House of Renewal
A new salon located on college campuses that provides relaxation and community
Independent study | 12 Weeks | Guestology, 3D Rendering and UX/UI Design
Why aren't salons near college campuses catering to women who are new in town?
Women who leave home for college lose their central community and stylist.
Create a salon that fosters community and uses technology to give guests better experiences.
For college women, the idea of relaxation and community seems like something you can only get from home.
College is hard. It’s hard academically, socially and mentally. Women who are away from home for school are in realize that they have lost their favorite stylist, and most importantly their sense of community. At their best, hair salons are the pinnacle of socialization and self care. At their worst, hair salons are dreadful experiences characterized by long waits, even longer appointments and boring settings.
The House of Renewal alleviates some of the usual salon stresses while allowing guests to be fully immersed in pampering themselves
To tackle this redesign, I first looked to who I believed was doing the best at building memorable guest experiences. Disney has been the leader in creating immersive experiences whether in the parks or online. I studied Disney’s Guestology theory to emulate their best practices for my salon.
The three pillars of Guestology are Audience, Quality Standards (common purpose) and Delivery Systems (cast, setting and process). To apply this theory to the House of Renewal, I surveyed my target audience, defined the brand's core ideology and used those insights to enhance the spatial design and employee role.
The House of Renewal’s purpose is to provide a place for all types of women to be comfortable with themselves as they find and enhance themselves. Naturally, a salon should be a place that values empowerment, hygiene, community and relaxation so those are our chosen quality standards.
Booking should be painless, even fun.
One of the highest complaints from salon-goers was the confusing and unhelpful features on salon interfaces. When trying a new salon, how do you know which stylist does the style you'd like? Typically a salon gallery exhibits past styles, but doesn't share which stylist did the work, what each style is called or how much it costs. By keeping the framework simple, the user journey through the interface becomes much more helpful.
On the House of Renewal website and app, users can book a style directly from the gallery, allowing it to autofill the style name and stylist. Once they enter their preferred appointment date, they will get a list of options for when that specific stylist is available. If none of the times work they can enter a new date or new stylist. Furthermore, if a guest comes to the site or app knowing what they want, they can go straight to the booking page and start the booking process without using the gallery.
Waiting is inevitable. No matter how much you change screens or storefronts, a user will have to wait at one point or another. Instead of trying to get rid of waiting all together, why not make it more fun? At the House of Renewal, traditional reception is gone. Upon entry, guests can check in using the iPads mounted on the walls, then lounge in our seating area. Whether checking out last minute styles or talking to friends, guests don’t need to worry about their phone battery because every piece of furniture in the salon is outfitted with outlets!
Further into the waiting area, guests have the option to sit at the snack bar. It's hard to truly relax and enjoy being pampered when your stomach is growling! Every guest at the House of Renewal will receive a complimentary snack and drink from our snack bar during their appointment. All other food they order will be subject to charge and the price will be added to their final bill.
Sometimes sitting in a salon chair feels like losing contact with the outside world. The House of Renewal has smart mirrors at each style station; having a charged phone doesn't mean you don't need other updates. Our smart mirrors not only give the date and time, but hair specific statistics like the current humidity levels outside.
Building Trust in Style Decision-Making
We’ve all dreamed big about new and exciting hairstyles, so why do most people stick to the same style each time? It’s hard to commit to a new and bold look, especially when it’s expensive. The risk is just too high. How do you know a new color will look good on you? How do you know bangs will look right before you cut them? Above all else, leaving the salon with a salon you’re not satisfied with is torture. The Vanity is a new AR experience that allows people to try on hair. It can be accessed individually through the House of Renewal app or on a bigger screen with a stylist's help in the salon’s consultation room.
One of the greatest features in The Vanity experience is social sharing. Users can text their pictures to their friends for approval and post directly onto their social media. This will inevitably promote The House of Renewal as a salon to generate buzz and gain more guests!
Consultation Room Experience
Engaging with the Salon Community
The most significant part of this project was the user testing and feedback. Testing not only lead to the target audience and salon problems, but was very valuable in understanding the viability of the solutions. Upon showing the intended audience the floor plans and renders of the House of Renewal, I received rave reviews!
“I love the snack bar idea, I’d definitely get a mimosa. As long as my stylist isn’t sip sipping with me because I need my part to be straight.”
- Alexis Green
“I stopped getting my hair done at salons for a while because it was hard to find professional establishments that made booking easy. This app is sleek and user friendly."
"Having the option to enjoy my hair experience is something I don’t take lightly. Knowing that my salon does not see me as just another head to do, but rather a person deserving a unique experience is a privilege indeed.”
“I would go because the snack bar would take the hunger barrier away and allow me to truly focus on being pampered.”
MAKING THE HOUSE OF RENEWAL
A Place to Relax
The House of Renewal is a calming environment so the color palette should enhance that
A Sense of Community
The floor plan and layout of the space will promote communication and comfort
The brand guide for the House of Renewal was driven by calming colors that were not stereotypically female. The chosen colors will calm busy minds and reduce the stress of those who visit the House of Renewal's salon, website and app.
Drawings and Wireframes
In order to streamline the app-design process, I created sketches of the screens. This way, when I took the designs to Sketch and Figma I already had a solid idea of placement and colors. The most important thing for the app was clarity. Existing salons already have an unclear booking process and confusing galleries, so the House of Renewal app had to be simple and easy.
Mobile App Flow
Appointment booking, profile creation and augmented reality hair testing are what set the House of Renewal app apart from standard salon apps. Please view the screens and annotations to go through the main flows.
With less functions than the app, the website is a more formal place to learn about the salon and view its amenities. I built the homepage of the site.
Moving On Up...
This project was the pinnacle of my graduate school career. It was very eye-opening to control every piece of the project from the strategy to the deliverables. Being able to breathe life into the House of Renewal reassured my technical and design prowess, so my confidence grew exponentially. Moving forward, I have been taking more confidence in decision-making to my projects. At the end of the day, Guestology is all about wowing and catering to your guests so I can apply it to anything! It's my hope to bring a bit of the Guestology magic to all of my future projects, whether it's creating more pleasing UI or strategically designing for safety.