AGENCY: Catalyst,  2019

ROLE: Discovery, Design

The original version of the NZ Beauty Heaven Website

Beauty Heaven New Zealand also has a counterpart in Australia. Both were owned by Bauer Media, and unfortunately in 2020 the Media group decided to pull the plug on the New Zealand branded site. This was disappointing for sure, especially as we had finished the project and built the site and were in the testing phases when this happened.

But before the project was cancelled, we had successfully given the Beauty Heaven website the grown up makeover it needed, removed key user pain points and had received great preliminary feedback.

Streamlined interfaces and content

The previous version of the site (shown above right) used a pastel colour palette which made some of the user base not take it seriously. The interface had some clunky bits, and a quite painful sign up process. Visually, we put the focus on the imagery and gave it a more sophisticated feel.

We interviewed and had workshops with both the internal stakeholders, and a wide cross section of users. Many of these users were very fond of the brand and keen to help us make it as user friendly as possible. They were happy to go into great detail about one of the primary areas of struggle, such as not having a clear “buy now” on the products they wanted to purchase, and the membership sign up.

We enabled them to "Buy it now"

The site focussed on product reviews, testing and showing tutorial videos. The homepage shows the latest trends, editors choices, and articles and videos that give advice or review a specific product set.

One of the key complaints when going to a products brand page, is that yes, you could see the ratings and read the reviews for each, but since Beauty Heaven wasn’t an actual shop, the user would need to go elsewhere to purchase the item. We had them set up their affiliate programs for sites such as Sephora NZ or Mecca Beauty etc. and include these ever important quick ways to “Buy now”

A daunting sign-up process would be no longer

The sign up form started out simply enough, asking for basic information. But as soon as that’s filled out, the user was presented with a massive list of items and checkboxes that were mandatory to fill out in order to receive the membership benefits. The reason for this was so that Beauty Heaven could better target the products and samples it would send out for testing. Unfortunately, it was quite a mountain for the users to get over in order to benefit.

First we worked with the client to weed out any form information that really wasn’t all that important. I remember something about toe fungus, and other items that were a bit too personal to be telling an outside source.

As they say, you get more users when using rewards

We took the questions and checkbox items that made the cut, and made these items optional. Instead of forcing the users to fill out everything to become a member, it was changed to an incentivised reward if they completed the information. It became a way to earn points instead of a barrier that kept them out.

Then working with the client, we grouped them into sections so the users could scan what topics were up next, or easily choose to do them in separate sittings and save progress. These changes garnered the most positive feedback of all.

Even though it never was able to launch, feedback was fantastic

2020 was a bit too difficult for the Bauer Media empire in New Zealand. At least we were able to test what we had built for our own learnings.

More members meant better test results

To properly test the beauty products, a diverse cross-section of testers across different areas of New Zealand was needed. Australia had an established base, but New Zealand was still relatively new. With less users dropping off mid-signup, they would have been able to achieve their goals.

Membership made easy

Being forced to answer many many quite personal questions about your beauty habits, your health, age, and the illnesses you may or may not have had put many users off. A clean up and an organising stucture that rewarded them instead was the key.

Not an e-commerce site, but…

The new design allowed users to easily read the reviews needed to guide their purchase decisions, learn how to use the product and then choose an affiliated “Buy now” link to use.

A contemporary shopping site for our museum
An small (ish) agency with big things to offer