Pitch Video: link
- Due to Covid-19 customers and local businesses have lost their communication/connection.
- Local small/medium business owners either have to sell things at high discount rates or close down their stores due to the inability to find new customers & their PPP is running out.
- Customers who are restricted to their homes on the other hand have no proper way of keeping track of the status of the local businesses and the services or products they offer. How might we help small business owners to easily connect with potential local customers?
The report, which surveyed over 35,000 small and medium-sized businesses across the world:
- 22% of U.S. small businesses were closed in February 2021.
- 23% of small and medium-sized businesses closed in May 2021.
- New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts were seeing at least 30% closed.
- 7% of small and medium businesses said they had to reduce their workforce
- 48% of those companies said they had to lay off at least half of their workforce.
- 27% of minority-led small and medium-size businesses reported closures, compared with 18% of others.
- Female-led businesses saw 25% closure rates, while 20% of male-led businesses closed.
💼📱 What it does
CommunX is like a social media/tinder app for small/medium-sized businesses and customers to help support and empower local communities.
Our Business Owner View:
- Allows businesses to build their online presence, by updating their headline with their weekly promotions.
- Allows businesses to find other businesses nearby, and potentially partner and merge with other local businesses.
- Allows businesses to be notified of followers, new customers, orders, reviews, and achievements.
- Allows business to gain verification by winning awards, such a best local business.
Our Customer View:
- Allows customers to find a local business, by incorporating a tinder-like feature, where customers can skip or like/save a restaurant to continue receiving updates.
- Allows customers to write reviews for business and other users can like their reviews. They can also follow other customers to read other reviews they write in the future.
- Allows customers to donate local businesses directly on our app.
- Allows customers to shop directly on our app, and to reap discount benefits we host on our app.
🔨 How we built it
Google Docs & Draw
- We used google docs during the ideating & brainstorming phase.
- We used Google draw to map out features & MVPs.
- We made the design system & branding on Figma (color, typography, etc.).
- Then, We made wireframes.
- Lastly, We made low & high-fidelity.
HTML & CSS
- I tried to code some of my screens, but it didn't completely come out functioning, but I learned alot trying. :)
I used a design thinking framework.
- Define the problem
- Problem: Local businesses are struggling to bounce back, despite reopening.
- Question (HMW): How might we help small business owners to easily connect with potential local customers?
- We will need to: Bring an application that allows local businesses to gain a stronger online presence in order to update old & potential new customers on opening dates, new products, etc.
- Solution: A mobile application that allows business owners to create an online presence and customers to leave reviews, donations, and shop directly on our app.
- Impact: Small/medium-sized businesses, especially minority and female-led businesses, are able to bounce back financially and gain new customers. Customers are able to shop and/or visit their favorite local business, and even leave donations!
- Main audience: Small/medium-sized Business Owners (especially minority-owned and female-led businesses.)
- How our app meets the needs of the various audience: For Business Owners -provides them an easy social media platform to build their online presence. They are able to gain new customers, update old customers, and receive donations all in one place. For local customers -provides them a place to support and receive updates from their favorite local businesses.
- Design System: The user interface is clean, simple, and easy to use for our target audience (business owners.) The use of green & blue is to represents earth and community (blue sky and green plants). The use of pink represents love and support for local businesses and communities.
😤 Challenges we ran into
- Finding teammates to create a project with.
- Trying to learn code and implement my designs into code.
- Working on the hack alone, as I am a beginner.
- Time constraints
🏆 Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Completing a useful & impactful project on time despite the challenges stated above.
- Completing all 85+ screens on time and by myself.
- Making my prototype fully clickable.
📖 What we learned
- We learned more about user personas & user research
- We learned more about app design and UI
- We learned about using my research to create the UX
- We learned about design systems (typography, color, branding, etc.)
- We learned a little bit about HTML & CSS even though we weren’t able to implement them during this hackathon
🚀 What's next for CommunX
CommunX does not & will not stop at the end of this hackathon! It will continue with the help of developers & investors. So if you, judge, or hackathon participant know anyone wanting to join in the creation of a community app, let me know! Here's our launch plan:
- Finalize platform and donation/shopping functionalities.
- Initiate outbound marketing and sales.
- Leverage GenZ ambassadors.
- Pilot test in local communities that have lots of small shops.
- Integrate user feedback
- Integrate new features
- Monetize further
Potential New Features
- Map: Include a map feature that gives your directions on how to get to the business.
- Messages/DMs: Allow users to DM businesses and other users to foster connections, partnerships, and community.
- Invest: Allow investors to invest via our app.
- Post: Allow users to post discounts they see or new shops they see, rather than only reviews.