We needed to understand the current market for beauty professionals before conducting user interviews. It was crucial to understand how it’s competitors booked appointments and showcased their body of work.
• MODEL MAYHEM was outdated
• STYLE SEAT is not ideal for individual freelancers
• CMS do not support a body of work
• Must be trustworthy
• Simple and easy onboarding instruction
• Seamless scheduling/messaging clients
• Having social media links on their profile page
• Client picture as a visual aid for returning clients
SURVEY & USER INTERVIEWS
We conducted two types of surveys: one for cosmetologist/beauty professionals and one for freelancers. We wanted to gain more insight of the beauty profession and find any behavioral patterns such as how they worked, how they communicated and what their needs, wants and pain points were.
From the results from the survey, we conducted user interviews in order to validate our assumptions. We learned managing clients and networking was pivotal in maintaining a successful career. Word of mouth connections and referrals was often cited as the main source of employments for beauty professionals.
After analyzing the survey and interviewee’s responses, we looked for repeating behavioral patterns across all the data collected.
We did an affinity mapping exercise with our user research and grouped the five personas that embodied our user base from determining what the users must have, should have and could have.
• MUST HAVE Approving Clients and bookings
• COULD HAVE Experts endorse other Experts
• SHOULD HAVE Client list and ratings
SKETCHING & IDEATING
• Easy, simple onboarding instructions
• Edit content via LIVE PREVIEW
• Adding/updating bookings and contacts
• Easy messaging
We started ideating with rough wireflows for the onboarding process. The process would begin by inputting the appropriate information through a step-by-step process.
We also discovered users did not want to input any personal data without a clear understanding for what they were signing up for. We reiterated and implemented the sign-up process after the user has chosen a template.
PAPER PROTOTYPING & TESTING
During the wireframing process, it was impertinent that we tested the onboarding process for creating an account on Beauty Buddy. Our objective was to design an experience with minimal clicks to sign up for Beauty Buddy.
Next, it was important to validate if users had a clear understand that they had the ability to view their chosen template in both a light or dark background.
Our initial user flow is created for our main users, Shelly. The wireflows above showcases how the user would proceed from the landing page to the dashboard. After testing, we simplified the process by making the request for the user to input the key information to sign-up: name, email, and password.
The dashboard had to accommodate four major features: editing content, adding & updating bookings, adding contacts (experts and client list) and messaging. We structured the dashboard to accommodate the major categories and went through several iterations for the final site map.
WIREFRAMES & TESTING
Next, we tested our clickable prototype with professionals currently working in the industry in order to validate our assumptions. We learned Beauty Buddy could benefits from a streamlined onboarding experience through social network accounts such as facebook or Google+. Beauty Buddy would also provide the ability to sync their current calendars straight to the Beauty Buddy account.
It is equally important to include the user's ability to manually add appointments to Beauty Buddy. Through our user research, we uncovered that beauty professionals often secure new bookings by networking.
We resulted with a website builder and client management system that embodies Beauty Buddy's brand. User can create an online presence through Beauty Buddy and connect with clients who wish to work with them.
Portfolio: allows users to create an online presence through easy customization options for their profile and portfolio using well designed templates.
Client Management System: allows users to be book gigs with clients they approve of working with. This allows for better customer relationship in the future. The CMS includes syncing their calendars, adding/updating new appointments, and an updated contact list including clients and other beauty professional within their network.