Inspiration

Many people who need assistance are not able to get it because the government has very strict rules about who can receive aid and when they no longer need it. This rigidity leaves many underprivileged, minorities, disabled, and homeless people unable to access the resources they need and want, which leads to a decline in health and quality of life. Mental health and wellness has always taken a backseat in consideration of what people ‘require to live,’ creating a lack of resources that nurture the mind as well as the body. This app, Momentum, aims to fill this void by providing access to resources for mind and body in one location by utilizing the best parts of technology to connect us, and also fixing some new problems that a tech forward world has created.

Momentum is a platform that provides services for minorities, the homeless, underprivileged and the disabled, who need access to resources that current available services don’t provide. One main focus will be creating access to classes (athletic, sport, performance, or educational) and mental health resources for free/near free. There is a corresponding platform for those who want to be donors.

Momentum would be created, along with a Non-profit, that would create access to needed resources to fill the gap the government doesn’t cover. The brick and mortar location of Momentum, LLC would help those who are not tech savvy and require in person assistance to set up their account. The non-profit would also foster the connections that are part of the resources, including connecting food banks, mental health and wellness locations, gyms/sports centers, and companies who would like to connect and work with the user base. The app will also provide the feature of someone who has the donator app can directly give money to those who have the receiving (donatee) app. Many people no longer carry cash with them, and so those who used to receive help from good samaritans have hit a wall.

These articles helped to verify the hypothesis I had and the idea I was trying to form for this app: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/#i1523-5998-8-2-106-b2

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15255923/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2850.2004.00751.x

https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2021/11/these-7-nj-zip-codes-have-been-hit-hardest-by-covid.html?fbclid=IwAR3XoU1b9Ux8iHbzHA21XYcM9T9LSAw-heS5Svi4P5R_w-mTHO-KBNRhZbM

What it does

Momentum Basic App Once a user has created their account they will have access to different resources and services. This will include information on food pantries, stores that will accept the Momentum QR debit card and offer discounts and deals, places where children can take classes for free (athletic, sport,performance, or educational) and adults for free or near free. The app will have a community chat where users can talk to one another, or have access to mental health services. User type 1 who has the debit card will get extra services at a Momentum location, including developing good money habits. QR Debit Card can be swiped like a regular debit card. (User will not be able to take money out of account for cash). All services are free or near free.

Momentum Donor App The donor app will allow User Type 3 to still give a donation to someone with the Basic app. Once a user has created their account they will have to their dashboard. They can save either their card information or bank information to make payments. Once that is set up they scan the QR code on a QR debit card or QR code in someones app and then select how much they would like to donate to them. They will see the receivers name and be prompted to to fill out fields, then verify the information is correct before submitting. They will see a confirmation screen. The dashboard/home screen will have their name, a graph showing their quarterly donations, statements, and documents (which will also contain tax documents).

How to use the application:

User Type 1 Initial user base who needs money and resources. Will use regular app. User will go to a brick and mortar location to get help setting up the account, and to get a QR debit card to use with their application to receive money from donors. Once an account is created they will have information on where resources are located, where they can take classes, and have the UI for ‘banking information.’ Services are free, phones will be provided if needed.

User Type 2 Users who are looking for the resources, not the monetary donations, can just download the app to their phone. Will use regular app. User will download app to their phone and make an account to gain access to resources, information on where they can take classes, online community to build connections, and mental health resources. Services are provided at a deeply reduced rate and/or free to encourage self care, improved health, and quality of life.

User Type 3 Donor Interface, for people who want a profile to donate money to User Type 1. Donor app can be downloaded to the user's phone, and then the user will create their own account. Through this app they can give money to user type 1, and track their donations for tax purposes if desired. This app is free, replaces cash in hand, and eliminates the worry of money going to drugs instead of life sustaining supplies.

Going-to-Market:

Momentum (App) will be available for Android and iOS users. It is a free app that can be downloaded from Google Play or The App Store.

