We were inspired, in part, by a statistic published by Mint, an Indian financial newspaper, on the large percentage of small businesses that have negatively been impacted by COVID-19. We hope that our app can bring more customers to their storefronts.
What it does
When a user opens GrowGreen, they can find local, small businesses in their area with our integrated map. The app uses live location from the device to suggest small businesses from local areas. Tapping on the marker location for a store will pull up info on it, including but not limited to the store’s business hours, products offered, and contact info. If a user likes a particular business, they can favorite it, so that the next time they use GrowGreen, they can find that specific business’ info more quickly.
How we built it
We created the app with Flutter and integrated Google Maps and a Firebase database collection to our code. For the landing page, we used a mixture of HTML and CSS to make the site look colorful and eye-catching.
Challenges we ran into
One of our members was in a different time zone, so we had to plan ahead and figure out who was working on what to ensure that we finished all our parts. We initially faced problems while setting up the google maps API, but we eventually figured it out. Also, we ran into a bunch of merge conflicts in the initial stage of development process, which required a lot patience and problem solving to get through.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We’re proud of having a functional app with great UI that can help local businesses in India, especially since the COVID situation is very severe there We’re also proud of having enough time to build a simple site for promoting the app, as it will increase GrowGreen’s brand awareness among potential consumers.
What we learned
We learned how to improve our UI/UX design process by conducting a bit of user research and narrowing down our target users. Since most of us were new to Flutter, we learnt a lot about working with Flutter and implementing Firebase. Some of us learned good practices in Git to avoid merging conflicts.
What's next for GrowGreen
We plan to add a Top Rated page that will list all the businesses in a user's area, sorted by highest average reviews. This way, users who want a better customer experience or can’t decide which businesses to support can scroll through the Top Rated page and make a selection from the options there. We also plan to add a sustainability option to the app i.e. every time you favorite a business, you earn a coin. 10 coins equal one tree that we will plant in the neighborhood, thus helping the local environment as well. If this app gets enough support, we might consider building a web version for people who want to use it on their computers.