Which Hacks our project can be judged on?
Hack the Hacker's Hack, Hack for a good cause, The ultimate isolation game, What the Hack?!, Domain.com challenge and Google Cloud Challenge.
For Domain.com challenge : - Our submission - link
Four university students joined forces to tackle the huge impact on student mental health given isolation and loneliness due to COVID-19. We surveyed an additional 54 students to find that the 87% students from our sample size find it difficult to to make new friends and connect with people due to lockdown. Moreover, 67% students think that they can make new friends with people sharing common interests, a surprising result as this was one of the 7 given options. Many students are living on their own and struggle to meet new people and socialize and even if you meet virtually without any motive or common interests it gets awkward, they feel homesick and lonely, this leads to several other issues like depression, anxiety and also loss of confidence. We being students who are dealing with some of these situations during the pandemic wanted to build something to help was solve this student pain point.
What it does
Meetable tackles student mental health challenges by enabling students to meet and engage with several new people every week during lockdown. The mobile app uses an algorithm to group 4-8 students together based on common interests weekly. As a group, users will engage in fun challenges to help create bonds and build new friendships.
How we built it
First we brainstormed the UI/UX for the app on Figma. Then, we worked on creating the frontend mobile app with the Ionic framework and Vue.js, while the backend application is built with Spring and Kotlin. We chose Ionic because it is the quickest to develop and ship a cross-platform mobile application, and Spring because it is performant and Kotlin also makes for quicker development timeframes.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into the challenge of not being able to deploy into Google Cloud as there was only one developer in the team and he was using a framework that he was unfamiliar with. We have plans to do this after the hackathon. Also, after deciding on a user group (university students) we found it difficult to hone in on which challenge to address first as they ranged from things like isolation loneliness, zoom fatigue and inability to make new friends. We eventually resolved this by discussing which solution we felt could have most impact and that was the inability to make new friends as this make loneliness worse and could lead to a list of more mental health challenges.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We are proud of creating a great team with fantastic spirit, diverse skillset and ideas. From the very beginning we have been open, creative, and supportive. We enhanced our skills, built up a professionally looking mock-up product, and approached each logistic obstacle with problem-solving approach. We also take pride in the MVP framework and solutions that we developed.
What we learned
We learnt to adapt and thrive in unknown functional areas, while working with new people with diverse backgrounds and cross-functional expertise. Our key learning highlights of the OxfordHack2020 were the 3 C's, "Collaboration", "Collective Thinking" and "Comprehensive deep diving into subject matter". We gained hands-on experience on several new UX/UI tools while strengthening our technical expertise and learning new frameworks at a very fast pace. Overall an amazing experience with a steep learning curve.
What's next for Meetable
We would love to finish building our MVP and test it on students at our respective universities to validate the idea. Then we will look for guidance from mentors to understand and learn different prospects and opportunities to scale and make Meetable a household product.