Getting a haircut and style is not always a simple exercise! It can take a lot of time and effort to find some inspiration, and then you have to convey successfully what you want to your hairdresser/stylist/colourist. And while you might strut from the salon thinking ‘this time I’ve got it right’, this might change after your new look has spent a few days in the real world.
When we went looking for the perfect app or tool that addressed this tricky experience, we were surprised not to find anything with any degree of sophistication. So we thought we’d have some fun and explore the opportunity, assuming that the idea/problem/need would subside to very little.
Rapid user testing often means speaking to people closest to you. Friends, spouses and family. We were slightly surprised that there was immediate recognition (yes, mainly from women) that this was a problem. Emotive stories emerged of previous stylists making mistakes, not properly listening, and sometimes doing something they wanted to do, not what you asked for!
Their response has been to hack together a solution; searching for photos and other inspiration online and in magazines. When this doesn’t work, their response is simple: they never go back to that salon.
This problem seemed to multiply and expand the more we spoke to people. We were interested in another perspective, so we spoke to some stylists and hairdressers (including first ever user research conducted while getting a haircuts!). Their insights were stunning. People were unclear with what they wanted. They would bring in photos of supermodels and famous actresses regardless of whether their looks suited their own hair or face shape. And many, many more frustrations, even for top stylists! The end result: a surprisingly high proportion of salon customers don’t come back.
We had more than enough to go on. We had customer problems on both sides of the equation. We had unmet needs being ‘self-solved’ to varying degrees of success. And we had a potential business model of helping salons increase customer retention and extending the average customer lifetime value.
We got to sketching. And testing.
We decided to accelerate exploration by jumping into a full sketch prototype. Which we tested further.
Each cycle of exploration, testing and refinement slowly brought the solution together.
Once we got the umpteenth “I’d use that!” from friends, we decided to pull the trigger on an MVP.
The iOS app for Fab Style is currently in awaiting a pilot rollout. If you’d like to sign-up to the beta group and provide feedback please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Fab makes planning my next style more like fun than stress! It’s one of those things where you think, “Why hasn’t someone done this before?”
Surry Hills, Sydney