Designing the Winebox app

December 29, 2017

This post explores the process of creating Winebox. Looking for an overview? See the project page.


The initial ideas for the product began from the observation that casual wine collectors were often forgetting the details of their wines. We investigated the various stages of wine enthusiasm through interviews and a survey, and found that current options for keeping track of a wine collection aren't quite ideal.

Is there anything that frustrates you about collecting wine?

"Forgetting the wines I love the best." "I can never remember the cost, where it came from or how long it will last." "The price! lol but I find its difficult to store and categorize."

Please describe methods you currently use to organize and manage your collection. Do any of these methods incorporate technology?

"None, but I could see that being useful." "I don’t use any. Masking tape and permanent marker to mark the ones my wife can’t open" "Nothing organized."


To better understand the opportunity, we interviewed five semi-serious wine collectors and collected surveys from eighteen. From this research, we were able to identify wants and frustrations, and better understand the ways in which wine was part of people's lives.

Zameel, the persona we developed from research

In order to better serve collectors, we focused on addressing frustrations that were brought up consistently when they were asked about their collections. The source of many struggles seemed to be that people couldn’t remember the details that they wanted in that moment. This led us to frame the challenge:

How might we help people keep tabs on their collections and avoid losing the details?

Further research revealed that people engage with wine in a variety of contexts; at home, at dinner with friends, at liquor stores. We also noted that people could make use of their collection information in any of these contexts.

How might we provide a companion for the various situations that surround wine?

We mapped out our persona's experience across common wine-related situations to identify frictions and opportunities.

The first segment of Zameel's experience map

The second segment of Zameel's experience map

The experience map included different contexts of use, although we ultimately ended up designing for use at home.


Winebox allows people to more easily understand and manage their wine collection, no matter how serious of a collector they are. Winebox accommodates Sunday sippers and seasoned sommeliers, and tells you everything you would like to know about your wines before you have to ask.

The collection screen gives an overview of the collection at a glance, and organizes wines into smart categories

Wines can be added by scanning a barcode, or manually entering information

History items can be shared with friends to recommend a great bottle