BB&R web site requirements

Define requirements for the redesign of the BB&R web site.

Client of Limitless

In 1998, three years after Limitless first put the Berry Bros. & Rudd broking list online, Berry's finally gave way to customer demand and decided to put their entire wine list online.

This meant a completely redesigned, restructured and redeveloped web site by the previous combination of Limitless and Denison Design.

We ran a planning meeting at Berry Bros. & Rudd (BB&R) to discuss their short- and long-term goals for the site. The meeting included the Web Site Manager from the Marketing department, a representative from Information Systems and a Retail Manager. Some of the issues covered are summarised next.

Visitor types

The planning group identified the types of buyers who would visit the shop, varying in how likely their visit will result in a purchase. The types range from regular visitors who know exactly what they want, to people who are just browsing. The visitor types apply to most web sites and it's always necessary to discuss them at the requirements phase to that one can design in specific content and functionality to suit each type.

Shop Manager

They discussed the use of a floor-plan metaphor for the web site design and navigation as well as the idea of a Shop Manager for the online shop. BB&R already had a number of shops - such as in Piccadilly and at Heathrow - each with a manager. They wanted their online shop to have all the presence and importance of a physical shop by assigning it a shop manager. A shop manager can then welcome people to the online shop, provide information and answer queries. Since 1998, a shop manager for the online BB&R shop has been a constant feature.

Content and functionality

The group covered the minimum content and functionality for the home page, simple and advanced searching, and result lists. We encouraged the use of icons - for instance, to denote suitability for laying down a bottle - to help make sense of the tabular results.

Visual design

The site was to be completely redesigned and so they discussed the qualities that should be conveyed through the visual design of the site, as well as specific ideas for imagery.


Additional features and content was discussed, which would be considered at a later stage.

Within a week of the meeting, I wrote up the discussions, designs and decisions into a requirements document.

This involved completing and documenting the site structure for the short- and long-term stages of redevelopment, and was presented as a structured table of page information and a 2D diagram.

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