This app is scalable. New features and resources can be added to the UI. As Momentum, LLC (Non-Profit) creates new business connections to expand the community for the Momentum App users, the app design and interface will be updated and grow with the added features and new user needs.

How we built it

Previous brainstorming sessions with the first group I tried to work with (before members had to drop out due to other commitments or from ghosting and continued miscommunication) started the idea of creating an app that helped low-income people who needed extra resources and would like access to classes to learn new skills (athletic activities and other forms of movement) and potentially lead to the Olympics/Paralympics one day. After the group dissolved I continued with a new focus for the app for minorities, underprivileged, disabled, or homeless people and their families. Specifically those who fall outside of the range of strict approval guidelines of current existing avenues of assistance that states/government have that does not provide enough help, understanding, or resources for those who each have their own difficulties that don’t fit into the neat tiny box the government defines. Many kids from this demographic would also like to do more athletic endeavors (and even adults) but they don’t have the budget or access to this. This app, Momentum, would be created, along with a Non-profit that would create access to needed resources to fill the gap the government doesn’t cover. Figma was used to create the prototype of this app. Research was done which shows movement and exercise improve mental health. Also there is a direct correlation between lack of resources and poor mental health and quality of life. A survey was used as a base for insight into user needs.

Challenges we ran into

Timing/Dependability: Ghosting: team members disappearing who were supposed to do/create something. Communication breakdown: team members deciding the project is different from what was agreed on from one meeting to the next.

Comprehensive App: Adding more pages that are needed for a basic working prototype. Not going overboard with too many pages for this stage in creation and design.

PreConceived App Layout Understanding: Most apps have the basic layout the same. Most users expect certain features to be located in a generally specific location. Making sure the app UI flow was easy to use, prevent pain points that can lead to conversion loss or prevent user retention.

App = Answer: Making sure the app solves the problem as intended.

Deadline: Getting all components finished by deadline after numerous delays and setbacks.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This is the first app that I developed and designed all by myself, while using Figma for the first time, and I completed all of this in less than a week. I am very proud of creating a new project, one that has amazing potential world application that could help a lot of people who are usually overlooked. I am also very proud that I taught myself a new program for design, one that has an intuitive UI and is very relevant and popular for many companies right now, and especially that I managed to do all of this in a short time frame.

What we learned

I learned how to do a hackathon (this is my first one), and how to rely on myself more and rise to the occasion when my first team fell through and I then had to quickly scramble to start and finish this project in less then one week. I learned a new program (Figma), and also through my research learned more about the scientific and medical reasons and issues that are affecting the demographic for my app. I also was a little apprehensive on designing an app, and I learned that I am able to do that by using the knowledge I already have, and finding answers to whatever came up that I didn't already know. I re-learned the love I have for UX design and trying to help people, which is why I got my Masters in UX in the first place. Considering the pandemic and how things have been for the past two years, I learned that I enjoy hackathons and it is something I want to continue doing.

What's next for Momentum

The base of the app is set-up and ready for expansion. For the Basic App other pages and resources that can be added are a journal page and rewards program. One of the main ideas is to build connections with places where kids who don't have access (and adults) can go to learn different sports, do gymnastics, learn how to play an instrument, learn martial arts, dance, swimming, and more. These things are not considered necessary for survival and not included in current available services, but they enrich life in other ways and help with mental health and wellness. There is a disparity between those who are able to pay and take these classes, and Momentum can help close that gap.

User research would also be expanded. With the short amount of time I was only able to get 4 people to answer a few questions as a starting point for this projects, and they were all women. Next steps would be to take the time to find others user types and groups to complete user research so that any pain points that have not been addressed can be fixed and other services and resources that I have not thought about can be added.

Also reaching out to other companies that would like to add donate money to Momentum, which would then be redistributed into the accounts of those who have QR Debit Cards and also used to help offset the cost/price of the classes that are offered to the users. Momentum can also offer its own classes at its locations for the users.

And finding other avenues for resources that have not been considered. For example: libraries. Many people are unaware of all the things their local libraries offer, and they would be a great place to access tools that can lead to an improved quality of life.

Built With

  • figma
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