"I For You" was inspired by the heartwarming community responses to the COVID-19 pandemic seen across the globe. In particular, thousands of mutual aid Facebook/ Whatsapp groups have popped up, filled with posts from those offering and requesting help from their local community.
However, these groups have a big problem. If you wish to offer help, it's unlikely that the person who needs it most will find your post.
"I For You" aims to remove the friction in connecting those who are willing to help with those who need it.
What it does
"I For You" is on a mission to help the vulnerable amongst us get support during the current pandemic.
Put simply, "I For You" connect those in your locality who are willing to help with those who need it.
- Select "I need help" if you are looking for help.
- Fill in the form and submit request.
- You will be notified via email and push notification, when a volunteer wants to help you.
- If you offer help -
- Search for your location
- Go through all the requests and select the request you can help.
- Have a conversation with the help seeker and fulfill the request.
How I built it
- Pega platform - mobile capability
- Google Places REST APIs
- Gmail Integration
Challenges I ran into
A key challenge was to define a minimal feature set that would deliver real value to the community. My goal was to minimise the time to people so that "I For You" was able to help people suffering due to the coronavirus lockdown measures as quickly as possible. To this end, I focused on connecting those who need help with those who offer it via email, allowing the subsequent conversation between parties to take place over existing and well-established communication channels.
An additional challenge was to ensure the UX was as intuitive, beautiful and simply designed as possible, so that "I For You" application was accessible to a wide range of user demographics. This allows the project to have a positive impact on as many people as possible.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am able to build a production-ready application over the course of 2 weeks which is already having a significant positive impact on many people's lives during this crisis. I am proud to be able to use my skills and Pega platform to help the most vulnerable in our society during this time of need.
What I learned
This project was an excellent lesson in:
- Identifying the critical problem that needs to addressed.
- The importance of deeply understanding the problem you wish to solve.
- Defining a minimal yet sufficient feature set to address this problem.
- The importance of quality UX design.
- Development of a production-ready mobile app.
- Efficient usage of Pega for seamless conversations between two parties.
What's next for "I For You"
I will continue to enhance this application to add new features. Planned features include:
- Provision for volunteers to publish their willingness to support people in need as per their availability.
- Allowing people in need to contact volunteers available to support at that point of time.
- Feedback, rating feature to gain more hearts(similar to bonus points).
- Reporting feature - if someone abuses/ misuses "I For You" platform.
- Post tag filters.
- Map view.
- AI-assisted reporting and spam filters.
- Support for additional communication platforms, e.g. Facebook Messenger.
- Vetting process when a user registers.