- A Case Study

Who is New District ?

New District was established in 2014 is an online promoter of local artisan BC wines. In addition becoming purveyors of small batch BC wines, they have also created value through the in-house creation of curated wine related content. This content includes interesting wine stories and trendy articles related to both the BC and Canadian wine industries as a whole.

New district focuses specifically on wineries located in the micro regions of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. New District is seeking to broaden the borders of its market by offering selections from outside provinces. However, it must first be successful in its continued efforts to challenge the antiquated Canadian wine laws that prohibit interprovincial sale of wine.

How is New District Unique?

  • New District allows users to select a single bottle of wine or a box of wine. all for the same delivery charge.
  • New District features only BC “craft” wineries, these products can be difficult to find when shopping in large liquor outlets.
  • The website is developed to act like a wine tour. Shopping starts at a “wineries” portal, you then select which winery you would like to browse, (only 1 winery view at a time).

The Opportunity

This was a 3 week project. The New District stakeholders had expressed concern that users could not easily search for the product they were looking for. Their answer was to buildout their existing search tool to include higher level filters.

Our team set out to research New District and its user base to see if there was any further usability issues that were not as obvious.

The Methodology

Our user centred approach included a strong research phase:

  • 8 Website audits
  • 11 User interviews
  • 40+ Survey Results
  • 3 Contextual interviews
  • 14 usability tests

Usability Issues

Our research discovered the following user issues:

  1. The websites search function was indeed in need of additional filters and high level categorization.
  2. Users had no way to view all wines at a glance (ie. view all pinot noir) thus making making any comparative selection an arduous process of going into each individual wineries respective page to view their entire selection.
  3. Unclear Value Proposition, meaning users were not sure why they would buy from New District. Why be required to pay hefty shipping fees and then wait for product delivery when the user can quickly purchase a bottle of wine from a local store.

Personas Developed

Research unearthed two very distinct personas.

Nikki, our primary persona is a successful “A” type personality. She works long hours and would use a service like New District to have wine delivered to the office on Friday before she left for the weekend. Being more time conscious rather than price conscious, this service saves her time and a trip to the store. Nikki knows what wine she likes, she likes to to find it and pay for it in as little steps as possible.

Lucy, our secondary persona, is a little more relaxed. She is a wine consumer, however she frequently finds herself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of different wines available for selection. She tends to stick to the 2–3 bottles that she is familiar with. Lucy will generally only make a new selection if she is recommended a bottle by a friend or trusted personal source.

Key takeaways from persona development:

  1. Primary users benefit from having quick access to the full selection of product.
  2. Secondary users benefit from suggestion or emotional references as a cue to try new wines.


  1. Create an e-commerce user flow that allows the primary user open access to browse products without losing the “wine tour” feel.
  2. Create a feature that recommends wine based on special events and life moments (graduations, birthdays, hard days at work, etc).

New Primary and Secondary User Flows:

We developed 2 new user flows based on the above takeaways.

Prototyping and Iteration

Mobile first

Our mobile first design shows how we developed solutions for both personas. The homepage menu allows the primary persona the ability to go directly to a wine list with “view all” filter enabled.

This also demonstrates our “shop by occasion” that gives recommendations based on events and emotional cues. Addressing a primary pain point for or Secondary persona.