Socializing Seniors COVID Community Team #7
Social isolation is a situation that skyrocketed for people around the globe due to the spread of COVID-19. Seniors in particular have already faced some of the largest reduction in socialization due to their high risk status in terms of potential COVID patients.
Socializing Seniors is a project that aims to eliminate the multitude of social isolation facing seniors throughout the country. By connecting attentive, avid volunteers to speak to the elderly and provide company, compassion, and communication. We believe by setting up routine quality conversations for seniors across the country, we can improve their physical and mental well being.
Our website Socializing Seniors is geared towards being easy to use, and being easy to follow the connections made. We want to eventually catalog conversations that outline how this global pandemic is affecting the views and relationships of people. We want to pull people together in this time of distance.
Jacob Logan (Project Manager, Senior Mechanical Engineering @ Purdue University) Jacob was responsible for creating weekly stretch goals and weekly summaries. He laid out weekly objectives based on the interests of the team and the goals laid out from our coaches. He wrote most of the agendas for meeting.
John Frey (Business Development, Junior Rhetoric @ Wabash College) John assisted in the creation of customer profiles, value propositions, and storyboards that gave lead ways to produce the business and revenue model canvas. The customer profiles were used to help the Go Squad gain a better understanding of their target audience and actual audience. He worked on the Go Squad and helped coordinate outside meetings privately for the group. John interviewed six senior citizens, that gave him a better understanding of problems or fears due to the coronavirus. John assisted in the creation of the presentation and created the outline, which was pitched for Socializing Seniors. John met weekly meeting standards.
Nathan Greiner (Software Development, Junior Computer Science @ Rose Hulman University) Nathan researched technological solutions to the various problems presented by our project. He helped set up the Microsoft Azure hosting, configure the Wordpress site, and brainstorm and implement features for the website.
Nitika Jacob (Business Development, Marketing & Tech Management @ Indiana University) Nitika communicated with other team members of the Business Development team to create the storyboard, customer profiles, and the environmental analysis of the product. This essentially gave the team a strong plan and format to make sure the product is efficient and aligns with the goals of the team. Additionally, Nitika collaborated with Jonathan Haag from SICOA via informational interview in order to gain more insight about the target market of our products and the specific needs of our potential customers.
Jeremiah Smith (Product Visualizer, Cyber Security @ Ivy Tech Community College) Jeremiah Smith constructed a visual framework technical architecture design that shows a detailed step by step of how Socializing Seniors operates and the scope of the product’s functionality. Jeremiah was able to share some ideas during group meetings, and helped create some of the slides for the pitch deck.
Allen Zheng (Business Development, Junior Data Visualization @ Purdue University) Allen coordinated the Go Team development timeline and worked closely with the team to conduct research and create the business model canvas. This included meeting with experts in the field of senior care/volunteering to understand our user base. He also worked with the team to create customer profiles, value propositions, and storyboards to form the business and revenue model canvas.
How did you decide on this customer segment, problem, and solution?
Our team contacted local Indianapolis nonprofits to find what pressing issues they were now facing due to the recent pandemic. A number of nonprofits working with senior assistance or senior care identified the new rise in issues communicating and spending time with seniors due to the complications of the virus.
Our team identified through a number of published articles and papers the detrimental effects of a limited social circle for elderly people. We also found several small scale but large impact projects of students and other younger members of society creating calling services for the isolated seniors in their neighborhood. The team then decided that the use of a website to automate the collection and formulation of conversation could be beneficial to communities that want to quickly establish new connections.
How did your team build and iterate on the solution?
Our team worked on developing a website for users to easily access the website and quickly sign up and create accounts and start matching. We first looked into points of contacts for seniors and current methodologies that seniors are reached through to find which options work the best. Our main objective was creating a service that is easy to use without a large amount of technical experience. We want the process of joining to be as painless as possible so we can have the most
We decided having the point of contact for most seniors be a phone number that they optionally give to the service to set up having a volunteer to talk to. We could have it be an extremely quick survey that will find compatible speaking partners.
Our metrics of success are a large adoption of the software by both volunteers and seniors. We want to make sure of regularity and routine conversations. Having a goal of more lengthy and familiar conversations be valued over a large adoption.
Out of our Total Addressable Market, we would like 1% of our senior citizens and volunteers to use our product. Out of the 1%, we would like at least 10% to record their stories/conversations for future use and inspiration for others. This would lead to high quality content to inspire others to connect with each other and socialize more. We hope our software provides at least some help to our users, and we would like at least 80% of the users to be satisfied with the product. We would also hope that we raise enough money to fund our server and website hosting, and allow us to operate neutrally.
We would further love to extend the service to be a catalog of stories, speakers, advice, and everything in between. We want to socially impact our environment and create a low cost tool to bring these communities together. Technical Architecture Here is a flowchart of our website’s organization and how users interact with our website.
Key Tools, Libraries, and Frameworks+-
For our project we used a WordPress site hosted through a Microsoft Azure server. In hosting this site we are using a MySQL server for backend management. We additionally used several plugins to help customize our website, most notably “Post SMTP” which was used to manage our email service, and “User Registration” which was used to establish a customized user registration experience. Please also see our website's internal framework in an attached image within the gallery. Here is a link to our GitHub.
If you had another 5 weeks to work on this, what would you do next?
With more development time, our team would create a platform for video or voice chats to be hosted and recorded on. We could have a virtual time machine to see the dialogue and discussion of different age brackets and groups and observe how they interact and what they value compared to other groups. We want to have it be a tool to study the development of relationships during a pandemic, a storybook for generations that might not have had the most amount of stories and memories captured. A time capsule of conversations.
If our development time was 10 weeks, we would have developed a more robust original and true webapp instead of modifying pre-existing plugins to quickly develop our tools. We would have taken more time to interview professionals to help with the social side of matching and find a more holistic idea of what aspects there are to finding a good conversational partner fit. We also would have made some of the forms larger in text and easier to navigate, instead of the default sizing on most of the forms.
Checklist of Completed Items
Business Model Canvas
Value Proposition Canvas
Questions / Clarifications / Inquiries
Please direct all questions to the Project Manager, Jacob Logan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.