The Proof

Minneapolis-based Zeus Jones got serious this holiday season and developed a gift that would keep on giving. Their friends and clients received a carefully curated scotch tasting kit, but the firm also developed a web app to let anyone learn more about fine scotch and host their own tasting. You can find the free app here.

We hunkered down in a room and discussed how the user experience should go, coming out with an experience that was more inspired by board games than any one example of technology. We wanted it to feel social and democratic, easy for anyone to enjoy. Many angles were considered, from developing a “host” character to making a brainy trivia game, but we decided the approach that felt the truest was making the app a tour of Scotland. For the identity, we came up with the name PROOF, a play on proving your knowledge of scotch, and also on the concept of alcohol purity.

To us, this app was about more than proving a knowledge of scotch – it was about proving to ourselves that we had agile enough resources to rapidly prototype a successful app. Inspired by the iterative process used by Google and many rapidly growing start-ups, we designed PROOF in a non-linear, non-hierarchical series of sprints, perfecting it here and there until we had a finished product.

It was important to us that PROOF remained device agnostic, so we avoided the many app store restrictions out there and designed it as a mobile site, taking extra care to make sure it felt like a native experience on a touch screen. All of PROOF was made in HTML5, using some of its most exciting features, including its canvas API, which allows players to visually represent their impression of each whisky.

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