Project Scope

Savvo Digital Sommelier Solutions provides tablet-based kiosks in grocery stores to assist customers in the wine selection process. Savvo was in the beginning phases of development for the second version of their product and asked me and my team to test and iterate on the product before it was launched.


As the UX designer on the v2 redesign I first reviewed research conducted for the first release of the product. I then carried out my own interviews and extensive usability testing. This redesign was particularly eye-opening when encountering the wide array of criteria people use to purchase wine. I followed an agile approach with several iterations of rapid prototyping and further usability testing. I created a fourth and final prototype for our client and their developer.


Heuristic Analysis

Heuristics are design rules for user interfaces and interaction, and when I analyze existing designs I use Jakob Nielsen’s 10 general principles for interaction design.My teammate and I conducted heuristic analyses on every screen and user flow and identified potential user problems to be validated through qualitative interviews and usability tests.



Our research process began with reviewing past research iterations such as card sorting and site visits. We created an affinity diagram based on these prior insights which led to the creation of our interview guide. We conducted hour long interviews with four wine drinkers and a level 1 Sommelier.  

Interview Insights

The mental models users have about sweet or dry wine as well as wine notes is complex and typically does not accurately align with subject matter expert knowledge. 

There are specific and idiosyncratic patterns to selecting wine among users. As a result, those that are inclined to use the kiosk are interested in exploration and learning.

Users value wine label aesthetics, ratings, background/story, and price-point.



To conduct usability tests I first created a preliminary prototype based on the wireframes provided by our client. We conducted 4 usability tests originally and 2-4 more usability tests after each prototype, shown below. Each user went through task flows that we identified as problematic. 

Usability Concerns

Users didn’t understand how their button choices influence their results or how suggestions were selected.

Content hierarchy was unclear on various screens, because of button sizes and task flow structure.

Users don’t understand the combination of breadcrumbs and navigation.

Users were prone to use the kiosk to explore but would rather use their phones because it was more efficient.

There is a need for in-kiosk education on wine so users confident secure in what they are purchasing.

Rapid Iteration


Based on the insights from interviews and the user concerns from the first round of usability testing, I began rapid prototyping using I conducted a second and third round of usability testing with each iteration of the kiosk prototype.

Final Prototype


  • Created left sliding menu allowing users to start over any time
  • Replaced breadcrumbs on navigation bar – but added tooltips for clarity
  • kept multi-select buttons throughout
  • Restructured home screen flow options and created entire separate ‘explore’ flow, which now houses ‘occasions’, ‘region’, ‘flavor/style’, and ‘cuisine’
  • Created categories for fruit flavors to match customers’ mental models and ensure accurate wine suggestions
  • Added a sweet/dry and body scales instead of single selection options in order to match both users’ mental models and stay accurate to wine paradigms

Future Suggestions

Many users commented that they choose wine based on previous tasting, so we suggest hosting wine tastings at stores that have kiosks. 

Since users like to do research ahead of time and major competitors already do this, a short term product goal should be to create an app that users can explore wine on before going to the store. 

Users like to feel that they are picking a wine that is unique especially when attending formal events. Our suggestion is to include photos of the wine labels, background on the wine and vineyard, and ratings on results page.

Interested in Savvo Digital Sommelier?

Visit The Website