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Gigz

Built an award-winning prototype for a mobile app called Gigz. This freelancer marketplace interface is inspired by dating apps. Gigz won $6500 in the Ascend Hackathon for its clean and easy-to-use UX design, scalability, creativity, and impact.

The Challenge

From my interviews with small business owners during this pandemic, I listened and empathized with their stories about being forced to close their stores, lay off workers, and struggling to seek financing in order to survive. Notably, I interviewed a local non-profit that had no social media presence prior to COVID-19. When COVID-19 hit, the staff faced a technology gap due to their lack of digital skills. Not only that, the organization had little excess cash to spend on marketing.

In fact, a survey conducted by SEM rush showed that 67.5% of small business owners cited “limited marketing budget”, 46.1% cited “competition with the big companies”, and 34% cited “not having time to learn digital marketing” as their greatest challenges when it comes to marketing in the digital world.

On the other hand, COVID-19 has increased the need for small businesses to amplify their digital presence due to the trends towards working from home, ecommerce, and the overall use of digital marketing tools.

The Solution

Gigz is an application that helps small businesses with their marketing and promotion efforts by leveraging the design talent of hobbyist freelancers. It is a win-win solution - (1) Businesses post microgigs of their design tasks, such as logo design or Instagram graphics post. (2) Businesses select a freelancer to offer the microgig to. (3) The freelancer completes the microgig and earns gift cards or store credit.

Design Highlights

Hackathon Winner

Gigz was awarded $6500 based on scalability, creativity, design, and strategy. The UX design was praised by judges.

Time-Saving

Gigz is inspired by the design of dating apps - it allows freelancers to be the proactive party in helping small businesses complete tasks such as logo design, menu design, photoshop work, etc. We also utilize a matching algorithm to match influencers to businesses efficiently.

Human-Centric

Catered to busybodies, business owners have control by designating the amount of payment they are willing to afford, rather than hiring a freelancer at their price. This is a low-cost solution for all small businesses to build their digital brand.

How It Works

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User Flow

Final Product

Gigz for Freelancer

For hobbyist freelancers: Gigz is a platform allowing casual freelancers - such as university students who have spare time - to take up interesting projects and be rewarded with gift-cards to the small businesses they love. Additionally, they can expand their design skills, and develop their design portfolio by completing mini-tasks called "gigs".

Features:

  • Easy set-up - simply indicate your skills and style

    • upload your past works to create a portfolio ​

  • Quick browsing: screen through the gig postings quickly using a dating-app inspired interface

    • swipe left to reject the gig

    • swipe right to take the gig

  • Progress tracker: ​"In-progress", "Awaiting Approval", and "Completed" tabs display all your archived and current gig

  • Notifications: never miss a deadline or revision request with the notification feature!

  • E-Giftcards: keep all of your e-giftcards in one place with the built-in digital wallet

Gigz for Business

For small business owners: Gigz is a low-cost way to offer your design and marketing tasks to those who can do it faster and better. In exchange, business owners would offer a gift card or voucher to their business.
 

Features:

  • Nearly all the features are identical between Gigz for Businesses and Gigz for Freelancers, except the business owner must create the gigs postings to request the freelancers' help.

Steps:

  1. Login and get verified using LinkedIn, website, etc.

  2. Create a gig posting, indicating details such as the gift card payment amount

  3. A freelancer will reach out to you - simply approve or reject their help​​

  4. You now have full ownership of the design!

Key Contributions

Pitch

Details coming soon!

Prototype

Details coming soon!

User Research

Details coming soon!

Project Ideation

Details coming soon!

Reflection & Takeaways

I learned a lot from interviewing different users in order to discover their needs, ultimately to inform what incentives our app could provide. For instance, we found out that business owners lack the money to search for freelancers. With the explosive growth in hobbyist/casual freelancing due to the widespread use of the internet and increased remote work, my teammates and I wondered how we could connect the two to help small business owners adapt and thrive in face of future shocks, which sparked our idea.

I also developed my ability to remove assumption and biases from my personal experiences, and think in the perspectives of my users. For example, I constantly iterated the design for business owners to accommodate users who are less tech-savvy. On the other hand, research has confirmed that most freelancers are in the younger population, and significantly more familiar with technology. Thus, their tailored interface was designed accordingly.

Finally, I learned to ideate a business plan that is scalable and sustainable. For instance, we plan to earn recurring revenue with Gigz via a freemium model -- we offer a subscription model for both business owners and freelancers. With 5-10% generally willing to pay for apps, Gigz is expected to become more profitable as the number of users grows.