By NICHOLAS SCOGGINS, Vandegrift Voice
While trying to improve their Spanish speaking skills during the summer lockdown, Katrina Cao and Lindsey Colgin thought it would be convenient if they could reach out to other students for help. And there their idea for the “Hello Expert” app was born.
The girls competed with their app in the Texas DECA Entrepreneurship Challenge and were selected, out of 20 teams, for advancement into the final round of the challenge. They are currently waiting on the results of round two, the team in first place receiving a $1,000 scholarship.
“We felt confident we could perform well,” Colgin said.
The idea of the Hello Expert app is that if a student needs to learn another skill, they can go on the app and find another user who knows the skill that can teach it to them. User profiles on the app would have skills they are familiar with listed. It is designed similar to apps where users can learn languages, but instead Hello Expert would allow you to learn any skill that another user on the app already knows.
“The format of the app was set around to teach, learn and make friends all in one place,” Colgin said.
One of the bigger benefits of Hello Expert would be that people wanting to learn a skill would not have to pay a tutor to do so, the app being targeted towards high school students. Teachers wishing to pass on their skills could form a sort of personal version of YouTube on the application with students being allowed to access their content.
Students can also reach out to one another if they need assistance, there is also a mode for students to engage in group discussion. Colgin first came up with the idea over the summer as they wanted to find a way to learn certain skills while lockdowns were in effect across the country.
“The original foundation was based on Lindsay’s boredom,” Cao said. “We had to further develop the product and make some tweaks.”
Colgin and Cao built the application on a design platform called Figma, which allows designers to link together various tools necessary for the creation of products.
“For product development, it wasn’t easy to formulate the features and design of Hello Expert,” Cao said. “It took many, many hours over two weeks to complete it.”
The team is actually considering a public release for their product, however they are still discussing that amongst themselves.
“We gave our all, and I feel proud about that,” Colgin said.
Nicholas Scoggins, a Vandegrift junior on the Vandegrift Voice staff, also enjoys traveling, reading and participating in military reenactments. After high school, he hopes to pursue a military career.