According to the Australian Psychological Association, 1 in 4 Australians report feeling lonely at least one day per week. Groups with chaotic schedules are particularly at risk, such as young adults and new parents. But planning meet-ups can be a huge headache for these groups, and navigating complex social media like Facebook is a brain drain for average users. We want to make it simpler for people to get together in the real world.
What it does
Our mobile app simplifies incidental catch-ups. A young mum unexpectedly has an hour to go to the park? She can easily alert her circle of other local mums to get some essential adult interaction. A uni student needs a coffee break on campus during SWOTVAC? One click and his circle of uni mates knows where to get together. No need to scroll through endless text in WhatsApp to find meet up info. Simplicity is the key: one function, minimal clicks. As a web app, it works on all platforms: one app, minimal confusion.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Ideally this product would be a mobile app, but we didn't have any Swift experience or Android users in our team— so we created a mobile website instead. This created difficulty integrating between the website buttons and the Firebase database, so we created a custom API in node.js to communicate between the website and Firebase.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
What we learned
We learned a lot about integration (and what not to do in future!). Next time we'll have a much better idea of what kind of skills we need in the team to create an end-to-end MVP.
What's next for Circles
Geolocation to make sure only users who are close enough (according to their selected mobility) get the alerts. Monetise the app by offering local businesses greater visibility to encourage meet ups at their locations. This will strengthen the community while supporting local businesses.