Helping salons increase sales during the pandemic

Helping salons increase sales during the pandemic

Daniel Pedrosa
8 min readSep 28, 2021

The challenge

During the pandemic, many salons were forced to close their doors due to restrictive measures or, later, due to a lack of revenue to cover their costs.

How can we help these companies increase their revenue by providing their services safely during the pandemic?

The current scenario

In 2020, the pandemic brought a new scenario for companies in the beauty segment, affecting their businesses abruptly and decisively for the continuity of the service provision.

According to Sebrae and ABSB — Brazilian Association of Beauty Salons — , the segment has more than 1 million establishments. According to a study on the impact of the pandemic on beauty salons, we can highlight that 82% of salons had a 42% drop in their turnover, 5% of establishments permanently closed their activities, 73% are in debt and 58% of this cut are in arrears in debt payments.

On the other hand, Sebrae and ABSB have been guiding these entrepreneurs to use new ways of offering products and services such as advance sales (coupons/vouchers) and the offer of sales through digital media to be able to pay off debts acquired in 2020 and maintain their establishments in 2021.

Project’s goal

According to information acquired by digital means (such as lives, surveys, and reports provided by Sebrae and ABSB), we observed that in 2020 the salons that did not use new ways of providing services are indebted, with a reduction of almost 50% of their clientele and 5% ceased their activities definitively.

Thus, we use the Design UX methodology to help these companies increase their revenue by creating an application for advanced sales of services — coupons — for the beauty sector.

This app has two types of users: on one end, businesspeople in the beauty sector and, on the other, customers who wish to purchase services in advance.

We use the proto personas technique to define the users’ profile and simulate their possible pain and analgesics to design their journey in using the application.

Profile of users

User’s Journey

Once the personas are defined, we build a User Journey including steps to discover, research, register, and use the application.



CAD matrix

We use the CSD matrix (Certainties, Assumptions, and Doubts) shown below, to assist in the preparation of quantitative and qualitative research.

To confirm the assumptions related to the proto personas and the user journey, a quantitative survey was carried out to assess the scenario and audience related to the problem we want to solve.

Are people willing to help salons overcome the pandemic crisis by making advance purchases for services?Pesquisa quantitativa

We use Google Forms to carry out our searches.

According to the research, we confirm the hypotheses related to the gender of the predominantly female clientele and we also found that the relationship between salon and client is long-lasting. Thus, we confirm that 50% of customers are willing to help and we still have a share of 36.8% undecided to work as potential buyers.

Qualitative research

Based on the data found in the quantitative research, we proceeded with the qualitative questions to clarify the following doubts:

  • Why would they buy services in advance?
  • Have you ever used any kind of online raffle app or fundraising service, like an online kitty?
  • After purchasing the services, would they still be used in the pandemic or would they wait for the pandemic to pass?

From an interview conducted with 7 users, we were able to identify the following points:

7 of the interviewees have had a relationship with the salon for a long time and would like to help.

3 of the interviewees have already used some kind of raffle app or fundraising service.

4 of the respondents must use the services during the pandemic.

Solution alternatives

The first idea would be to use a home sales app. However, after the surveys and interviews with the entrepreneurs, it became clear that this first idea would not favor the entrepreneurs for reasons of sanitary safety and also for guaranteeing the receipt of resources by the employees.

Therefore, we changed the route and opted to create a coupon app for the advance purchase of beauty services.

We use the How We Could technique to rewrite the opportunities and analyze the efforts and impacts for each action shown in the matrix below:

  • To increase the adhesion of users, we concluded that it would be of high impact and less effort for us to use social networks to approach and publicize the collaborative actions of advance coupon purchases;
  • Regarding the development of the solution, we opted for an application that would issue coupons with an e-commerce system for credit card purchases, using secure and encrypted transactions, which would be of high effort and high impact;
  • Overall, the biggest effort would be in the development of the application on Android and IOS platforms, as well as testing and approvals.

The impact must consider:

  • The user contemplates cooperation, but needs security for the financial transaction;
  • The entrepreneur needs the same security to receive the resources and thus mitigate the effects of the pandemic crisis.

The solution

To create the chosen solution, we used annotation techniques to revisit the entire research and thus list the possibilities for the project. We then moved on to paper sketches as a BrainStorm exercise to start visualizing the app. To certify the choices made, we did the Crazy 8’s technique, which consists of an 8-minute round of creating 8 drawings that help to reinforce the ideas and so we move on to the Sketch frames that would be an outline of the application’s screens.

  1. Notes
  2. Free draw
  3. Crazy 8`s
  4. Sketch frames
Notes, free draw and crazy 8´s
Scketch frames

Usability test

Once the screens were defined in the Sketch frames, we created a prototype on paper using the Marvel application.

With the prototype in hand, users performed usability tests to assess how the application works.

In this first test, the following tasks were given:

1. Buy a haircut;

2. Post the salon support badge on social networks.


In the first returns, users did not understand the name of the application, which led us to opt for a more attractive and easy-to-understand name, changing from wowcher to TKT2CUT.

Regarding usability, we had significant returns for the development of the application’s screen interface, such as:

Improve the information hierarchy;

Increase the contrast on the buttons to facilitate the click;

Enable text fields on forms.

Wireframe and user flow

With the results of the usability test and user feedback, we created a wireframe in Figma to document the needs of screens with their functionalities focused on converting service sales and cause engagement to dissemination on social media.

Name and logo

After the usability tests, we changed the name of the app to TkT2CUT making a pun in English that means “ticket for the cut” that has a double meaning, one to make the haircut and the other to reduce the value of the service. The logo is contained on a coupon with the perforation area above the word CUT, which means “cut”.


The font family used was chosen following a clean and modern line that was free to use and versatile for use in digital applications primarily, so the chosen one was LATO.


After verifying in quantitative and qualitative research that the public is mostly female, we conducted a survey related to the universe of beauty products, reaching a palette in shades of ocher and brown.


To illustrate the sections of the app we created an illustration system to strengthen visual communication with the chosen color palette and the various screens of the app.



High fidelity prototype

You can test the final prototype by clicking on the link below:

Test the TKT2CUT

Next steps

Knowing that to make this product viable, we still need to do more research related to the use of the application at the two points of interest: client and salon. Below are some of these steps:

  • Prototyping the area destined for the salon;
  • Information on technology, costs, and feasibility for investors;
  • Usability tests;
  • Track results, data, and metrics to validate product existence.


Solving a real problem in an area that had little knowledge was extremely gratifying, knowing that there is no absolute truth forged in the will of the designer or the client is liberating, it transforms the entire creation process.

The user experience design methodology guides us in scientifically solving problems focusing on people’s needs. The designer becomes the protagonist in conducting this process, based on data and observation, thus managing to unite form and function in digital products.

I was guided by the great Leandro Rezende, a distinguished professor in the area of ​​Design and User Experience, who calmly teaches us all this complex and rewarding process.



Daniel Pedrosa

Dad, husband, and designer, I have changed bricks into pixels, and am passionate about new ideas.