As we were thinking about what products and ideas are currently in demand, self-care popped first in our minds. With the pandemic forcing millions of people to spend their time alone and give up many of their extracurricular activities, mental health conditions have been deteriorating. We then decided to make an app that allowed us to help teens and other people who have been experiencing these same emotions track their mental health and suggest activities to help alleviate feelings of sadness and frustration. None of us are experienced programmers, so we had to get familiar with a program and then create our app, which was a challenge in itself. We decided on the applab from Code.org.
What it does
Our app helps people track their mental health and suggests activities to help alleviate feelings of sadness and frustration, which are really common among people right now, especially because of isolation due to the pandemic.
How we built it
We built our app on the code.org app lab. For each page of our app, we used text labels, images, and created buttons to allow the user to move between parts of our app. Using an iPad, we designed a logo by hand that we included in the header of our app and our app icon. We tested our app using an iPhone 8 simulator.
Challenges we ran into
We encountered many challenges over the course of the day. Having barely any prior experience with coding and the code.org app lab, we heavily utilized youtube videos, website tutorials, and aid from Femmehacks organizers. Initially, it was difficult to collaborate using code.org as it does not allow sharing - we were able to overcome this challenge by distributing tasks (such as coding, graphic design, or data collection) and used zoom’s remote control option to collaborate on the code. Since we were all in different locations, that was another major challenge we had to overcome.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of how much we have learned over the course of the hackathon. We started our day off with brainstorming, and we came up with numerous ideas to improve our day-to-day lives. After settling on the idea for “Bliss,” we faced the daunting task of building the app. Despite having very little prior knowledge of how to code an app, we were able to make a lot of progress in just a day, and developed the interface for our app using the code.org app lab. In addition to our coding progress, we are proud of how much we’ve grown as a team - despite being apart and having to collaborate virtually via zoom, we were able to come up with lots of ideas and efficiently divided up tasks.
What we learned
Throughout the process of developing “Bliss”, we learned how to use code.org’s codelab and ask mentors for help. At first, we were hesitant to approach the mentors for help, but by the end we gained the confidence to ask for help on the discord when we encountered technical problems, such as with running our program. We also learned how to collaborate despite the complicated situation; since Code.org didn't allow us to collaborate on the same workspace at once, we had to learn how to work together by allocating different parts of the project amongst all of us. Overall, Femmehacks was a great experience, and we learned technical and collaborative skills through the process.
What's next for Bliss
We have many future plans for Bliss. We are hoping to code our app so that the app is able to store the user’s data, and then they will be able to see their progress over the time that they’ve used the app. Hopefully, as we gain more experience with coding, we will even be able to use XCode and then release it on the App Store!