Blue Bottle Coffee, 2016      2 Weeks      Team: Doruk Gurel, Milena Montesinos, Catherine Cushenberry

How might we reimagine and prototype a uniquely Blue Bottle ordering and waiting experience to better align with Blue Bottle’s goals and aspirations?

Design Brief

In this project with Chris Flink, Partner at IDEO and Jennifer Aaker, social psychologist and Professor at Stanford Buisness School, we were asked to:
Re-imagine and prototype a uniquely Blue Bottle ordering and/or waiting experience to better align with Blue Bottle’s goals and aspirations.


Brand Audit & Customer Interviews

Based on our audit of the Blue Bottle brand and insights generated from interviewing and observing employees and customers at HanaHaus, we were able to create a persona for the typical Blue Bottle customer - Jenna.

Customer Persona & Painpoints

Jenna is a young professional, new to the bay area, a tech and coffee lover, specially Blue Bottle coffee. But for Jenna, Blue Bottle is about more than just a delicious cup of coffee. There’s something about the environment at Hannahaus that’s special; it has a feel unlike anywhere else.  She jokingly told us, that she feels like “I can go to Starbucks in my PJs, but to Blue Bottle, no no. I come here to be seen”. To be immersed in this environment.

We saw this persona resonate not only with the customer we spoke to but also with Blue Bottle customers on social media. We heard the same message again and again; customers are proud to be part of Blue Bottle; and they wanted to feel like they belong.

But when we asked why people like Jenna don’t come to Blue Bottle more often, we realized that there are three aspects of her experience that undermine her confidence in feeling like she’s part of the Blue Bottle environment.

She’s never quite sure where to wait for her coffee - especially on busy days. Making her feel awkward and like she doesn’t quite belong. Because she can’t see the menu until just before ordering, she always feels frazzled when she gives her order, making a last minute decision. And then there’s the wait for her coffee - where she’s not quite sure where to go, what to do, or how long her order will take.

Prototypes & Recommended Solutions

  • With blue beans marking the line and a new strip indicating wait time from entering Hanahaus, Jenna is now confident in what to expect and spatial confusion is reduced.

  • With a chance to see the menu on the mirror, the environment and herself before she reaches the POS, Jenna feels in control of her ordering and overall experience.

  • With the anxiety aside, she has a chance to enjoy the hospitality of the baristas as she orders and waits.

By eliminating confusion and helping Jenna feel more confident and included, she and the numerous customer she represents, can have a heightened Blue Bottle experience.