At the start of the designathon, all participants were given the following prompt to get them started with their projects:
"As designers, you have a huge amount of responsibility but also a lot of power in using a human-centered process to explore, test, and polish solutions for problems in the world. Decide on the issue that you as a team want to tackle, do some research to help you gain empathy on the stakeholders involved, and design a screen-based solution that might work!"
Upon brainstorming user pain points and themes to revolve my project around, I decided to focus on volunteer work and local community based resources. To better understand the pain points and empathize with users surrounding this topic, I decided to send out a survey as a Google Form
After collecting user data and interpreting the results, I began ideating some key features that I wanted to implement that directly targeted the pain points highlighted from my survey results. I knew that I wanted the following in my product:
After collecting user data and interpreting my findings, I got to work on making wireframe sketches of the screens including all of the ideated features in mind. I used my iPad to make digital sketches of screens and the main interactions that would occur between each screen.
For this interaction, I wanted the flow to be as smooth and streamline as possible by adding a progress bar at the bottom of the screen so that users know what the sign up process looks like holistically.
If hosting events, groups can also make accounts and get verified as long as they provide the necessary information. Similar to how accounts get verified on social media, this can ensure that other users can ensure the safety and validity of organizations.
This page displays local volunteering opportunities and organizations near the user's location that they can get quick information on or expand to view more details. There is a tab at the top to open up opportunities that are virtual as well to promote accessibility towards those who would prefer to volunteer that way.
When opening up details on a specific volunteering opportunity, they can access all the necessary information to learn more about the event, the organization, and the tags associated with the event. Users can also share the event with friends or mark the event as "Interested" so that their friends using the app can see.
Users can filter their search for local organizations that tailor to their own needs. From here, users can learn more about the organizations near them and connect with them.
Users can access and edit their profile which holds their activity, interested opportunities, and the user's friend's activity. Your community can be expanded by adding more friends and making more connections.
This was my first time participating in a designathon, so I've never had this short of a timespan to complete the project. Because of this, I could not go that in depth with the design process as I've done with past projects, and I didn't have the time to do any testing and iterations. Nonetheless, I was able to conduct user research, create a wireframe, and produce a high-fidelity prototype in the short time span I was given.
While most other projects in this designathon were in groups, I decided to take on the challenge of making this a personal project of mines, so I worked completely alone in the design process for this. I did, however, reach out to my friends and peers to help me conduct my research and help me with my ideation stage.
This project was definitely the most challenging one I've ever done so far since the timeline was so short and I was working alone. Throughout this entire designathon though, I've learned so much from making mistakes and confronting unique challenges with this project that I don't think I could have gotten to experience anywhere else. Although I did not win any awards for this designathon, I was extremely humbled to see the winners and the amazing products they've created. Seeing all of the other projects done by other groups reminded me that there is a lot for me to learn with work like this. Nonetheless, I am immensely proud of this project and I hope to do something like it again soon.