Inspiration

Mental health issues and feelings of isolation due to quarantine is an important piece of the broader challenge of the covid-19 pandemic. During our ideation process, we were inspired by the principles of the Venus: People Empowerment track. We hope to encourage virtual community building and empower individuals without the limits of a traditional virtual space.

What it does

clique is a mobile app designed to connect like-minded individuals to empower one another. with a global pandemic, soaring unemployment rates, and worldwide outcry to police brutality and systemic racism, it’s important, now more than ever, that we continue building community and encouraging interaction.

Our app allows individuals to 'match' with others who select the same interests and time availabilities. We strive to be as inclusive as possible so that we can build a welcoming and diverse platform for our users.

How we built it

We used React with Ionic to develop a cross-platform mobile app. The Google Cloud Platform, namely Firebase, was an important tool for our backend development. Firebase allowed us to store and update user preference data in real-time and securely authenticate our users.

The accessibility of our design was extremely important to us, yet it is an aspect that is often overlooked by developers. We considered the impact of text color, being cognizant of the fact that the majority of color blind individuals are blind to red and green. We made sure to having large touch points to help people restrictive mobility.

We considered individuals with cognitive impairment by reducing crowing and simplifying user flows, making our app easier to use. We highlight essential areas of our app with vibrant call to action buttons. Inactivity is also taken into consideration, with inactive buttons greyed out to reduce confusion. Our chat function is designed to be familiar interface, following the models of commonly used interfaces (ie. iMessage).

Challenges we ran into

Ionic Frameworks just recently launched Ionic-React a few months ago. Because of how recent this development was, it was hard to find answers to questions when we ran into bugs. It was really fun learning this new Framework, and certainly an interesting challenge for all of us.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are excited about the capabilities of our app. We aimed to have a seamless interface that allows users to customize their preferences. Our design is made to be accessible. We wanted to keep our platform as safe, inclusive, and welcoming for our users, apart from many existed meetup apps.

What we learned

"I typically work on front end development, so it was really interesting to get involved in the backend development. Firebase has a surprisingly streamlined development process! I also loved our team dynamic <3" – Priya

"Prior to this project, I didn’t have experience with the Ionic Framework or Typescript. There was a bit of a learning curve at first, but I got the hang of things. I also joined this team halfway through things, and it was great working with everyone :)" — Enya

“Learning new frameworks, such as Ionic and Firebase was interesting. It was quite fun with such supportive teammates!” — Alexsandra

"I love working with developers because they help me become a better designer and overall teammate! I learned that being super detailed, descriptive, organized, and frequently communicating is important to properly communicate my design ideas to the team. I'm so grateful to have been a part of such a great team!! (or shall I say clique?)" — Hoang

What's next

Launching our app! We are very close to a deployable product, and we have built our backend (using Firebase!) with scalability in mind. Also, we hope to add more preliminary questions and refine our matching algorithm. We hope to do user research to see what experiences could be improved and would lead to an even better product.

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