The inspiration came from one of our team mates, she is a part of a local board game community and she had previously heard people from the community mentioning that they were in need of a system that enables easy and simple repair options. As we were building the idea around the Circular Economy topic, we wanted to contribute to the circular motion by introducing donation & trade options that would empower up-cycle, reuse and recycle actions.
What it does
The Fixable app is a free community powered platform where users can come onboard to see their local repair availability at no cost. The repairs are based on volunteering and no actual cash is allowed to be used on the app. Users can either request repairs or provide repairs to their local neighborhood at no cost. For each provided repair, the users will earn non transferable, non revenue generating in-app points that they can either use later to request a repair, or once the points reach a certain amount they can make a donation to their favorite charity at no cost. Users can also use the " I want to donate" option to donate any item they like for free.
How we built it
We first created a Miro Design Thinking board and gathered our ideas in the form of mind-mapping. We spent some time on figuring out the "How might we" questions in our minds. We later dived into the details of the project. We opened up a Trello account to create and follow our tasks to be completed systematically since our time was short.
We decided to narrow down and focus our initial project to be live in the UK at first since most of our expertise and data was based on the UK. We conducted a deep dive in to check all other existing competitors, any organizations we could partner up with etc. We decided that creating an Android app (our developers had experience in Android Dev) would make our project easier and accessible for most of the community. We created detailed documents for our app building journey.
We then created a survey to understand our product idea, test its validation and try to grasp the users that can be targeted through that data. Once we had gathered our valuable data from the surveys, we then created user stories and user types. We created an MVP feature list and plan which was then shared with our UI/UX designer to create a solid wireframe using Figma which was later on developed into a prototype.
Once the prototyping stage was completed, we then exported the screens to Zeplin to ease the process of our developers coding actual design components into the code. Our developers focused on creating the flow using Flutter. We chose Flutter due to its "easier" navigation and quicker development results since we only had 48 hours to complete the project. If there was more time, we were going to choose Kotlin as our primary coding language.
Challenges we ran into
Some competitors we came across had already formed a system that was somewhat a part of our project, but we wanted to use this as a benefit on our end, and tried to figure out ways to collaborate and bring our forces together rather than competing in the same field. Our Android developer had some issues with her tech setup, but nevertheless she collaborated with our python developer live through discord and guided her step by step on how to proceed. We then had some issues figuring out how to bring our design from Figma onto Flutter, but we found great solutions that enable users to connect/import/export. Although most of our team was based in the BST timezone, we had two members that were based in GMT +3 and GMT -3, to tackle with the time difference our team members created a special system where GMT +3 & GMT-3 would work after hours when the BST timezone was off so that the team would keep working and try to finish in time.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We've completed a full set of screen designs & user flows that we'd planned for our app. We created a full branding, logo and other components that are in the "ready to publish" stage. We're also proud that our team had a mindset of collaboration and sharing, thus we shared insight, new tech tools to be used, we had our own tutorial and workshop sessions and in the end the hackathon was a beautiful experience where all of our expertise could come together to actualize an idea we'd just created only 48 hrs ago.
What we learned
As a team we discovered new formulas for rapid design thinking & prototyping and how to work in harmony with a remote team that hasn’t met before this project. We discovered how we could benefit the most from each of the team members' skills in their own unique ways.
Thanks to our survey we discovered that most of the younger generation users in the UK have knowledge about the Circular Economy and are interested in finding ways to take part in the action. The importance of creating social impact, green and eco projects is highly crucial in the process of saving the planet. The scope of Circular Economy and the things that can be produced within that scope are limitless and will create a new way of living.
What's next for Fixable-Community Powered Repair App
We’ve created a detailed roadmap and a business plan that we can directly implement. With a small amount of investment and a small team, it is possible to create our project into a running startup in a very short period of time. We’ll start by researching more to validate our idea and testing with our demo prototype and move on to development phases. At the same time we’ll be able to explore new partnership opportunities to strengthen our business.