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Heyday

Heady created bespoke digital applications for modern skincare experts Heyday, building a fresh-faced, omnichannel solution that stands out in the beauty space.

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DEPARTMENTS
  • Strategy
  • Development
  • Product Management
  • Design
PLATFORMS
  • iOS App
  • React Web Apps
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Middleware
DURATION
  • Initial Development & MVP Launch: 9 months
  • Incremental Feature Development & Enhancements: Ongoing

Partner

The New York-based skincare brand is on a mission to democratize the facial, taking an education-first approach to helping customers achieve their skin goals.

Heyday set out to get people to care about their skin earlier in life, instead of just when they’re trying to repair damage. They believe facials are a potent form of self-care and shouldn’t be relegated to a rare one-off event at a fancy spa, but rather part of an ongoing journey that’s supported by regular check-ins with people who are just as invested in your progress as you.

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Heyday’s goal is to be the go-to tool that anyone can have in their pocket to manage their entire skincare journey, from booking facials to buying sunscreen and serums.

The beauty industry is a crowded space. Brands don’t just need to cut through the noise to reach customers, they need to do it elegantly. For users, it’s not enough that a skincare app simply functions well: It’s also got to be sleek, clean, modern, and on-brand.

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Heyday needed an app in order to remain competitive within the beauty landscape, but they also wanted one that would support scalability. Eyeing serious expansion goals, Heyday needed an omnichannel experience tying the physical brick-and-mortar experience back to the digital one.

Strategy
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Strategy

Opportunities

There were two main channels for Heady to affect change when it came to Heyday’s new SkincareOS. The first was the user experience for both customers and estheticians.

Heyday wanted to provide a one-stop shop where customers could manage their entire skincare journey, from buying products and booking in-person services to learning about the latest treatment technologies. Simultaneously, they wanted to provide estheticians with a more comprehensive view of each client’s history, preferences, and progress in order to provide the best customer experience.

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The second area of opportunity was data integration.

We were tasked with the challenge of bringing together the spider web of third-party tools Heyday had been using for booking, ecommerce, and communicating with spa providers, and building them a centralized database of cohesive customer data that all lived in one place.

The key to creating winning solutions for both? Research, research, research.

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User Research

When it came to building Heyday’s iOS app, we conducted months of user research focused on Heyday’s customers, estheticians, and franchisees.

Our team’s scrappiness allowed us to facilitate guerilla-style in-store research exercises as well as more formal user interviews to obtain deep and actionable insights that not only shaped the app’s functionalities, but even impacted how Heyday trains its estheticians.

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Case in point

After our interviews revealed that hand massages were a standout feature for customers, Heyday devised new ways to incorporate this modality into the facial experience.

The Heady Difference

At Heady, everything we do revolves around building long-term partnerships. That means we don’t make decisions based on what’s easier or faster for us, but on the basis of how we would do it if it were our company.

Heyday wasn’t in the market for a quick fix. They needed an expert technology partner that could take a holistic look at their business, make strategic recommendations, and then execute them, building a comprehensive solution that would fit not only their current business needs, but also facilitate their growth. That’s where we came in.

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“When you kick off with a new vendor, you want technical competency but also really need them to have an understanding of the business needs and logic. Heady really took the direction of wanting to understand the customer journey, to really know the landscape and operational side of our business, and to have it inform the design of the data model. That’s the point where I said to myself, “These people know what they’re doing.”

John McKinney

CTO of Heyday

Product Management
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Product
Management

Great work starts with a dedicated and thorough discovery phase — so we rolled up our sleeves and took an extensive look under the hood to ensure our build would give Heyday all the functionalities they wanted and needed.

Business Analysis

To build a standout product that would satisfy Heyday’s current and future needs, it was crucial to have a holistic understanding of their business goals and how they operate.

We kicked off the project with an intensive discovery and strategy phase in order to validate the “why” behind the project, deep-dive into their wants and needs, and understand the limitations of their current system.

Once the discovery phase was complete, we used the insights we’d gathered to formulate a 50-page strategic architecture and analysis based on their operational challenges and goals.

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Feature Requirements

When it came to the iOS app, Heyday sought to provide customers with a reliable tool that would allow them to book services, keep track of products they’ve used, communicate with estheticians, and overall gain a more cohesive and comprehensive view of their skincare journey.

They also wanted to give estheticians a 360° view of things like how many facials a client had (and how recently), what products they’d been using, and their skin goals, ensuring they could provide uniquely tailored services and product recommendations each and every time.

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Collaboration

At Heady, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide clients with dedicated teams that feel like they’re in-house, rather than just another vendor — and Heyday was no different.

We quickly forged a strong connection with Heyday’s team (and vice versa), with daily standups and close collaboration as we worked together to create innovative solutions for their business needs. Building an integrative product also meant we needed to involve Heyday’s vendors, and the brand trusted us to represent them in those conversations from a technical perspective.

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Development
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Development

We matched frontend innovation with robust backend architecture to build Heyday a powerful custom solution that would fuel their growth and provide an elevated customer experience that stands out in the beauty space.

Front-end &
Backend POV

When it came to frontend development, we worked closely with Heyday’s team to ensure the technical feasibility of their designs.

