About this project
People Like Me is a location-based application designed for the LGBT population which aims to help individuals in their quest for ‘voting with their dollars’ on businesses that demonstrate equality towards their patrons. Its primary objective is to help individuals of this community to identify and locate LGBT-friendly business establishments based on both their own experiences as well as referencing the experiences of others. Ways in which this application can serve the LGBT population include:
- provide location-based information to nearby LGBT-friendly establishments (as identified by other members of the LGBT population)
- create awareness of LGBT-friendly businesses in one's local community
- serve as a guide for LGBT-friendly business establishments when traveling
People Like Me is meant to provide a portal in which the LGBT community can speak their mind and share experiences about where they will (and will not) spend their money in a particular community and why. The idea is broken down into the simplest form by remembering this piece of common traveling advice: “When you want to know the best places to eat, ask the locals”. So, in this case, if you want to know the most LGBT-friendly businesses, consult other LGBT patron experiences via People Like Me.
I'm seeking funding in order to make this app a reality. Since so much of my time and experience is centered around design, I do not have the necessary skill-set to fully program/develop the back-end to this idea on my own. There are costs involved with setting up databases, server space, hosting and security concerns, on top of the programming aspect, that all take money to make a reality.
I have spent a few months searching for someone who would be committed to this type of project, and that's how I met Jason.
Jason is an ally to the LGBT community and very interested in mobile and web applications. He has spent many hours talking and laying out ideas with me and getting me to really think through the development process, all free of charge. Now that we're at a point where we have a plan in place, I need to be able to compensate him for the hours he will be putting into the app's development over the coming months. I will be working right along side him as the designer and researcher so that we can deliver a stellar product when we're done.
We will design and develop both a desktop and mobile-friendly version of the application and our goal is to have it complete by June, just in time for Pride month.
You can read more about Jason’s background and credentials on our website
We plan to utilize a cloud-hosting solution for this application, so that it can grow and scale according to the needs of the users. This will also allow us to expand on the app in the future as I will continue in the design research stages with users, continually working at making this app the best it can be for the LGBT population. It is also a more reliable solution should there be a large number of users on the application at any given time. I want you to have the best possible experience with the app, and after doing some research on reliable hosting, I believe this is the right choice for this type of application.
If you're logging into an application, you want your data to be secure, right? This is another cost associated with development in securing the application's domain and users. I'm budgeting for a 2-year protection plan in the project funding goal.
What Have You Done So Far?
Much of the design work has been completed and mocked up, as shown in some of my sketches and mock ups below. User testing and research was completed as part of my program requirements, so the app is at a point where it is ready to be ‘built’ and put out there for users. Like any product, the more users there are, the more feedback will start to show ways in which it can be improved. I plan to keep in constant communication with groups of users to continue the iteration process of making a great product.
So where does $10,000 go?
This is a breakdown of the costs involved of building this app:
I also have to thank Chris Irvin and Matt Radick for their help in shooting and producing the video you see above. It's hard to shoot a nice looking video of yourself and these guys were invaluable to helping me put something together. Thanks, guys!
Risks and challenges
I have spent a little over a year designing, tweaking and reiterating this idea and have learned a lot about potential setbacks. With any tech-related project, things are bound to happen and this is no exception.
Jason and I have reviewed a lot of what could be setbacks, which are outlined here:
Timeline: while June is our target for completion, we have a lot of technical testing to do before launch and should any bugs arise, we would want to fix them before passing the product on to you
Technology: Technology is always changing and what works today, may not tomorrow. We’ve planned which browsers and devices we will target initially, but we can’t promise every single device and every single browser type.
Unforeseen: We’re not perfect and we realize that things can happen that we haven’t predicted. Should something happen to push the project off-track, you will be informed immediately. Like I said, I have already dedicated a lot of my own time and energy into this project because I want it to succeed. I am committed to seeing it through.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I realize 10k sounds like a lot at first, but when you factor in all the technical-end expenses for the project, you'll see how I ended up with this figure. Because I will be doing a lot of the visual design and user testing, this eliminates the requirement to have a higher budget than what is already listed. See the cost breakdown chart to see where the funding is going.
Nope. That's not how Kickstarter works. This is why it's so important for people to back the project right away so that we can meet the funding goal.