In early conversations with the MEI team, we established that we wanted a two-sided marketplace that aimed to streamline the experience of finding a hair or makeup artist. This splits the user base into two distinct categories: the ‘‘beauty client’’, or the customer searching for the service, and the ‘‘beauty freelancer’’, the beauty service provider. While the client and the freelancer work with two different sides of the product, they should still be able to conduct a conversation as they would in real life about style preferences, allergies to certain products, and skin / hair specifications.
The client and freelancer in conversation
Both the beauty client and the beauty freelancer are stakeholders in the platform in their own way. The beauty client wants a straightforward booking experience no matter where they're going to get their needs met and the beauty freelancer wants to be able to easily fit clients into their schedule.
In order to understand the beauty clients better, we sought to identify habits and behaviors that are routine, as opposed to luxury—MEI can’t be a successful solution if it's used once in a blue moon.
We found that hair, nail, and skincare services are often categorized as maintenance activities and are seen as necessities, not luxuries.
From here, the image of MEI’s first iteration starts to become clearer. A two-sided marketplace was necessary to distinguish the roles of client vs. freelancer, and the product would largely focus on routine, maintenance services like hairstyling.