They knew the features that they wanted in the iOS app and had designed them accordingly, so it was our job to ensure that everything that was in their designs could actually function given the data that was available. On the backend side, we settled in to build the strategic tech stack that Heyday would iterate on for years to come, giving them a from-scratch solution to handle the immense amount of data they were generating on a daily basis and ensure they could put it to good use.

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Technical Challenges

The team’s biggest technical challenge was wrangling Heyday’s data. The brand uses a variety of third-party vendors to handle different parts of its customer-facing business, including Blvd to book appointments, Shopify for e-commerce sales, and Knack for storing data on customers and communicating with estheticians.
All this information was being pulled from separate platforms and stored in different places, sometimes resulting in numbers that didn’t match up or a disjointed user experience, such as customers being unable to see both their in-store and in-app purchase history in one place. While this is very common for brands as they initially build out their digital landscape, maturing how Heyday organizes & processes data was crucial to support their growth plans.
Sorting out the cobbled-together patchwork of third-party vendors that Heyday had been using was a major hurdle from both a strategic and technical standpoint. Each of those platforms has its own specific nuances and different data structures, so the team dug in deep to understand the differences between each platform’s data and formulate a plan for how we’d extract it and then cleanly merge it together within our own database.
One of our team’s biggest strengths at Heady is in working with backend services and manipulating data, putting this task squarely in our wheelhouse.

Technical Solutions

Our solution to streamlining Heyday’s data was to build an extract, transform, load (ETL) process that pulled historical sets of data from Blvd, Shopify, and Knack and imported them into a master database.

During this process, the data was also normalized and cleaned. This provided Heyday with a centralized location for all customer data in one easy-to-access place. We conducted deep research on each of those platforms and built the ETL model based on hundreds of thousands of records, eliminating the need to access customer records across multiple systems.

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Heyday’s new streamlined database gives them a solid foundation on which to build any future products.

By taking individual customer data from different platforms and merging them into singular records, we were able to give the brand easier and faster access to all their data. And now that they have access to a much more complete view of each customer, from their product preferences and appointment history to their overall skincare goals, Heyday is able to understand their users like never before.

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Design
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Design

Design Approach

Heady’s adaptability and flexibility were crucial to this project as we worked closely with Heyday’s design team to bring the iOS app to life. We plugged into their in-house design process and leaned on our team’s expertise to ensure Heyday’s designs could be properly executed from a technical standpoint, providing guidance and collaborating on needed edits.

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Our ability to nimbly integrate with client teams and flex our way of working — whether it’s providing full-fledged design services or, as in this case, playing a supportive role — to meet their specific needs was key to the value we brought to the table.

Branding

To stand out amongst a sea of beauty apps, the iOS app needed to be instantly identifiable as Heyday, but the brand lacked a definitive visual identity to start. Things like topography, color, shapes, and spacing had to be determined, and the overall look had to be sophisticated in order to reflect Heyday’s expertise in the skincare space.

We worked hand-in-hand with Heyday’s Lead Product Designer, compiling a comparative landscape analysis, creating style tiles, and workshopping every aspect until it felt true to the Heyday DNA.

From there, it was a matter of ensuring the design aesthetic was carried through the entire project for a unified look and feel, from the individual skincare product pages down to each and every screen of the newly built web booking widget.

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Solutions & Features

Heady built a custom iOS app for Heyday that allows customers to seamlessly book in-store facials and purchase products while getting a bird’s eye view of their personal skincare journey. On the backend, it’s all supported by a powerful custom data warehouse that gives Heyday the ability to access comprehensive information about each customer in real time, giving way to powerful insights that will drive future business decisions.

The Heyday iOS app includes a handful of unique features, and one of our favorites is the post-facial treatment records.

Within a few minutes of a facial service being completed, the customer’s app updates with a recap from their visit that includes a personalized note from the esthetician, which skin concerns they solved for during the visit (such as moisturizing hydration, clearing congestion, or calming breakouts), and the products they recommend to achieve the customer’s specific skincare goals, all of which can be purchased in-app with just a few taps.

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Another fun feature is the membership. Skincare is a marathon, not a race — it requires time and consistency, which is why Heyday offers a monthly membership that can be joined in-app.

Members receive a free monthly facial at the location of their choice, discounted facial enhancements (from gua sha to microdermabrasion), and a member discount for in-store and in-app product purchases. For members, the app’s profile section displays a membership savings widget that shows how much a customer has saved over time, underscoring that Heyday’s facial subscription isn’t just beneficial for their skin, but also for their wallet.

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Results & KPIs

In the end, Heady turned Heyday’s SkincareOS concept into a reality. The ETL process, middleware setup, and advanced software centralized all Heyday customer data. The brand’s customer data is now synchronized in real-time, laying a firm technical foundation to support their rapid franchise growth while providing a robust and intuitive user experience for both their customers and their estheticians — a major win for Heyday’s present as well as their future.

While it’s still in the newly launched, test-and-learn phase, the iOS app currently enjoys a nearly 5-star rating.

Heyday has enjoyed an observable spike in service bookings and an improvement in user engagement and the overall quality of audience feedback, while customer service issues during the booking process have lessened significantly due to reduced friction.

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The digital solutions we built for Heyday are designed to set the brand up for scalability as they grow from 10 locations to 100 (and beyond), and we’re continuing to support them with ongoing technical collaboration as we stay true to the Heady mission of forging lasting client relationships.

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