The US has gone through drastic economic changes within the last 12 months because of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The unemployment rate has recovered slightly since the start of the pandemic, however, with higher employer costs per hour worked, businesses are struggling to hire. In urban cities like Los Angeles, the unemployment rate is at a staggering 10.6, higher than the national average of 7.0 in Dec 2020. (U.S. BLS, Local Area Unemployment Statistics).

Nearly at the cusp of a global recession, however, there has been a tremendous outpour of charity and support coming from all over the world due to the rise in media coverage and awareness of communities that have been affected the hardest. We found inspiration from seeing how community members stepped up during the COVID pandemic to donate face masks and PPE to frontline healthcare workers.

This renewed awareness of collective giving is the inspiration behind our community-based charitable app called HomeBase.

What it does

Our team envisioned a product that helps bring awareness to the current and future generation of working adults to easily discover local charitable and volunteer opportunities from their mobile devices. HomeBase provides the platform as a user-friendly mobile app, allowing supporters to search for a number of causes, be able to register as a volunteer at local events, and donate funds or resources to the charity of their choice.

HomeBase allows supporters to stay engaged with the community by using individual or group messaging within the app. The platform also includes interactive maps to locate events and local organizations by using the keyword and search filters. Our hope is to integrate the IBM Z framework with our maps and search function to help users discover communities that are underserved from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) and data sets tracking Covid-19 spread by geographical location so that we are able to highlight the programs that are in most need of support.

How we built it

Our team used Miro for the initial concept and brainstorm. We were particularly interested in serving our community, so our team defined the problem objective through UX methodology.

“How might we make essential resources available for communities that are under-represented?”

We were able to conduct a quick survey during the research phase, then aggregated the results to create design artifacts such as user flows and wireframes in Figma. By prototyping the initial wireframes on Figma, we were able to test our product’s functionality and features with real users.

Through the user testing, we were able to validate the user flow for HomeBase. With limited time remaining, our design team resolved functionality issues and ideated the high-fidelity prototypes.

Challenges we ran into

There were many hurdles for our team to adapt and overcome. We started with a team of 4, and due to schedule conflict with the hackathon, our team structure changed and we were forced to change directions. Our core team was able to pivot and recruit a third member. We were able to pick up from where we left off through our design sprints.

Due to the time constraints of this hackathon, one of the other challenges we faced was not being able to do UX research extensively, which would have given us a clearer understanding of our user’s behaviors and needs in order to design more effectively with that in mind.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of creating an altruistic app that fosters genuine relationships and connections between community members.

What we learned

We learned how to effectively communicate, collaborate, and leverage each one of our skills to solve problems and create a viable product.

What's next for HomeBase

Our immediate next steps would be to conduct a more intensive UX Research process in order to ensure a product that better satisfies the needs of our users. Then, we would discuss the design impact and product viability of HomeBase with key stakeholders.

Built With

  • figma
  • miro
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