As a team we noticed that we make the deepest connections not with people online but with the people we see everyday. However, our team noticed that we oftentimes don't even know the people who live down the street from us.
We decided that an app that quickly connects you with the people in your community through sharing and learning, two things we deem essential to relationships would be great especially for those who experience the most community disconnect.
What it does
Our app offers 3 main services.
The first is advertising skills and experiences you are offering to local community members. For instance if you are a great cook but feel lonely you could offer to come to people's houses and teach them a bit about your craft.
The second is posting/viewing items you no longer use so that local community members can get some use out of them. This aims to create a circular economy by continuously recycling products effectively minimizing the waste in landfills and saving money.
The final service is posting and hosting local community events. This creates a central repository for community members to see what is going on in their community without having to search through multiple different venues. We hope that this service will create a deeper sense of connection between community members with similar interests.
How we built it
We initially prototyped a design in Figma that we thought was both intuitive and simplistic for users who might have a visual impairment. We went through several iterations and arrived on our final design.
We then used React Native to copy our design in Figma. This stage was fairly difficult as we have never used React before. The end product works seamlessly as a phone app. Moreover with little to no tweaking we can adapt our project to run on multiple frontends like a computer or even a smart fridge.
Challenges we ran into
The biggest implementation issue us as a group ran into was developing our application from our initial designs. As I mentioned we are inexperienced with the use of React Native so figuring it out to a sufficient amount to develop a mobile application was fairly challenging in the constricted time setting we had.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to accurately convert our initial design in Figma to our final design.
We implemented all the key features we hoped to in our app.
We believe our app could serve as a real solution to a problem many people face, especially considering the recent pandemic.
What we learned
We learned a great deal about organizing tasks in a team, which was very important in a limited time. We also learned how to use several web technologies and integrations to arrive at our final product.
What's next for GoodWill
We believe that given our base project the next steps would be finalizing the backend to get it into a completely useable state. Additionally refactoring code we believe we could have written more efficiently would also be a top priority.
Aside from that we think the technology could in reality be integrated with local communities in the UBC Point Grey area to test it out in the real world.
The success of apps like Bounce and NextDoor seems to indicate that that their is a market for a product like ours so given more time to reach a final product we believe that this could be a solid venture.