Designing for UHNW's

Fine + Rare

Redesigning a premium experience for fine wine consumers, collectors and merchants

What are UHNW's?

Ultra High Net Worth individuals. Founded in 1994, FINE+RARE has grown into one of Europe’s largest fine wine merchants. Having started with just three men, an idea and a small office in West London, their offices in London and Hong Kong now hold more than 60 staff, speaking thirteen different languages, selling wine to all corners of the globe.

FRW hired Clearleft as their UX partner in delivering a redesigned, redeveloped and fully-responsive e-commerce platform catering to both B2B and B2C audiences.

The challenges

FRW had just completed a rebranding effort to better align themselves with their target demographic: Ultra High net worth individuals - predominantly male - who are either currently buying or interested in buying fine wine. The design-specific challenge was to accurately reflect this new branding in a responsive website whilst enhancing the Clearleft-led UX and interaction design.

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Early explorations

Armed with stakeholder research, brand assets, value propositions and workshop outcomes derived from the client with the aid of James Box (the UX Lead on the project) I began to create a visual language based on our learnings. Starting as an element collage I rapidly explored various ideas, elements, styles and approaches before presenting to the client for feedback and next steps.

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Moving to production

As the visual language matured, we started to move into page-level designs, always presenting small screen designs where necessary in order to convey the different behaviours and approaches inherent in responsive e-commerce sites.

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Outcomes

Unfortunately, not all projects turn out as you expect them to. After a change in heart regarding the brand direction and subsequent design work, FRW chose to pivot the design back to the style and tone conveyed through their previous branding effort. Thankfully most of the UX, interaction design and front-end development work made it into production, but this version of the visual design did not.

With that said, I'm extremely proud of this work and hope that it may - one day - set the tone for FRW's new brand direction.

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