VOX Mobile App

App Title: VOX

Theme: Community Computational Action

Team Members: App is built by three young kids of Team Legogoa- Sai Pranav, Vedant and Viraj

Achievement: The app won the third place in youth category for Popular Choice award at the MIT Appathon 2021

App Description:

VOX – Voice to All

VOX (‘voice’ in Latin) is a hyperlocal app that provides a platform for citizens to voice their opinions and suggestions or their concerns about proposed projects in their community, so that the really people-friendly and transformative ideas get translated into reality and others get discarded. It is also a medium for citizens to participate in the development process by expressing their felt needs and new ideas.

VOX mobile app

Problem 

NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), is used to characterise the opposition of residents to a proposed development plan in their area, due to which many projects do not take off. This happens because:
Opinions of citizens that are supporting the project are not heard.
Opposition to many projects is simply based on misinformation
Local needs of the citizen are not heard by the local authorities/Govt.
The citizen has no platform to express willingness or rejection for any local development projects.
The project proposers are not sure why certain projects are rejected by citizens as they are unable to gauge public opinion in live time.

Our App Solution: 

Our app provides a platform to citizens to submit ideas and rate the ideas proposed by fellow citizens. It empowers citizens to participate actively, rather than falling prey to a NIMBY mentality. 
Citizens engage in the local development process by providing their opinion on the projects proposed locally.
Project Proposers can share the project plan in detail so that there is no misunderstanding amongst the public and also to engage the citizens for immediate feedback.
Citizens who reject a Project state the reason as to why they are rejecting so that the proposers can understand the concerns of the citizen and modify the project to address the concerns raised by citizens.
An Opinion Scale helps the proponents and Govt. to gauge the mood of the citizens regarding proposed projects.

Major features:

The Vox App has five pages: Home page, View idea, View project, Submit Idea/ project, Admin Page and the following features:

Opinion Scale
The app provides an opinion scale for the app users to check the balance tilt in favour of the citizens approving or rejecting the projects. This opinion scale will enable Govt, policy makers and project proposers to gauge the mood of the citizens in a single glance and provide more information to engage with the citizens more seriously.

Representation of data in form of relative Blob
The app provides data in the form of blobs that depict trending ideas and active projects. These blobs increase/ decrease in size based on the popularity/ comments. These blobs are clickable to look up the respective idea/project’s page. 

Project Proposer
If a citizen or agency wants to propose a project and needs citizen support, then they can submit their project details to the app via Google form. The app team then scrutinises the application and checks the authenticity and factual correctness before it is shared on the app via the admin page. The admin page is password protected

Citizen Response
Once a project is shared, citizens can click the add comment button to either side of the scale, as per their choice to support or oppose the project. If they approve the project, they have to type their comment and click on the Approve/ Reject button. They should also add comments of not less than 30 words to support their view.

Idea proponent
Citizens can suggest a new idea that pertains to the local community. The app provides a google form to submit an idea. The community citizens will have the option to add suggestions to further improve upon the idea. This will enable the idea to be discussed and improved upon and eventually the Govt. or industry partners can check on the popularity and feasibility of the idea to actually implement it.

Word Quality check
While entering comments the app checks for quality of words typed and warns users to avoid unpleasant words.

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