An App/Software Project
By KyJahmy and Eric
High School Students from Mouse & BCCP Design League
About this Project:
Our project was an app called ConnectUS. ConnectUs helps people create or find mutual aid services, connecting them with people who may help them. We were inspired to create ConnectUs because many in need of mutual aid, don't have access to them or don't know about them. We wanted to change this.
So when designing our app, we focused on the problem, "How do we make mutual aid services more accessible". We then started writing down many ideas and then sketching them. We eventually found a "happy path" which is the general direction we wanted our app to go in, which was a tracking service that connects people in need and who want to help. When entering the app, the user is presented two options. If they wanted to create a mutual aid service? , or if they are looking for mutual aid services?
Based on the user's choice, the app asks them to write a description of their service or problem. They are then asked to enter their address in order to start the matching process with those who want to help. The person is then matched with people looking to help with their needs and the map tracks the user to the location of those volunteers.
Feedback from the Judges:
Henry McKelvey 👏 Professor at University of the Potomac — Emoti-Con Judge
Good work on the App! What you need to convey is the reason for the app, why the app works in that situation, and what is the goal and direction of the app.
Eric Lewis 👏 Engineer Of Things at Power Home Remodeling — Emoti-Con Judge
Great app idea! There is definitely a need for apps like this and this one sets itself apart because anyone can contribute or be a user. You are off to a good start, some thinking on privacy and safety would be good.
Overall I could see this app in the app store one day!
Azfar Rizvi 👏 Omni Experience Manager at Verizon — Emoti-Con Judge
This is such a wonderful way to use technology and help individuals come together to build a community of support. There are quite a few interesting bells and whistles in this app. The ability to create a profile and setup intent based on what one wants to accomplish. The feature that matches people. And the enhancement being proposed - the ability of volunteers and users to be able to message each other. All these will make this app a success! Great job!
Nilanjan Bhattacharya 👏 Development Manager at Mouse — Emoti-Con Judge
I liked the fact that this app looks at the concept of mutual aid from both the perspective of a service provider as well as a service seeker. The tracking feature is an innovative twist. The proposed matching feature, which the creators have based on the system used by Uber, is a good example of adapting existing technologies for new uses. The project addresses an important social need, especially in light of the social and economic dislocations caused by the COVID-19 crisis. I hope the creators continue to improve and fine-tune their impressive concept.
Kate Rosenbloom 👏 Director, Curriculum and Learning at 2U Inc. — Emoti-Con Judge
This is a great idea for an app. During the last year, with new mutual aid organizations or efforts popping up all over the city, it got very difficult to keep track of all of the difference services that needed volunteers or donations. At the same time, mutual aid organizations don't have a big budget to get the word out about how they can help community members. This app helps solve both of those problems by making it easier to connect volunteers, donors, and people in need of services to local services that could help them. I love that! In addition your wireframes made it really easy to understand the different paths that app users can take. If you haven't already, it might be cool to take your ideas to a bunch of different mutual aid places to get their feedback on your ideas! I hope you keep working on this because it is really something we could all use.