I joined #beauty in 2016 as a UX/UI designer. When I joined, #beauty was known as Luli. During that time they had already begun developing the MVP. My role as the UX/UI designer was to simplify the existing product and begin user testing. I eventually became co-founder and was in charge of design. We later rebranded and changed from Luli to #beauty (pronounced hashtag beauty).
#beauty was a networking platform that allowed beauty pros and brands to effortlessly create skill-oriented portfolios and explore jobs/collaborations.
I began working on the logo and finalizing the design flow. The logo color was changed from a gradient blue/purple to a solid purple. I tried blending the colors together to make the lines less harsh. In the end I felt that having one color was more fitting and simple. I also separated the name from the visual. I had received some feedback from users telling us that the visual looked a lot like a mushroom. They also weren't too fond of the look. Ultimately I decided to separate the two and use them separately or together when we saw fit.
At the same time I worked on completing the design for the user profile. I incorporated a lot of design aspects that our users were familiar with. I made sure that the design was visual heavy since the nature of their work is primarily visual.
I tested the concept and look with salons and students at Cinta Aveda Institute. Based on their feedback we learned quite a few things. For example, salons or professionals that were well established liked the look and overall flow of the profile whereas students preferred to have their work and Instagram feed be the very first section. They felt that the "Featured-in & Awards" section was not important and would essentially hurt them.
One solution that would potentially solve this issue was to allow users to have control and authority to re-order the sections. The downside to that was that it required more work on the development side and overcomplicated the MVP. In the end, I decided to go with a flow that would apply to the vast majority. I knew that everyone would have at least the very basics (portfolio, skills, and experience) regardless of what stage they are in their career. I also changed the section "Work" to "Portfolio" as it is the common vernacular used by our users.
Another piece of feedback I heard over and over again was how sharing or applying to jobs using their profile would work. This lead me to a fork, where was the product and design heading going forward? Product wise, I asked myself, "Were we offering our users enough? What exactly can they do with our current MVP? Will our users use our product with how it currently is?"
After much deliberation, we decided to add a few more features. We felt that the MVP on its own was not strong and compelling enough for our users. To make the product more useful we added a jobs, explore and feed feature. Looking back we definitely could have done without some of these features but hindsight is 20/20.