Inspiration

For this hackathon, we wanted to build a community-focused app inspired by initiatives and apps like Tuktu, BeMyEyes, and the UBC Safewalk system. Project Connect was built because we wanted to provide social connection for seniors who might feel especially isolated during the pandemic. Our platform will provide with the contact information of other people and "juniors" with similar interests who are interested in connecting with them and keeping them company.

What it does

Project Connect links people of all ages based on interests and communication preferences (snail mail, email, calls etc.) through a simple and accessible interface.

How we built it

We started with (very) lo-fi user flows and wireframes and then built a more refined prototype in Figma. The prototype was then translated across into React. As this website aspires to connect people of all ages, our focus was an accessible and user-friendly interface.

We had some trouble thinking through our idea, so we talked with a mentor on how to plan effectively. Rahul Kumar from Accenture helped us create a game plan by creating a timeline and concept poster link. Since we wanted to learn something new during this hackathon and many of us are first time hackers, we spent a lot of our time going to workshops.

Our tools: Google Drive, Mural, Figma, Visual Studio Code, React, and lots of Javascript tutorials on Youtube

Challenges we ran into

  • It was hard to code things and deal with UI elements, especially since most of us are first time hackers! This was also the first time any of us used React.js.
  • We started out with a really complex and ambitious idea that had around five different main features ranging from point accumulation for a gamified incentive to a background check to avoid trolling.
  • Back-end Development: Despite all of us going to the Cockroach DB workshop, we still had difficulty understanding how to setup the cloud database on our local machines. Setting up on a windows OS required quite some extra requirements that made, so we created a JSON file to represent the profiles on the Project Connect system.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • We went to the React/node.js workshop hosted by Telus, Cockroach DB Workshop, and Hootsuite Q&A
  • Continuously asking for help from mentors
  • Built our first React App!!
  • Getting the JSON array map to show for the profiles :)

What we learned

The simpler the idea, the better!

What's next for Project Connect

  • Implement a database that organizes and allows us to store user input
  • Connect the database to our user interface
  • Devise a point accumulation system as an incentive to welcome more users

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