Plenty of people are looking to volunteer in Homelessness. However, it's not a curated experience. It's not fun. There's no user journey.

What it does

Valour SF serves as a hub of all the resources necessary to volunteer with the Homeless (in SF). It's a way to get engaged, have fun with a reward system, immediately serve the homeless population, join events with friends, and most of all grow in a relationship with the Homeless Shelter and/or a person in need.

How we built it

  1. Ideation - narrowing down our brainstorming to just Homelessness. Combined idea with Gamification.
  2. User Personas - Who is our target?
  3. Design - How do we make this experience usable? Easy to access for these users?
  4. Prototype & reiteration - Via Adobe XD, through an iterative process, we wire framed and prototyped the solution.

Challenges we ran into

Q: How do we ensure a massive following?
A: Our target, with the homeless organization (St. Anthony's) in mind, is not to grab the most downloads, but to personalize a user experience for someone who wants to participate in volunteering but doesn't know how.

Q: How do we "humanize" the volunteering experience?
A: Further along in the user journey, we hope to implement a growing relationship with a person in need via a partnership system. It would have to be executed through the homeless organization, however.

Q: A massive part of a community experience is to encourage one another through "likes". Why don't we allow "likes" and "comments" in our social feed?
A: We don't want the feed to be about the most amount of likes. However, we do want to advocate for each other and encourage others to join us in our volunteering journey. Perhaps we can implement this in a future feature as well, to send and receive hearts (via private messaging and notifications) and create and attend events through the app together, with peers.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Design-- Hannah did a wonderful job with this.
  • The User persona process
  • Later expanding our user base to high schoolers and those over the age of 13, and how it related to one of our team members.
  • The gamification process
  • Our team collaboration
  • Beta Testing link via React Native

What we learned

  • Design Process and iterative methodology
  • Necessity to always keep the user in mind-- perhaps expanding our reach
  • Scope-- how will this application work large scale (with several partnerships, not just St. Anthony's, and with many many more users?)
  • Presentation-- how do we entice the audience with a story and get to the point?

What's next?

  • Test it past the Beta
  • Partner with more organizations
  • Social aspect
  • Relational journey with one-to-one partnership

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