Inspiration

Over 100,000 establishments that had to shut down during the pandemic have gone out of business. As we speak, small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. They need our help now more than ever! When you support a small business, you are supporting a dream. That’s why we created Blossom, a place where small businesses can be introduced to the world.

What it does

Our goal is to help small businesses through this pandemic by directing local customers to their shops. When users visit Blossom, they can select the state and city they currently reside in. Based on their choice, we will direct them to a list of charming restaurants, beauty parlors, furniture stores, entertainment locations, and other shops in their area. In doing so, we hope to support local businesses by directing traffic towards them. From the business side, we developed an application for companies that would like to be featured on our website. We believe that when there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and positively impacting others. Join us in supporting small businesses in your local community!

How we built it

Blossom was created on Repl.it where we could all collaborate together on the front-end design using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Bootstrap. Our website design has a consistent layout and theme. We created a home page with information on small businesses and included all 50 states on our “The States” page. When the user selects their state and city, we provide categories for the types of small businesses in their area. Using accordions we added the information in an interactive way, where the user can open and close the categories they wish to.

Within the business information, we used the BestTime API to get the highest peak hour of traffic so the user could decide what time they would feel comfortable going. Using echoAR we also implemented 3D models of food for the restaurants so customers thinking about visiting can see what food they have in augmented reality and get encouraged to go visit the store.

Challenges we ran into

This was the first time some teammates were introduced to Repl.it and Echo AR/VR, giving way to a steep learning curve. We had trouble syncing our changes in Repl.it to the Git repository and fixing formatting issues with our state images.

It was also the first time we ever used the BestTime API. It was tricky reading through the documentation and understanding how to implement jQuery and ajax. With the help of an amazing mentor, we were able to understand more about the features this API provides. In the end, we successfully made calls to it for the peak hours of the small businesses on Blossom.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of our overlay effect on our website and clean user interface. We spent a great deal of our time on the layout of our website to ensure that the user could swiftly move through each page. Additionally, we are proud of our simple, but elegant website logo, which is featured twice on the home page. We utilized a muted yellow color to evoke a sense of energy, but also calmness and flowers to represent our company. Besides our logo, we are extremely proud of our teammates who used Echo AR/VR for the first time. We really enjoyed learning about its technological capabilities, and we hope to continue learning about its other features.

What we learned

As mentioned earlier, we learned how to create an augmented reality application utilizing Echo AR/VR. After scanning the QR code, viewers can see local restaurant food in three dimensions and entice their appetites. We also learned how to implement the BestTime API to tell customers when traffic would be at its highest.

What's next for Blossom?

We hope to continue improving our user interface and experience to create an extremely inviting space for both customers and businesses. We hope to continue expanding the number of states that we partner with and the small businesses we can help. Additionally, we hope to learn more about the backend side of our website to store the data from the business applications.

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