SayKiat / Essays /

👯#1: Side Project Intro - Hello World or Hello People?

An app to help people discover local events easily.

Creating a new website to help people discover local events easily.

Two years ago, when the world emerged from lockdown and everyone resumed their social interaction, I set a new goal to meet new connect with new people through events and activities.

That’s where the spark for Found! ignited.

I envisioned a social media platform like Facebook or Instagram, but with a twist: a dedicated space for people to discover and share passions, experiences, activities, and local events. Through Found!, users could learn new skills, explore hidden interests, meet like-minded individuals, or find something fun to do with friends and family.

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However, creating Found! was a colossal personal undertaking due to limited technical expertise and juggling a new job.

What Now?

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, as I crafted my 2024 goals, the same yearning resurfaced. I craved that genuine connection I experienced pre-pandemic. This time, though, I wanted to start small: a website showcasing community-contributed local events in the Klang Valley area.

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Documenting my journey on Instagram Highlight

Compared to Found!‘s initial vision, the social aspect is admittedly scaled back. My work buddy succintly points out:

It’s just a glorified excel sheet? — Tyrone

That’s exactly it 🤣.

However, I firmly believe in the value of helping people (including myself!) discover exciting, often hidden local events, especially free and small-scale ones like workshops, school fundraisers, pop-up stores, and tucked-away music gigs.

Existing Alternatives and How Could Be Different

Today, there are fantastic platforms already help you discover events, passions, and experiences, such as:

  • Airbnb Experiences: Unforgettable activities hosted by locals.
  • Eventbrite: Discover the Best Local Events & Things to Do.
  • One platform to discover hubs, experiences and spaces.
  • JomClass: Malaysia’s first-ever centralised booking platform designed exclusively for workshops.
  • Buddyz: Explore unique activities & local experiences.
  • YOLO: Malaysia’s first experience marketplace.
  • MTMT Studios: A creative playground for all age groups.
  • Artime: Paint your memories.
  • Sama Sama Studios
  • Pasar Seni Picture Show: Independent Revival House cinema dedicated to screening culturally significant, & artistic films of years past.
  • Happy Hour Club: Malaysia’s first-ever DIY experience workshop in a cafe setting.
  • The Weekend Workshop: Provide a curating, art, baking and craft, experience and learning platform to the public.
  • Anything that you can find on Instagram reels, XiaoHongShu and Lemon8

These established platforms are well-organized and offer great features, but may require extensive setup and fees for event organizers.

Found is a community-contributed database for weekend activities, with the aim to simplify things for both event organizers and attendees:

  • Event organisers: Submit basic information through an Airtable form, and your event appears on the website next midnight. Because of this, Found is extremely suitable for free and small events who already has their own payment gateway e.g. WhatsApp business.
  • Event-goers: Explore new events easily with a simple swipe-to-discover interface. Then, book directly from external site or save them to your calendar.

See It For Youself!

I am very excited for the website. As someone who is trying to reduce social media usage, discovering weekend activities and new passions shouldn’t feel like a chore. My goal is to make it easy for everyone (including myself!) to find exciting local events without relying on unpredictable social media algorithms and ads.

26th Dec Update: You can check out the website here!

It’s time to come out from the mancave. Hello world, hello people.

BONUS: Explorations and Behind the Scene

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Visual exploration for the project: inspired by gen Z aesthetic and morphic elements.
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Explored a few layout. First screen was initially selected due to it’s simplicity. However, actual design looks different.
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Reskined from dark to light mode. Dark mode is easier on the eyes (especially when browsing at low light condition e.g. before sleeping), but events look dull and boring. Light mode makes the browsing experience more fun and excited.
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Site footer. Exploring some fun colour combination and gradients.
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Post by @fong.saykiat
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