We were inspired by Facebook's Community Building award and JP Morgan Chase's Social Good Challenge to create some sort of product that could promote a better society. We thought about existing applications that already do this in order to come up with an idea that has not yet been done.
What it does
Our website connects users with local members of their community that are in need of some kind of assistance. Once the user chooses to help with a specific request, the response gets approved and relevant information (name, location, etc) is sent to both parties. The user also has the option of requesting their own favor. In this case, the user waits for local community members to offer help. The option to both fulfill and request favors fosters a more connected community where people actively help those in need.
How we built it
The user interface along with the majority of front-end development was created in HTML/CSS. We also implemented the Google Maps API in order to provide the user with a visual representation of requests in their area. We then used Ruby on Rails to develop the back-end.
Challenges we ran into
Initially, we had wanted to create a cross-platform mobile app in the React Native environment, however it became very difficult to implement certain features. Often times, we could not get our emulators to work properly and accounting for cross-platform support often complicated things. Ultimately, we decided to switch context and create a website.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Designing a visually aesthetic user interface that is simple to navigate for all types of users, integrating Google Maps functionality, working efficiently under limited time constraints, adapting our original concept from a mobile application to a website, creating a product that seeks to better society
What we learned
Social applications can involve many back-end components, certain environments are better suited for specific tasks, you can greatly minimize downtime by expanding upon already familiar languages and environments
What's next for Samaritan
We hope to implement a rating system where users can leave a positive compliment for those who have done a good job fulfilling a favor. We could also include a payment option for favors that are more substantial in labor/value.