Did you know that 1 out of 6 students say they feel more lonely since the COVID-19 pandemic began? As students ourselves, we found that during the pandemic, it’s especially hard to connect with other students, and asked ourselves how we could design a solution to this issue.

Studies have shown that working in teams and working on things you’re passionate about make you happier. How many times have you thought of an awesome project you want to work on but never end up doing it? Wouldn’t it be great if your idea could turn into reality with the support of other people that are just as excited about it as you are?

Our solution? Launch.

What it does

Launch is a platform for any student to post their project idea and connect with other students that want to build this passion project together. By using Launch, students are able to browse and choose a project that they are interested in and build up their portfolio with like-minded individuals. Students may also upload a project that they have in mind to search for people with specific skills or are also excited by their idea.

How we built it

Our focus was on creating a prototype of what our web application would look like and as a result, we used Figma to design the layouts of the app.

Next, using React that was created by Facebook, we were able to make a web application that users such as students across the world can come and look at community projects that need members to help out. Material-UI and react-bootstrap were used to help with the formatting and the presentation of the contents.

Challenges we ran into

Some challenges we ran into was figuring out the different functionalities of the web application and how each of them connected with each other. Having a plan and design was very helpful in overcoming these challenges and also getting input ideas from each member lead to us executing this idea successfully.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of being able to design a product that we believe would strongly benefit the student community across the globe, especially being able to address issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to design a beautiful user interface using Figma, and managed to complete a functional MVP in 36 hours. Most of all, we are so excited to have been part of the largest hackathon in Canada and built an awesome product alongside our peers.

What we learned

We learned how to design and wireframe in Figma to create a presentable prototype of our website. We have also consolidated our skills in React and Node.js. Hack the North also gave us a chance to work with people from different backgrounds, namely business and computer science, which initiated a creative brainstorming process that led to this final product.

What's next for Launch

In the future, we aim to improve Launch by implementing a recommendation algorithm that predicts what projects the user will probably like, based on their previous likes, and add tags to each project so that students can find the projects they’re passionate about sooner and get started. We would also like to implement an internal chat system so that students can directly message project organizers within Launch.

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