Research Synthesis Design Demo



Competitive Analysis

As part of our research, we investigated 10 websites to learn about different styles of cheeses, how they are sold, and how recommendations are made. 7 sites were either of cheese stores or manufacturers, and 3 were blogs dedicated to exploring wine. We chose to expand our search to wine-related sites because of similarities in culture between wine and cheese, and because they are often paired with one another.

We gained a number of key insights from our comparison and research:

  • We have an opportunity to present people with a website that lowers the barrier to entry for novice cheese buyers. Some sites were intimidating or confusing for people not versed in the jargon of the cheese world.
  • The use of polished and high quality images is common. People enjoy looking at food and want to see what something looks like if they're considering eating it.
  • Categorization is important. It's helpful to assist people in their effort to browse through a large number of very different styles of cheeses.
  • Some sites had a "virtual cheesemonger" who made recommendations of their current favorite cheeses. Putting a face on the site may help customers relate to it and feel more comfortable.
  • Tips and advice about how to store and serve the cheese were useful. Again, there are so many different ways this can be done depending on the cheese. Without that information, the experience of the consumer can change greatly.

BID 2010 . Human-Computer Interaction Institute . Carnegie Mellon University