Inspiration

The commerce industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. Lockdown ordinances have robbed people all over the world of their freedom, disrupting their lifestyles. But people need a way to maintain their sanity during these unprecedented circumstances. As the world stands still, it’s imperative that we make the most of our time and activate our creative minds to drive the next level of human innovation.

What it does

COVIDA LOCA offers a virtual space where stores can offer their goods and services, and homebound customers can enjoy the delightful experience of shopping in an engaging setting. Businesses are able to thrive during the pandemic, other crisis, or times of low sales, as they draw customers to experience their products in an interactive immersive experience.

How I built it

Virtual Development

The demo was developed with the Unreal Engine 4. Everything was done from scratch when it comes to the level of design and the whole idea.

UX/Web Development
We conducted qualitative and quantitative research about the effects of COVID-19 on consumer businesses and the behaviors of people who are under lockdown orders. After researching the problem space, we developed two user personas to gain a deeper understanding of user needs and wants. To guide the look and feel of the website, we created a mood board that evoked a sense of energy, caution, warmth, and vibrancy. We made a style guide to establish the visual system of the website. This was also helpful for other contributors to use for their work. We explored two sets of icons: monochromatic and multicolored. We chose the multicolored as they were a better match for the elements of the site. For the logo, we experimented with 17 different styles. After getting feedback from team members and other colleagues, we landed on the final logo for Covida Loca.

Challenges I ran into

We ran into the challenge of collaborating across multiple time zones, learning to navigate the best ways to facilitate hand-offs. Collaborating remotely also posed it's own challenges, as some team mates experienced technical limitations of internet function and low bandwidth. To mitigate the drop out rate, we started to activate our networks to consult fellow colleagues for added insights.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We're proud of the dedication and determination that we upheld during this unique hackathon. We are in an epic era of a global threat, yet we did not buckle. Quitting was not an option, no matter what setbacks and constraints we experienced.

We were grateful to establish excellent teamwork and rapid problem solving techniques. Being there for each other solidified our commitments to finish strong; doing our best work to make a final product that we are proud to demo.

What I learned

We learned the importance of establishing clear guidelines from the early onset of the project, but after reflecting upon our challenges, we realized it would be good to also include a risk assessment/plan in the event we had to do more with less.

What's next for covida-loca

We would like to release Covida Loca as soon as possible as a free web game, so that everyone with an internet connection can experience everything that Covida Loca has to offer.

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Updates

posted an update

NOTE: I'd like to send a special shout out to Jerome Barclay (LinkedIn.com/in/jeromebarclay) for all the valuable insights to COVIDA LOCA. Your contributions in UX Research, design strategy, and overall QA served as an integral foundation for this project to develop. Thanks for consulting with me on such a short notice :-)

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