I think it would be really handy if hair-salons allowed you to self-book your haircut. Rather than phoning, leaving a message, getting a callback, etc (which is how it works with the current place I get my haircut), I’d love to be able to go to the salon’s website, select my stylist (unbelievable, I know, but I do have a stylist. A pretty kick-ass one too. You think my hair’s shaggy? You should seen it when she hasn’t spent 30 minutes thinning it out), and see when she’s available (he too – I’m not being presumptuously sexist, just my stylist is female). Then, I could place myself in an open spot. The stylist, of course, could on their end, book off times they don’t want to have appointments, so I couldn’t choose them. The booking system could email, or send me a text message on my phone, alerting me to the fact that I have a haircut, and if it’s a first time cut, I could pre-fill out the various forms that hair places like for you to fill out, and could include a map of how to get to the salon, for instance.
Knowing what I do about server software, and desktop-app/web-based-app integration, none of these things should be that hard. Expensive, possibly, but not that hard. And once it’s been done once, the cost would plummet. Maybe I should write some new salon management software that’ll do all this, and become the salon-management software king. Because, you know, this sort of basic book-yourself-an-appointment and let the computer do all the reminding would be useful for all sorts of basic salons – hair, nail, tanning, etc.