2nd Place in Design Track (Listed as Amazon Gift Card above)
Top 20 Overall (Listed as Wolfram above)
Earlier this spring, schools all over the world closed because of COVID-19, and classes switched over to online-only. Many students saw their grades slip, and they began to fall farther and farther behind. Had they all suddenly become lazy slugs who didn’t care about their futures anymore?
The short answer is, no. What happened was that they lost the social support network of teachers and classmates that had helped keep them accountable for meeting their goals in school. It was actually a lot like life outside of school. No one is going to grade them on staying healthy, exercising, and applying for scholarships, jobs, and college.
Fortunately, there has been quite a lot of research on the psychology of goal setting and achievement (especially in business and professional sports) that we can use to help ourselves achieve whatever goals we set. Repeated studies have shown that sharing our goals with another person, an accountability partner, can help keep us motivated and on track to achieving those goals. This works in two main ways. Once we publicly state a goal, we have an innate sense of wanting to achieve that goal (or at least to avoid failing to achieve it in front of a witness). Furthermore, an accountability partner can offer encouragement and support to help keep us on track.
This is why we created Accountability Buddy, an app that helps people stay committed to their goals and motivated to reach them.
What it does
Accountability Buddy is designed to be a streamlined and easy to use app that focuses on helping users write their goals down, then accomplish them. First, it has a gesture focused user experience, designed to allow users to quickly interact with their goals in a fluid manner. Next, it allows for users to quickly share their goals by texting them to a friend. Lastly, we use gamification to encourage users to complete the goals they set for themselves by rewarding them with AR Buddies (3D animal models) using echoAR.
How we built it
While we generally do most of our developing in React and Typescript, we built Accountability Buddy in Flutter because we wanted to gain experience in native mobile development, and create an expressive UI that is expected with native apps. Rather than focus on one platform or another, however, we decided to use Flutter, because it allows us to compile our single codebase to Android, iOS, Web, and desktop.
In addition, we used the echoAR platform to bring a user’s different AR Buddies to life, adding increased incentives to the gamification feature.
Challenges we ran into
This was our first time using Flutter, or doing any native mobile development in general, so the start of the hackathon was spent learning the platform. We are very happy with what we accomplished by the end of the hackathon. We also had hardware limitations with echoAR, because we don’t own an Android device that is capable of running WebXR, but the code works, even if we can’t see the results.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We’re very proud of the app that we were able to produce in such a short amount of time. We’re really happy with how it responds to user gestures and swipes, and how intuitive and cohesive the UX is as a whole.
What we learned
We learned a ton about Flutter and Dart this weekend, starting from practically nothing. We also learned a lot about mobile development in general, specifically the Material spec, and how to implement it effectively to create intuitive experiences for the user.
What's next for Accountability Buddy
In the future, we hope to add push notifications to the app so that it can act as an Accountability Buddy and follow up with you if you don’t share a goal with a friend. We’d also like to implement users and to store goals to a database because currently everything is stored locally on a user’s device.