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As a college student, it is hard to balance school work and a social life along with maintaining an income as well. The Lounge on campus is a platform for students to buy sell and trade goods and services in a safer environment.

My freshman year, I provided my nail art services to other girls on the floor out of our lounge. At $2 per session, I needed more clients ASAP, but time, a beauty license, and safety were in my way. I thought, wouldn't it be great if there was a way to advertise my services just to the other students on campus? I figured I could post flyers, but what about all the other students in the same predicament? It's not like people read flyers anyway.

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See a need, fill a need

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Services like Craigslist, Angie's List, and Facebook market place are all wonderful resources for most, but there are a few needs that are especially important for students that these cannot satisfy: safety, locality, affordability.


After many student interviews, we found there was not only a lot of support for the platform, but we also learned more ways in which it could be used that we hadn’t previously thought of.

There are many ways to use The lounge...

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After putting together a business plan, we decided on what features would be part of the minimum viable product, and which would be part of V2...



  • Login with campus email

  • Create a profile

    • Picture

    • Messaging

    • Social media

    • Posts

  • Create a post

    • Service

    • Product

  • Profile

  • Search filter

    • Categories

    • Tags

    • Price range

    • Sorting

  • Ads​


  • Make a request

  • Pay to advertise postings

  • Premium account

    • Unlimited postings​

    • No ads

  • Rating system

  • Color scheme change if adopted by a university 

  • Reviews

  • Key word moderation

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Color Selection

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We originally went with a color scheme matching RIT’s, we also wanted to incorporate their logo calling it The Lounge at RIT. After speaking with the student senate and the campus lawyer, it was clear that we needed to be our own entity that was easily adoptable by a campus if they chose to do so. So from orange and brown we moved to teal and gray. Teal represents open communication while gray is a complimentary, neutral color. This is also a color combination not often associated with universities.

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The Lounge on campus requires users to sign in using their campus email. This keeps the platform on campus and between students. First name and last initial are visible to keep users accountable.

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A filter system can be used to organize search results by price, popularity, specific tag, and most recent. The minimum viable product will have two post types available; product and service. In V2, users will have the option to make a public request as well. A simple messaging system helps students connect, discuss payment and set up meetings on campus.

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Final Findings

Although there was evidence for a market, starting with ads then eventually letting users pay to have their posts featured, a few hurdles stood in our way of success. The first being liability issues. The beauty of Craigslist is how unmoderated it is, but we wanted this platform to be safer. Moderating for safety but allowing ride sharing or services that require licensing made finding support for the platform from the university much more difficult than we had imagined. We shifted to being a completely independent platform and decided part of the terms and conditions would be a disclaimer similar to Craigslist, stating that responsibility falls on the users while we retain the right to delete posts and suspend users that participate in illegal activity.    


The other major hurtle came from having an ever-changing team of students workers without an agile plan for building this platform. Without the proper team layout, time or compensation, progress was not made at a reasonable rate. We all graduated before finishing the project and it was left at that.


The Lounge ended up being an invaluable learning experience. I learned about the business side of running a startup through the Simone Center at RIT, including creating a business plan, collecting feedback and marketing.

The End

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