💫 Inspiration

Our two female group members (Akshara and Kara) mentioned to the team a problem they face on a monthly basis. That is, during their menstruation cycle they were faced with an issue of accessibility for menstruation products (pads, tampons etc..).The problem occurs when during this cycle and being outside you may find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation due to the lack of accessible products! Therefore we wanted to tackle this accessibility issue by providing more tools to help women find affordable and cheap products.

Doing more research into this, we found more and more women were affected by this issue of accessibility. After discussing the problems with friends we did more digging and found some really concerning statistics. According to the organization Days for Girls, over 500 million women are experiencing some form of period poverty, which is the lack of access to menstrual products. This is because most feminine hygiene products are too expensive for the average person, which could result in negative effects for those going through period poverty.

The access to menstrual products should be a basic right to every woman out there. We made this platform with the motivation to combat the lack of accessibility.



😮 What it does

Her Needs is an application catered to fight the problem of period product poverty. The application provides two services, a map of your area that contains waypoints of local bathrooms that have free menstrual products and a healthy, sustainable, and cheap menstrual product search system to find better alternative products to purchase.

The map helps women find washrooms in their local area that provide free menstrual products. This helps combat the accessibility issue as if you find yourself in public without any products, you can use the app to find a nearby washroom that services them for free. Additionally, you can add bathrooms to the app which will notify other women that this is a known bathroom that contains free menstrual products, and you can specify the type of products serviced (tampon or pad).

When finding a bathroom, the application will give you a destination route to reach the bathroom. This way women can access the application, find a nearby washroom, and be provided directions to the washroom. In which will allow them to make use of the free menstrual products.

Users have two options to choose from: to find cheaper and environmentally friendly menstrual products near them and to locate nearby washrooms with free menstrual products on the go. Our app also accounts for screen size issues as it is available for multiple devices. On top of that, we addressed the accessibility situation of the bathroom so our disabled peers don't feel excluded. We scraped the web for the best deals, so you don't have to!

🔨 How we built it

The front-end of our application was created with Vue.js and Quasar. For our database of locations and different menstrual products, we used Firebase and the Google Maps API. We then hosted our website using Netlify. We collaborated through Discord, Visual Studio Code, and Git.

For our data, we physically created surveys for information and continuously scraped sites, such as Reddit, using simple APIs. Our backend programmer, Darren Tam, then took all these data, populated them, and performed database manipulation using Firebase. For future use, we implemented user inputs to maintain the viability of the application. Our full-stack developer, Samee Chowdhury, worked thoroughly to debug any problems arising from using APIs, connecting the frontend and middleware software.

The front-end developers, Kara Huynh and Akshara Debnath worked thoroughly to quickly learn Vue.js and came up with Figma designs for the app. To avoid cluttering data and confusing the user, our design has a neat and simple layout where users can easily navigate to different pages. For our colors, we used the palette generator Colors. We chose to do a purple color because part of our design is centered around the empowerment of women. Purple is to signify wisdom, bravery, and spirituality.

😰 Challenges we ran into

The first challenge we faced was this being Darren’s first hackathon while Kara and Akshara were new to the frontend tech stack. Darren was learning the backend for the first time as he was new to firebase and backend architecture. While Kara and Akshara were learning the Vue.js frontend framework. This was a big challenge as we wanted to learn something new from this hackathon while also creating a full application. Darren mentioned he struggled with the backend as he is also new to coding. As for Akshara and Kara, they mentioned they found difficulties in learning Vue.js in such a short amount of time. Lastly, Sam mentioned he found difficulty using google maps API as it was his first time setting it up with firebase & vue.js.

The second challenge we ran into during this project was losing some of our coding progress to the blackout that happened. For those that don’t know, Ontario was hit with a high wind storm that knocked out power across some regions in the province. Darren, Akshara, and Kara were the three group members left without power which caused a delay in the making of the app. We panicked as we weren’t entirely sure if we would be able to get our power back on time and if we would finish in time. Overall it was a pretty stressful situation for all group members. We did some phone calling to organize ourselves and after a couple of hours, we were all online again.


😤 Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of creating a functional product as we were able to successfully bring our idea to life. We created this application to help females locate products and to search for cheaper products. During the duration of this project, we collaborated very well with time constraints, unforeseeable circumstances, and high-pressure situations. The future of this application can have a much larger reach than just menstrual products. In the future, we hope to target baby products like baby formula and diapers to help mothers or other essential products that are generally overpriced or hard to find.

🧠 What we learned

We learned a couple of things from this hackathon: Google Maps API, Vue.js & Firebase

This was one of our members (Darren Tam) first time participating in a hackathon, and they had to learn Firebase, Vue.js, and database manipulation. This was quite the challenge but at the same time we were all eager to learn the parts of the tech stack we were weak in. Darren learned more about coding fundamentals and better understood firebase connection to the frontend in terms of data communication. As for Akshara and Kara, they learned more about Vue.js frontend framework, specifically Vue3 the newer version. They learned the reactive frameworks fundamentals and have now earned another framework to put on their resume :D. As for Sam, he learned how to integrate Google Maps API into the application as well as the Firebase and Vue.js connection.

💜 What's next for Her Needs

The next step for Her Needs is to onboard members of the community, ranging from all genders and ages. The more members we onboard mean the more people scouting for washrooms to add to our platform to help other women in need. Additionally, we would also like to expand our application to locate more products targeted toward mothers such as diapers and baby formulas.


Built With

+ 15 more
Share this project: