We created Manifest because we're passionate about craft beer, building community across borders, and promoting exploration of the CaliBaja region. From the outset, we wanted to take a path less traveled, so we eschewed crowd-sourced reviews and digital drink boards. Instead, our goal was to build a platform that was searchable using everyday specifications. Whether you're looking for a brewery that’s dog friendly, you'd like to fill a growler, or you're visiting Ensenada for the weekend, Manifest has you covered.
First things first: we needed a name. Our process began with a research phase focused on uncovering differentiators, keywords, and brand personality. Using these as our guide, we generated a list of possible names, eventually settling on Manifest. We loved the interplay between manifest the noun—a list or inventory—and manifest the verb—derrived from the latin word manifestare meaning "to discover, disclose..." More importantly, it played well with our target audience: clever, memorable, and relevant.
With a name chosen, we were ready to bring Manifest's visual identity to life. Its color palette—inspired by the landscape of the CaliBaja region—is bold yet friendly. Typography is set in high-contrast brown with greenish-blue accents. We selected the webfonts Livory and Input to convey a balance between human and tech. These elements were combined to create a clean, responsive interface that lets the content shine across all devices, from widescreen monitors to smart phones.
Before we wrote our first line of code, we carried out user surveys, profiling, and testing with simple prototypes to understand people's expectations and get their feedback. Understanding our audience helped us to craft an experience that puts users needs first. They can quickly and intuitively filter results based on specifications that matter most to them and geolocation makes smart recommendations based on location.
One of our biggest challenges was managing a complex backend while designing a front-end experience that was clear and intuitive. This was complicated by the fact that the site is a work in process. So our content management system needed to be extensible enough accomodate features and interactions we haven't even dreamed up yet. Based on past experience, we knew that Craft balanced power and flexibility to handle our ever-evolving front-end needs.
Because Manifest is a work-in-process, we designed feedback loops that allow us to continuously gather both qualitative and quantitative data—identifying problems and capturing new opportunities. Based on this feedback, we're developing new features such as the ability to save and share custom brewery tours. We're also working hard to add more breweries and plan on publishing original content such as interviews with brewers.