Like much of the country, I was a bit shaken by the results of the 2016 election. It was clear that the rights of many Americans were to be challenged in the near future, and I wanted to do something to help protect those rights. I built Project 501 to help connect non-profit organizations with designers and developers who were willing to volunteer their time and expertise to help advance the organization's cause.
The platform didn’t need any bells and whistles. Most of it could have been prototyped with a form and spreadsheet, but I was in the mood to make something. At a minimum, that something need to allow the following:
A quick round of wireframes helped flesh a few details.
At the time, I had been working on another project that was largely influenced by Material Design. I like the structure that Material offers, but I do find that strictly enforcing that structure can be a bit dry. I went in a different direction with Project 501.
New organization form
List of active projects
Project detail view
Conversation between a volunteer and project owner
All in all, the site took about four weeks of nights/weekends to design and build (Ruby/Rails, Github repo here). In mid-January, I spammed my social networks and tossed the project up on ProductHunt. Within a month, 500 volunteers had joined the platform and 21 projects were connected with volunteers.