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A dedicated social platform where you can find what your friends use and what they recommend to make your shopping journey quick and easy.

RecoStar is my personal project that is aimed to help shoppers know what their family & friends use, allowing them to make their shopping decisions efficient. Being a very conscious shopper, I have always found myself looking for more data about a product before purchasing it. I have relied on my friend's recommendations to get confident about a product that I purchase. I have struggled to find a website/product that helps me know what my friends use, without me directly connecting with them. Finally, I took it upon myself to build a website that would solve this personal challenge. After interviewing my friends and colleagues, I have come to the conclusion that this is just not my use-case, and building RecoStar will be of great use for others.

Personal Side Project
14 Months (Sept'18 - Present)
Web app, Native Mobile
Founder, Designer, Developer

Problem & Opportunity Statement

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While online shopping people spend an enormous amount of time researching before they make an expensive purchase. In the ocean of paid product reviews, it is getting increasingly difficult to find an honest and accurate review.

Challenges of online shopping research
Opportunities in Social Media & Humble Bragging

People find various ways to show their support or endorse products that they use. Some examples are people adding filters over their display pictures, people tagging their purchases on Reddit forums, posting photos of their workstations, etc.

  • There is a majority of people that like/want to share what decisions they made especially while purchasing/subscribing/choosing/endorsing something
  • People do not have a platform where they can share their purchases and not feel shy about sharing such material
  • People like to compare their friends of the things they buy/endorse/approve
  • One currently doesn’t have a one view glance of items they own
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On one side people want to share their purchases and belongings without having to feel awkward about it and on the other hand, some people genuinely want recommendations from others. This creates a product opportunity that has elements of social media and influencer marketing. Instagram is where most people like to post pics of their trips, looks, clothing, or anything else. Pinterest although not as popular as Instagram is used to draw inspiration for product purchases. I drew heavily from these two designs to start the conceptualization of RecoStar.

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User Flow

I started with a basic user flow that would be core to the RecoStar app and that was logging in, searching product, find results, open posts, and interactiing with it.

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I decided to create a basic flow and mockups to present my idea and also to figure out potential UX challenges

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Scoping and Development

As I will be the only person developing the website initially, I wanted to get an understanding of the technologies and scope of how much I would be able to build. To do that I started looking into tech stacks of companies that I feel have a closer product to RecoStar and that was mainly Pinterest. After researching I figured out that I could build the website using the python + Django backend and react Ant design for the front end. I took a 30 hours full-stack Django-Python course on Udemy to get a quick understanding of the backend.

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Development Status

After reviewing basic flows and designs with my friends, I became confident to start to get into development. So with the little knowledge I gained from the Udemy course I started coding the website. The video below shows a very primitive version, which I am super proud :)

As I continue making progress on this project I will keep updating the work here.

More to Come Soon

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© 2023 • Designed and Built with ❤ by Rohan Gaikwad