Making pretty pixels and concepts it’s easy. Solving a problem is hard. Part two.

Creating a product that aims to simplify offering and receiving help.

Here is the first part.

Today I will share the second attempt based on the feedback received on the first part. More exactly, focusing more on an interactive interaction, something similar with Tinder.

This time we said we should pay more attention to what people felt about the product in the previous version.

Here’s a brief explanation of how the product it’s working now for the second version:

Ok, this is the outline of what we are aiming for. Basically, trying to implement a more familiar and engaging way for people who might use this product.

Based on the results on the first try we decided to put more effort into finding a specific niche for our audience. Going big straight from the beginning seemed to be a pretty bad idea.

So we decided to spend some time learning more about our audience. Find out what publications they read, what they’re interested in, where they share those interests and much more personal insights about them.

Categorizing our audience allowed to be more much more specific and have a better understanding.

Having our key messages planned we started a small campaign on Facebook. We split our audience into 3 main categories.
Here’s an example of how we categorized the audience:

Hair professionals

  • Key message: Be exactly where the people need you.
  • Outcome: Gain attention from the people interested in your services.

Clients

  • Key message: Get the help you need at the moment you need.
  • Outcome: Know immediately if a professional is near you and it’s available to chat.

What we did here was to find a key message that will resonate with this type of audience. Posting few posts on Facebook with this strategy seemed to work pretty well. On the first month, we managed to gain like 200 likes without spending a single cent on advertising.

Great, so what is really the problem we’re trying to solve here?

Most platforms act like an online catalog, you look through a lot of listings and choose something probably based on reviews which can be done by almost anyone, so there is no real credibility.

The first round of research showed that most of the clients are not looking for new professionals because they already have someone where they
regularly go, because once you find a good hair stylist you stick with him.

This time the right solution seemed to be:

An app that helps connect beauty creatives and clients in a fun an easy to use way.

What could possibly go wrong now? We made it easier to use, it’s fun and engaging and it has a very familiar user experience.

The interface and functionality it’s already tested on a massive number of users and it’s already working, of course, in a slightly different context, which is Tinder.

Here’s the onboarding:

A quick overview of the app:

Ok, so before going into what went wrong I want to share with you how the app was built because I didn’t have any development skills except front-end which does not apply in this case because the app was built using Swift(iOS) and no money to hire someone to build it for me.

What did I do?

I was looking for a similar template/framework built for the web which did something similar with Tinder in terms of functionality. Being a designer and having front-end skills, good and reliable functionality was all I needed.

Found some good frameworks to get me started quickly but more interestingly I have found an iOS app template which had all the necessary functionality.

So with 500$, I was able to get the prototype ready and make it usable. I’ve learned how to redesign it visually by doing it. Basically, when I had to modify the look and feel of a button I was searching something like “How can I make the button rounded in SWIFT?” and luckily there is StackOverflow. 🙂

What went wrong?

Discussing with other people about the new version got me convinced on “Why do you limit yourself only to Romania? Go worldwide, you moron!”
Great, I have relaunched the landing page.

There wasn’t so much interest in knowing when this “revolutionary app” was launching. This got me worried a bit. There were somewhere around 100 subscribers.

I have setup a TestFlight to invite some people to use the app and I’ve gathered some feedback.

General feedback:

What is this? Am I using Tinder?
Seems fun to discover beauty professionals like this.

Professionals feeback:

This is great, so people can find me only if I’m near them. Seems useful.
I’m not sure about chatting.

Clients feedback:

It’s good to know that there are beauty professionals near me.”
Easy to find them.

The next step was how do I make users to download the app?

I’ve put some $$ into Facebook ads targeting various beauty professionals or potential clients but really almost 0 interested in downloading the app.

I was super stressed and confused thinking why the hell people which I have interviewed and tested the app said that is pretty useful but no one really wanted to download it?

Sharing the concept with designers/entrepreneurs/startup people convinced me that the app is not really getting traction because the idea is not unique, and there is some serious competition and I need serious marketing in order to spread this.

That being said, I have created. a pitch and started sharing around hoping that I will get a technical co-founder, someone to invest, or something.

Here’s the pitch:

Guess what? No one interested in co-founding, neither in investing in it.
After spending so much time in trying to launch and then just to realize that almost no one gave a **** about it I decided that maybe there is no need for this product.

I decided to create another version and shift the direction. I will share more about the next version in the next article.

Thank you for reading!

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