Knit: A community building platform for the elderly.

A 24 hour Hackathon project for Hack4Health 2021.

Introduction

During the Spring of 2021, I wanted to broaden my experience and challenge myself to my first ever 24 hour hackathon. The hackathon seemed quite daunting initially, because I knew no one and had to step out of my comfort zone to work with complete strangers. As the sole designer on the team, I had the opportunity to develop a visual branding, a working prototype, and deck designs for our submission.

Context

Hack4Health is a 24 hour hackathon, part of Vancouver Startup Week. The theme this year included:

  • Stay Healthy ‍
  • Stay Productive
  • Stay Connected
  • Stay Innovated
  • Stay Entertained

Judging criteria included innovative idea, design and aesthetics, technical difficulty, and level of completetion.

The Problem

Senior Isolation
During the pandemic, one of the most effected demographics include the elderly.

Due to the vulnerability of the elderly during the pandemic, long-term facilities no longer allowed in person visits, resulting in the isolation of the older population residing long term care homes. Isolation increases risk of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders among the elderly.

Small Businesses
The second demographic we wanted to address during the pandemic are small business owners. It’s prevalent that small businesses have been suffering during the pandemic as well.

Source

The Solution

The team came up with the solution of Knit, a mobile app that connects local senior carehomes to small local businesses through fun & engaging virtual classes, workshops, and events, the residents get to participate in activities, learn new skills, and meet new people.

User Group

We decided to address the two user groups: Seniors living in long-term care homes and small business owners within the lower mainland. To further understand these two groups, I create two user personas.

Figure 2: The first user persona, a senior living in a long term carehome also an event attendee.

Figure 3: The second user persona, a small business owner and event provider.

Value

The goal of Knit is to provide value to both of our user groups. Through Knit, local businesses are able to promote their business and earn commission through hosting these events or workshops. The attendees (elderly) are able to attend events that peak their interest and re-engage with their community during this time.

Design Process

As the only designer on the team, I was responsible for all things design. To start off, I created a quick low fidelity wireframe and user map. Due to time constraints, I couldn’t design wireframe that was too detailed - but I wanted to create a simple one to communicate my envisioned userflow to my team.

Figure 3: Low fidelity wireframe mockup.

Final Prototype

Below is the final prototype I designed to demo for our final presentation.

Feature Breakdown

Onboarding
After signing up for the first time, the user is shown the onboarding process where they must pick at least 3 hobbies that they’re interested in. This allows Knit to generate a personalized feed full of invents that they’re interested in.

Personalized Feed
After selecting those initial interest, the user is shown a personalized feed of events that they may be interested in. If the user finds a certain event that they aren’t interested in they can swipe left on it in order to see less of similar events.

Registration Process
When a user finds an event that they are interested in, they can go through the simple registration process. They're then given a unique registration code to confirm that they're registration was successful.

Adding more Interests
An edge case I considered was users needing to add more interest after onboarding. I solved this by including a side navigation that allowed users to do so.

Takeaways

I’m so glad I decided to challenge myself with attending this Hackathon. Although my team were made of complete strangers, we ended up making a great team that were able to manage both our time and tasks efficiently and in the end, gave a great presentation to the judges.

Initially, I was nervous to be the only designer on the team, but I learned to become confident in my own abilities and led my team through the design process. If I had more time, I would’ve loved to design a event host-facing prototype.

I was so excited and proud of our team to have come in second place, for a team of first time hackers!