I was searching for a good solution for natural disaster relief that I could incorporate in a product design. Through some research, I found that the customary "let's just donate goods and send relief packages to affected areas" doesn't always work. In fact, most of the time, there are too many goods sent the countries that they don't need, and they end up actually spending money to get rid of the supplies! Actually, most of the relief and rescue missions are conducted by the locals themselves since they are on site when disaster strikes. I created an app that would help with this beautiful phenomenon of people helping people. These people rarely get enough recognition, but they help each other out because they are part of the same community. This is what inspired me.
What it does
This app lets users mark their status (if they are safe or seeking assistance). Assistance can be of high priority as well, in the case of life-threatening situations. People in your community who flag that they are not safe and need assistance can be assisted by anyone who is willing through the app, almost like an uber system for help. There is a map accessible through the app that shows locations and memos from people who need assistant, and by helping them, you will be directed to their location from your current location.
How I built it
Most of this was product and visual design, as I am primarily a front end/UX developer. I designed and prototyped in Adobe Xd and used Unity to link all the screens and functionality together.
Challenges I ran into
Working by myself while not being experienced with backend at all (also just being bad at it in general) was pretty tough, as I had the idea in my head and on paper but was unable to connect some of the pieces. Additionally, nobody knew how to use the IBM APIs, even the mentors. I was unable to implement much of the backend over this weekend.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am quite proud of my design and product idea. I feel that this app could truly help many people and bring into light how much local heros do for their communities in times of need.
What's next for DRECS
DRECS can take lots of turns from here; monetary donations towards rebuilding can be incorporated; a concrete reward system for those who help each other out alot; plus, the accommodation of all kinds of emergencies aside from natural disasters--these can all be incorporated, since the main idea of DRECS is people helping people, something which is always relevant.