Pearl Hair Salon: Crafting a Luxurious Digital Experience

Published on Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Last updated Thursday, November 9, 2023
4 min read

Background & Context

Duration: November 2016 - February 2017
Role: Web Developer & UX Analyst
Tools & Tech: AWS, Bootstrap, Google Analytics

Update: Since the initial publication of this case study, Pearl Hair Salon has transitioned to a different online business model. For reference to the original website discussed in this case study, please visit its archived version on the Internet Archive.

Pearl Hair Salon is a local salon and spa in Monett, MO, focused on providing premium experiences via Paul Mitchell products and a unique Wash House Experience - an indulgent, spa-like retreat for their clients. The business sought to revamp its digital presence to reflect its quality offerings and to align with Paul Mitchell's established branding.

Challenge: Connecting the Salon Experience and Online Presence

Pearl Hair Salon had a unique in-store offering: The Wash House Experience, an indulgent, spa-like retreat for their clients. The challenge was to convey this unique selling proposition digitally. Paul Mitchell's Wash House Experience is designed to transform routine salon activities into an unforgettable affair, complete with soft music, dim lighting, and luxurious add-on treatments.

View of Pearl Hair Salon.

Pearl Hair Salon's styling stations.

Pearl Hair Salon's wash house.

Key Objectives:

  • Reflect the high-quality in-store experience online
  • Address usability and responsive design issues
  • Enhance branding and align it with Paul Mitchell's established identity
  • Optimize operational costs without compromising on quality

Research & Discovery: Unearthing User Behaviors and Preferences

Pearl Hair Salon's old website.

Competitive Analysis and User Behavior:

Most visitors accessed the site via mobile, but the website was not optimized for these devices. Google Analytics revealed that many sub-pages, especially those for products and services, were under-visited. I hypothesized that the issue was due to a difficult-to-navigate mobile menu.

Google Analytics dashboard showing total views per page.

Online Sentiment Analysis:

Reviews and social media commentary around Pearl Hair Salon and competitors indicated that customers commonly look for pricing, hours of operation, and online booking options.


While the existing website outperformed local competitors, it fell short when compared to other Paul Mitchell Focus Salons, who utilized clean, bold fonts and crisp images to convey a premium feel.

Paul Mitchell marketing campaigns.

Strategy & Approach: Aligning with Client's Vision

"Our Wash House Experience is really our bread and butter, so I am trying to figure out how we can play on this concept as our niche."

- James Probyn, one of the salon owners

Logo Redesign

  • Initial designs focused on flat designs, aligning with modern web aesthetics.
  • The owners preferred retaining a realistic pearl element, so I pivoted to typography, mirroring fonts used by Paul Mitchell.

Mobile-First Design

  • Initial wireframes built with static HTML/CSS.
  • Inspired by clean and simple designs, the final layout was a single-page scrolling style.

Pearl Hair Salon's site map before and after redesign.

Execution: From Concept to Reality

Technology Stack

  • AWS for hosting
  • G Suite for Business emails
  • Bootstrap-based Rubik framework for frontend

Logo: Hand-drawn to ensure uniqueness and crafted in scalable vector format for adaptability.
Website: Developed as a static site to optimize speed, security, and operational costs.

Pearl Hair Salon's redesigned logo.

Pearl Hair Salon's redesigned website.

Impact: Quantifiable Results and Business Benefits

  • Social Reach: 886 people reached on Facebook on launch day, the highest ever for any of their posts.
  • Operational Costs: Reduced from $14/month to less than $3/month for hosting.
  • Customer Engagement: Immediate uptick in customer queries and appointment bookings.

People are loving the website. I woke up with a new client messaging us wanting a color and cut. She even sent a picture of what she wants from one of my before and after photos off the website!

- Angel Probyn, salon owner


By comprehensively addressing the branding, usability, and strategic objectives, the new digital presence for Pearl Hair Salon not only reflects its unique in-store experience but also sets a new benchmark for local salons.

Next Steps

  • Usability Testing: I intend to introduce guerrilla usability tests for ongoing iterations to improve the user journey further.
  • Performance Optimization: Plan to optimize the site's performance, especially regarding images and SEO.
  • Online Booking: Exploring the potential to incorporate in-house online booking, reducing the dependency on third-party services.