We drew inspiration from many different apps and web applications used by our target audience.
- Twitter was mentioned by users to be a helpful tool to learn more about novel topics. Users specifically mentioned liking the "Trending" feature, which inspired our own "Trending" feature in our "SafeSpace" to hopefully engage new users to become educated about the current, most important topics/issues discussed within the community.
- Reddit was also a source of inspiration in terms of how we formatted the Q&A portion of "SafeSpace". We added the ability to react with cute emojis in order to give a more Millenial/Gen-Z vibe. :)
- Snapchat inspired the "Streak" feature of Trivia. In Snapchat, streaks are when you send direct snaps back and forth with a friend for several consecutive days. Snapchat rewards longer consecutive streaks with special emojis to encourage users to keep coming back. Our hope was that a streak feature would also bring users back to our product and keep learning more and more about the community every day.
What it does
Prism is a web application to engage, inspire, and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community via 3 interactive, educational forms: Trivia, SafeSpace, and QueerHub. Trivia helps allies and members of the community learn more about different LGBTQ+ topics (i.e. historical events, fun facts, etc.) through an interactive daily, fun trivia questions. SafeSpace provides users with a way to engage with their local LGTBQ+ community in a judgment-free zone. They can ask about anything from favorite coffee shops to the most taboo topics, including sexual health. QueerHub is where users can be inspired and learn more about fresh TV shows and movies, music, and news celebrating the LGBTQ+ community—tailored to their preferences.
How we built it
We conducted surveys and research with Qualtrics, and flushed out our ideas and inspirations on Jamboard. The prototype was designed through Figma and the mobile application was made through Android Studio. For our database, we used Firebase's Firestore.
Challenges we ran into
- One challenging portion was creating a meaningful survey that would inform us about our users and give us directions on our applications. We first made an anonymous Qualtrics survey to gauge people's perceptions about the LGBTQ+ community, such as adversities they face and what topics would help enable them/others become a better ally towards the community. On a second iteration, we reached out to more users about how they prefer to absorb and learn information so we could base our design on how they learn best.
- One huge challenge was incorporating our Figma design, which is originally a desktop web application, into a mobile application. The dimensions and ratios are not the same, and we have to rethink on how to best present our information in a way that is not cluttered. Our coders resolved this issue with a minimalist design approach and asked our designers for input and help when they were stuck on a user flow or design problem.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Becoming more educated ourselves about issues in the LGBTQ+ community through talking to many members of the community!
- Creating a user-centric product to help educate and inspire young people to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community
- Creating a mostly functional application with new technological frameworks we had little experience with before within the time span of a Hackathon
- Challenge ourselves and made bold design choices and color schemes that are suitable to our product
What we learned
- We learned a lot about the LGBTQ+ community through 30 survey responses and 4 in depth interviews. About half of our interviewees identified as a part of the community and half identified as allies. We pushed ourselves to ask many tough questions in order get a more accurate picture of pain points and bridge the education gap between what members of the community would like allies to know more about and what allies feel they needed to know to be a better ally.
- We not only learned about educational gaps but also aspects of learning that fit the needs of our target audience (Millennials/Gen-Z) in order to create a more user-centric product. Many of our users reported enjoying interactive, short forms of learning with an option to read longer articles if they were interested in the topic at hand. This key insight is reflected in one of our core features, Trivia. We wanted to make sure we found a way to help educate the younger generation about the LGBTQ+ community and their rich history + accomplishments in a way tailored to their preferences and needs.
- We learned how to connect our Android application to a Firebase Firestore database as well as making calls to the database to fetch data inside the application. We also learned to set up and structure our database to fetch our information more conveniently and efficiently.
- We learned more designing techniques on our application. We implemented a navigation bar at the bottom to allow users to freely toggle between Trivia, SafeSpace, and QueerHub, implemented a scrollable list of dynamic size with recycler views, created gradient backgrounds and rounded border backgrounds, and experimented with additional features on regular button widgets.
What's next for prism
- Continue iterating on the design and user flow of Prism through usability testing
- Finishing coding certain features of Prism in Android Studio we didn't get to (i.e. Profile page, posting a question on SafeSpace, etc.)
- Coding Prism as a web application