Imagine this - you begin by trading a single paperclip and somehow trade enough that the keys to a brand new house end up in your hands. Woah - how the heck would that work? Through the integration of web3, a new era of decentralization is among us. While other sites such as Fiverr and Upwork exist for highly specialized tasks, Digi-Nomad is an accessible digital community that allows people to trade tasks based on their diverse skillsets and choose how they'd like to be compensated. We want to inspire others to elevate their craft, gain value through specialization, all while also putting their earnings to work as well.
What it does
Digi-Nomad provides a secure marketplace for the exchanging of services with crypto-backed fees and smart contracts to hold each party liable in said transaction. It also allows the user to stake their idle holdings and or earnings with Terra's LUNA token and gain profit with low-risk and low fees. With the addition of Terra's crypto-wallet Terra Station, the exchange in tokens is highly accessible to even the new pioneer. Digi-Nomad's website has a motion sensor ability through video recognition for differently-abled users to access the same opportunities as all other community members. With the introduction of crypto as a recommended option for payments and staking, the value of the user's currency is in their own hands while also giving them the freedom to put their own prices on any exchange and own the value of their skillset.
How we built it
We began by hosting an ideation workshop within our team and discussed various ideas based on the challenges posed by TreeHacks. After deciding on building a task-trading platform, we continued to flush out our future set and moved into designing our product on Figma - conducting competitive analysis, creating user flows, and high fidelity prototypes within the timeframe. Next, we used HTML/CSS and React to build out our front-end through Codesandbox, a collaborative IDE that allowed each member of the team to contribute. A key consideration in our design was accessibility. To combat this and allow differently-abled users to leverage our platform, we integrated Open CV for hand gesture recognition that allows users to view task details and decline/accept through a simple thumbs up and down. From a UX POV, we maintained key design principles to make our design more accessible (limiting data input, grouping through Gestalt's principles etc).
Challenges we ran into
The limitation of time in a hackathon means you prioritize core features/user requirements and this left us not being able to explore all the ideas and integrations we wanted to! In terms of technical problems, we definitely ran into some front-end difficulties as well as translating our Figma designs into functioning code as this was our first time completing front-end work. However, we leveraged mentors and various online resources to help us build a fully functional website within less than 36 hours.
What's next for Digi-Nomad
Trust us when we say this is only the beginning.....giving users the ability to work on any kinds of tasks (skilled and unskilled, those that require degrees, those that are highly specialized etc) and encouraging the community to establish the valuation of each task is a unique experience and one that satisfies all users. From a UX POV, we need to continue to advocate for users that may be taken advantage of, through incorporating price floors and transparency in compensation for both parties. Regarding crypto, the incorporation of a token is for more than just staking and exchanging purposes - this builds a digital web3 community. A roadmap is difficult to outline at this time because there is so much untapped potential in web3, but continuing to refine the reward system would be an immediate next step and establishing safety barriers, especially for tasks that will be completed in person.
Challenges we've signed up for
1. Most Creative: Creating a product that allows users to set values on the tasks they do and continue to trade this to grow the value of their tasks is a unique concept and this is a platform that will host all these transactions.
2. Most Impactful: This hack targets differently-abled users through our gesture swiping interactions, supports those who can only work odd jobs (familial responsibilities, mental health, learning disabilities, etc), and can support local businesses that can create tasks on Digi-Nomad without the barrier of monetary compensation.
3. Accessibility Grand Prize: Through leveraging Open CV, we support those who cannot use a keyboard or mouse to navigate through the site. In maintaining UX principles such as colour contrast, following WCAG principles, and establishing a clear visual and information hierarchy - the site can also be used by those with screen readers.
4. (Neo) Most Likely to Become a Business: To begin this hackathon, we established pain points in the current service delivery industry. While there are existing applications that focus on skilled labor - people who have honed in on a specific craft and can charge high amounts - companies do not consider those who have a wide set of skills; a jack of all trades. By establishing a platform that allows the large group of unspecialized individuals to find work quickly and be fairly compensated in the way they wish, we're addressing the needs of a completely different user base.
5. GoodCall Tech for Local Business Grand Challenge: Local businesses often do not have the resources to hire multiple individuals at a full-time rate for odd jobs or consistently throughout the year due to the peak/valley nature of the service industry. By allowing local businesses to hire when they need it, we prevent waste of resources unlock new revenue, and heightened productivity. This way, workers can also work with other businesses and learn from each other's experiences and best practices. Notably, local businesses are also encouraged to trade with each other through the app - eliminating the need for a middleman. Whatever the case - our platform provides an opportunity for local businesses to engage with their demand, with cryptocurrency as a safe medium.
6. Best use of ML with Mage
We trained a neuralnet on mage to tag products based on descriptions. We planned for this to be used to make suggestions within the app for users. Though we weren't able to deploy it properly the team enjoyed the abstraction mage allowed and look forward to using it in the future!
7. Best use of Crypto (Matrix)
8. VMWare Innovation
9. VMWare Collaboration
10. (Stanford Center for Ethics) Most Ethically Engaged Hack: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17L5UVjnCTvxjJ4SLnBCFI06W4B81B69E5iTvFQq0otQ/edit?usp=sharing