Wente Vineyard approached Daylight Studio with an interesting challenge. They were creating a whole new tasting room experience in Napa Valley, and it in part relied on technology to make it come to life. Wente wanted to center the tasting room experience around the idea of interacting with customers through education about the winemaking process. In order to pull off the unique wine tasting experience, they built the Winemaker’s studio, which combined teaching small classes about the art of winemaking with tasting. To further enhance their product, Wente installed twelve iPad stations in their tasting room that would be loaded with content to educate, entertain and inform guests who were tasting or waiting for their class to begin.
Daylight’s challenge was to figure out to turn the Wente team’s ambitious vision into a reality. In order to do so, the team at Wente invited us into their new Napa Valley tasting room to see their vision taking shape. Thick stone walls mixed with large tinted glass windows projected a high-class, sophisticated environment, even before the building construction had finished. The Wente team had a few ideas about powering the digital iPad stations with content centered on game play. But as soon as we saw the sophisticated environment, we knew they needed something that would better match the refined environment.
Returning from the trip, our Daylight team was determined to create a unique, beautiful, interesting and on-brand digital experience that would pair perfectly with their new space and products. A week later, the Wente team bought off on our plans and we jumped head first in wireframing. Working directly with Creative Director Shawn Mann, Lead Developer Dave McReynolds and Front-end Developer Kristin Valentine, I lead design of the resulting digital product for Wente’s Studio.
The end result was a touch sensitive interface that moved swiftly between sections of content paired with subtle animations and touch effects. At each new section of content, the audience was invited to dive deeper into the topic by swiping left. An intuitive user experience that used a collage format to inform guests on the current wine selection, upcoming classes available and vineyard events. But in addition to creating a practical interface to educate guests, Daylight also wanted to surprise and delight visitors to the tasting room.
Aimed with the task of engaging tasting room visitors in a whole new way, the team at Daylight created a series of custom wine games aimed at wine education. I was excited for my first foray into game design. For launch, we created one matching game and one multiple choice game. The matching game ranked the player based on their performance before they received three strikes, exiting them from the game. Each question is timed and penalty time is added for wrong selections during the matching activity. Time and strikes make up the score, ranking the player as a Beginner through Expert.
Post launch, we delivered a third and final trivia game called “Wine Traveler”. I worked on the concept for this standout game before handing off design to Brandon Hafer. The player works to collect passport stamps on a limited amount of jet fuel. Fuel levels are restored only after correct multiple choice answers are completed. The interface is smooth and attractive with the use of custom SVG graphics and animations.
The end result was a thrilled client. Wente was very pleased with their custom tasting room app. They immediately jumped into the Fuel content management system to manage their wine menu, class listings, news and events on a weekly basis. I was a key player in the team that over-delivered on an app that was challenged with both a tight timeline and difficult content creation.