It is human nature to categorize people and things, and people are often biased against others outside of their own social group. Prejudice (emotional bias), stereotypes (cognitive bias), and discrimination (behavioral bias) would impact diversity and make our society weaker.
One of the ways to tackle this is to talk freely and openly on the issues, yet it is hard to implement. People are generally afraid or reluctant to talk about discrimination. They may be afraid of saying something interpreted as discriminatory or feeling uncomfortable for those with privilege because it requires them to acknowledge their inherent privilege.
Psychological research has found approaches that can foster productive dialogues about discrimination. We would like to build a platform that encourages respectful and productive dialogues by allowing people to share their experiences and fears by talking freely and openly about discrimination and bias.
What it does
The platform encourages respectful and productive dialogues by providing educational materials on the issues and guidelines for users to have constructive conversations and reflections. Ideally, the system would filter and block inappropriate content and suggest the use of words/ responses to prevent further injury to feelings.
Users can log in/ sign up, and add their personal details (which is hidden from other users)
On the home page, users can browse recommended videos and articles on prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination, and guidelines on how to seek help/ how to minimize these biases
Users can join a group chat. A theme is assigned to the group on a weekly basis, group members can share their experiences related to that issue (all information is kept confidential, screen cap disabled & chat conversation will be deleted after that week)
Users can reflect and write a diary
How we built it
Low fidelity wireframe using balsamiq
- During the brainstorming phase, we laid out the features that we wanted and experimented with design - playing around with what fits on which page.
High fidelity wireframe using Figma
- After finalizing the features and pages that we wanted, our designer used Figma to plan out what our application looks like.
React-native for front-end development
- The frontend developers went in 2 different directions. One of them created the presentational components and styling using Figma as a guideline. The other frontend developer integrated Youtube API and an open source react native chat.
Firebase + Google Cloud Platform for back-end development
- The backend developer created the Cloud Firestore backed by Google Cloud Platform and wrote logic that involved accessing and storing information in the database. This includes storing/retrieving authentication, chat, user profile, focus of the week, and diary.
Integrated open source project: React Native Gifted Chat
Youtube API for suggested videos
Challenges we ran into
Time zone was a challenge, as we have 4 different time zones and some not all developers are awake at the same time. However, we are able to overcome this through effective communication and planning.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have completed the UI Design (with stretch goals) and app development.
What we learned
It is the first time for some of our members to develop a mobile application, we learnt a lot on using react-native for mobile development.
What's next for Chatbloom
Users can filter and block inappropriate content and suggest the use of words/ responses to prevent further injury to feelings
Users can join activities backed by psychological research