About this Project:
Our project “flower” is a social media app and dating app in one for people of color who are apart of the lgbtq+ community.
When interviewing our classmates we noticed that a lot of them mentioned that they might not feel comfortable being open about their sexuality with their Peers and even their family members in fear of not being accepted, we thought, how can we create an app for people in the lgbtq+ community that provides a way for them to communicate and meet new people all while feeling secure and confident in the discretion of both the app and the app icon.
The app icon is simply just a flower, this way if someone picks up your phone the app won’t draw too much attention to itself and the user won’t be forced to have a conversation that they might not be ready to have yet. When you log into your account there will be support groups that the user is free to join and also trained professionals that can be reached at anytime.
This app can be used to both meet friends or potential romantic partners, however, not limited to; it can also be used when you simply just feel like you need to speak to others who might relate to your situation and can provide advice and motivational talk when needed.
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Feedback from the Judges:
After about 9 years in the ad tech space, I segued into Product Management on both the advertising side and now for the Core App experience at Tinder. Throughout my Product Management career, I have had a passion for UX/UI, and have done everything from ideating new ad formats, building internal tools, and building unique shared mobile experiences.
This is already such a well thought-out idea, but theres always room for examining how we can make these interpersonal connections stronger in the future. Perhaps you could have a section for hosting events (both digital and IRL). Perhaps you could have groups based on interests, hobbies, passions, etc. Then people could connect on an even deeper level, and find further support through those interests. It could also help foster a better mental health state by inspiring each other through common interests and activities. And to add to Trust and Safety, maybe you could have an alert system between friends if youre caught in an unsafe situation and need help. None of these ideas are mandatory to make this app a success, but I think it could be useful to dig deeper into your next round of user interviews by asking what kinds of communities theyd like, and what features could foster even more of a safe space for your users.
Overall, I think this is a fabulous idea with a ton of potential and caters to a very underserved demographic. I have no doubt that as long as youre listening to the unique needs of your users, your hearts appear to be in the right place and great ideas will continue to come forth from that. Very well done!
Alessandra Affinito is the Youth Services Manager at the Saint Paul Public Library, George Latimer Central Branch. Previously, she spent seven years as a Children's Librarian at the Chatham Square branch of the New York Public Library in Chinatown. She's especially passionate about innovative STEAM projects, language learning, and science fiction graphic novels! When she's not at the library you can probably find her playing an overly complicated board game, or swinging from the ceiling on aerial silks.
It's clear that you care deeply about the LGBTQ+ POC community, and I look forward to hearing more about how this technology could continue developing beyond the format of a traditional dating app. You've definitely already begun on this in your inclusion of mental health services through the app, which is a great idea especially for those who might not feel comfortable discussing these issues with their peers. Going forward I would love to see how this technology could contribute to widespread collaboration and activism! Your thoughtfulness in targeting underserved communities is extremely valuable, and this project showcases your technical prowess as well as your passion for the community!
Eustacio (Andy) Saldaña is COO & Co-founder of QueerTech, a non-profit based in Montreal focused on empowering, connecting and increasing the visibility of 2SLGBTQ+ technologists and entrepreneurship with the mission of Queering the Tech Ecosystem across Canada.
He is a strong advocate for increased diversity, access, and all-around inclusion in tech, but above all, he enjoys cultivating connections and all of the conversations that evolve.
You did a great job thinking about the whole person that you are serving and the many different experiences that exist for this community. From the app icon & name to the access to resources (loved the mood check), the thoughtfulness incorporated around user safety and mental health truly shines through. You have a great understanding of how many different use cases while still keeping the app user friendly and well designed.
Again, fantastic work!
Katherine Moriwaki is Associate Professor of Media Design in the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons School of Design. Her work has been featured internationally in conferences, festivals, and museums around the world. Katherine is co-founder of the "Scrapyard Challenge" a workshop focused on creating electronic interactive objects out of found materials and junk. She is co-author of “Fashion and Technology: a Guide to Materials and Applications” published by Fairchild/Bloomsbury.
Feedback from the Community:
Thank you for a record-breaking 14th anniversary event! Comments are officially closed until next year.