Even prior to the COVID-19 quarantine, many members of our team had recognized the loneliness epidemic facing our society. With people being forced to stay home, interacting with and expanding social circles is both, more difficult and more important.
Current social platforms are geared towards either pre-existing connections or heavy investment from users. We believe that the "dating app" method of judging photos/bios and swiping does not work for general socializing, and also that large-scale message board/chat platforms are not effective substitutes for direct personal interactions and conversations. In a pre-COVID-19 world, you could strike up a conversation with someone simply because they're wearing your favorite sports team's jersey, or because you're both waiting in line to see a comedian you're both fans of. Intersect aims to facilitate these organic conversations: self-select groups based on your interests (media, activities, organizations), enter your availability, and just get talking.
What it does
Intersect allows users to sign up via their email and enter their time zone, weekly availability, and how often they'd like to participate in 1-on-1 or small group video chats. Users then join user-created groups on various interest or activity topics. The app matches up people who share groups and availability, then schedules a calendar event and generates a Google Hangouts link for each member to join for a face-to-face conversation.
How I built it
This MVP is built with Glide, a quick app development platform that uses Google Sheets as a database.
Challenges I ran into
Narrowing down what the most basic version of this app could be for the purposes of this Hack-A-Thon. We had to really answer the question "What is the simplest way to accomplish this goal of getting similar people talking to each other?"
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Implementing all initial features we planned out for our MVP in a short amount of time.
What I learned
How easy it is to make a nice looking, functional, dynamic app with Glide!
What's next for Intersect
We're launching the MVP to others involved in #HACKFORHOPE and our future classmates to the UCLA Anderson MBA class of 2022. From there, we're working on a more robust fully developed app and website with a host of additional features and a sophisticated matching algorithm to ensure members can continuously meet new people and interact with all the groups they're a part of.
Try It out