Authentic Behaviors. Intoxicating Insights.

Cocktails and Customization: Drinking and Online Sneaker Design Apps

In today’s post, we’ll look at a recent interview we did with Samantha, a 21-year old pharmacist from Rhode Island who likes horses, clothes and mixed drinks. She also loves shopping online, an activity she often finds herself doing in the evening, often after a few too many.

We invited Samantha to several rounds of cocktails and asked her to visit three web sites that offer sneaker customization: Vans, Converse and Nike. The results were interesting. Despite her familiarity with the web and her strong sense of style, she struggled with the various interfaces and options. Was it the alcohol? The site design? Or both?


  • Too many options frustrated her.
  • Pre-designed sneakers were “butt ugly” and annoying.
  • Fonts smaller than 14 pts were “really, really teeny”.
  • Not enough options frustrated her.
  • At several points, she became very sad and wanted guidance.
  • “Stupid” options frustrated her. Overall she had issues with options.
  • Nike presented the fewest challenges, albeit this was tested toward the end of the evening after the most alcohol imbibed.


Overly complex interfaces take the joy out of drinking and designing, an activity that should be fun. Skip the bloated feature set in favor of a simple, yet highly customizable, set of options and you’ll convert more buzzed browsers into satisfied sneaker owners.