BloomMe's mission is to make running a beauty business simple by offering spas and salons a one-stop resource management system.
As part of the effort at improving the performance of the business and the team, my team and I wanted to resolve some of the major communication problems that have been hindering the growth of the business for years.
I am the lead of the team and this project.
Alongside with 3 UX/UI designers and 4 full-stack developers, we were able to create something amazing within 4 months:
The project was launched 2 months after I joined the company. In order for me to understand the scope and difficulty of the problem, I scheduled meetings with the key leaders within the company to ask for their point of views. Here is what we have identified:
Speaking from experience, the reason why most startups failed to scale is not because of the lack of adventurous investors who are waiting to invest, but rather to find the right focus that is helpful to their customer which brings real impact.
Money = depth of impact x urgency x width of scale
Especially when we are in the era of no-code interactive prototyping tools, we no longer need to wait for a year to build something, it’s all about validating the idea as soon as possible.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about the solutions.” — Albert Einstein
Among design/UX/discovery frameworks, we realize that the design discovery matrix by Dan Brown from his book Practical design discovery was most fitting for our project. It is highly recommended to those who want to refine their UX discovery process.
Not only the matrix is able to provide a sense of progression to the team when different items are being checked off the list, but also it is a solid reference to follow when organizing the information we collected from different resources and convert them into refined knowledge.
Try imagining yourself as a young kid, stranded between the endless complaints about being a terrible partner, either being insensitive or failing to solve any real problems.
This, is B2B2C.
The tricky thing about surviving under this business model, is when you are constantly striking the balance between both sides where each side has opposing interests. Not to mention, the needs, wants and pains between different user personas among the B2B market (users vs buyers vs executioners) further complicates the matter.
To avoid any drift of context when we were conducting our research, we broke the research down into a two-by-two matrix, clearly defining our team’s focus before we conduct our research. Not only does this set the perspective for our research, but it also helps our team to empathize better with our interviewees.
Here’s what we’ve learned about the unique characteristic of each market from our researches.
Qualitative research such as one-on-one visits are awesome when understanding a certain topic/subject, and quantitative research is best at validating hypotheses.
After spending hours interviewing different merchants, our team organized consolidated them into the following artifacts:
This not only allows other teams to get a better understanding of the topic in order to make better decisions, but it also acts as a single source of truth when conflict or confusion arises. A simple, effective, yet easily ignored thing to do to reduce the cost of communication.
When time is of the essence, and you are confident with what you already know, sometimes it’s alright to just either quantitative or qualitative research.
Since our customer-facing application had been operating for a few years, and enough qualitative feedback was stacked up, we felt the confidence to only rely on our tracking data for the project.
We retrieved data directly from our tracking stacks and consolidated it into analytical insights. At this point, quantitative data are far more helpful than qualitative data at validating our design hypotheses.
When it comes to looking at our legacy system with 0 documentation, we all felt the urge to scrap it and start fresh, because it will be more difficult to decipher than rebuild. However, it wouldn't be wise to ignore it because the longevity of the system has proven that something was right about it.
Successful products usually have one thing in common, where they found the balance between the golden triangle of delivering a great product: value-add, user experience, and execution. As such, we took a look at what was being built.
Even though the development was terminated because the business ceased operation under the impact of COVID-19, nevertheless the work itself was still worth a pat on the shoulder.
Our team had produced end-to-end documentation to align the teams across the company, eliminating especially act as the bridging between business, design and development.
Some key takeaways from this project are that: