Inspiration

I was inspired by food carts and street merchants in New York City. I am a big fan of halal carts in Time Square and rice rolls from food vendors in Chinatown. However, locating them is difficult and sometimes impossible because they relocate to accomodate to high traffic areas.

What I learned & what my product does

There are close to 60,000 street vendor businesses in the United States and more than a billion worldwide, according to Bloomberg 1. Despite the large volume of vendors, they are considered to be underutilized. A research study has concluded that this is because street vendors have a poor use of marketing and promotion of its products; thus, resulting in the public being unaware of their offerings 2.

Although street vendors may not draw a lot of attention in our lives and the fast-paced society that we live in, they contribute a great amount to the economy. Street vendors are an integral part of urban economies around the world and a significant part of the urban labor force in developing countries 3.

Their significance in the world is crucial, and more than we know it.

From learning this, I want to develop a product that is a hub for locating and purchasing goods from street vendors. Users will be able to search for vendors, browse through their menus, order and communicate directly to them, and attend local events to support the community.

How I built it

I conducted an analysis on similar products and a competitor to understand the downfails of their designs. Through this, I was able to create my design by including essential features and the features that similar products and a competitor failed to include. I utilized Figma to produce my app prototype and Youtube to promote my design.

Challenges I ran into

I found identifying a problem to solve challenging but once I locked on one, brainstorming potential solutions was fun and exciting.

I came into a few hurdles when designing the interface (of the app) because I didn't prioritize a lot of my time in understanding the user experience. Because of this, it caused me to spend more time figuring out how the user was going to interact with the product while I was designing.

Additionally, producing a video was something I've never done before. I spent at least an hour watching Youtube instructional videos on how to use iMovie and edit videos. Not only that, but writing a script and compiling stock footage and videos was also a hurdle because I didn't know how to attain and compose a video professionally.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud of my end product and am surprised with what I was able to accomplish in less than a day!

What's next for Virtual Vendors

I want to refine the design more and conduct user research to see if this could be a useful tool for consumers and street vendors.

Built With

  • figma
  • imovie
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