation bar. I hope that you will agree with my proposed solution. So what I did was streamline everything. I consolidated a lot of the links and pages into one and I made sure that there were no more repeated links.
It the first thing you see. First impressions are everything especially if you are a business. UX is a big part of that impression. I made quick notes and marks of the homepage and also a proposed solution. The second template needs work as well but I will not have time to change that for thsi project.
I don't work at Stone nor do I know anyone who works there. It seems like they forgot to place any importance to their web presence and user experience. They do have other excellent looking sites like the Stone in Richmond and Stone Berlin. So why was this neglected? I don't know. They are hiring right now for an UI person so maybe this is the job for me! This site was definitely unplanned and it may have been passed from one designer to another cause it is not cohesive at all. I believe I have made some great improvements to the site.
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