The window that appears to alert the user
When the timer is counting down, the program stays tucked away in the system tray
The main window showing the "about" information
The main window of the program. The timers can be configured and started from here.
My team mate was complaining about how she lost all of her work after forgetting to save on the bus. Thinking about this, we thought it would be a great tool to have reminders on things we needed built into our desktop to run at any time any place (without WiFi too). From this, we also remembered how much we both worked on computers everyday for our academic studies and decided to create one great solution to help us, thus came into existence our final idea to build a reminder system for break times for people who work.
What it does
Our project is a unique reminder system for those who work. We present our users with options for choosing the kind of alert that the user will get and options to set a time interval. We have two main features where the user can either be alerted with a default text notification, or can begin their break with a random video from Youtube that automatically launches. We wanted the user to experience a new way of learning to balance life and work, and promote healthier working habits for each individual.
How we built it
Our team consists of two people, each of whom have different skill sets. We worked to create an aesthetically pleasing interface married with a straightforward, functional implementation. For the design, we worked to create a clean and minimal layout that promoted a sense of playfulness while maintaining maturity. The colour palette leans towards a dark but powerfully accented theme, suiting a broad range of audiences in personality and age. For the software, we chose to code in C# using the Windows Forms library, since it allows for graphical user interfaces and we could develop with these tools quickly. The program switches between two modes while running: it uses a gui when getting the setting and alerting the user, and then acts as a system tray program while the timers are waiting.
Challenges we ran into
Major challenges we had were mostly around the limitations of Windows forms. The library does not support nice looking image scaling, so we ended up exporting our graphics many times in order to get them to look and act perfectly within the window. We also found that Windows forms does not have very good support for system tray icons, so we spent most of you debugging time getting that to work well.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're really proud of how our different abilities were able to work together well. The work was essentially devided between design and implementation, and we were pleasantly surprise to see it come together nicely.
What we learned
For the designer member of the team, the new things were using Visual Studio, image technologies, Git and Github, and working in a new social environment consisting of programmers rather than designers. For the programmer of the team, new things were using C#, the Windows Forms library, graphics programming and making a program based on another persons design.
What's next for AWe BREAK
We may take this project further by making it for more platforms. We can see it being convenient as a web-app or browser extension, or as a mobile app. We would also add more kinds of alert notifications, as a larger variety could give further incentive for people to reliably take breaks.