Inspiration

My little brother, who has Asperger's Syndrome, was my inspiration in this project. I noticed his difficulty in recognizing facial expressions and understanding social cues from an early age. These problem areas have caused him a lot of stress and frustration, and so by choice he stays home and avoids social interaction - not the best life for a 17-year-old! I wanted to create something that helped him and others with similar diagnoses aged 13+ to identify, track, and help mitigate symptoms of strong emotionally-tied events, namely, "meltdowns" and anxiety/panic attacks.

What it does

“Life has its ebbs and flows. If you’re on edge, let buoy help redirect you.” 1) Adding and tracking specific emotional events 2) Emergency contact and methods of communication - creates and stores "emergency contact" text drafts and lists help hotlines 3) Stress management and relaxation techniques 4) Activities to link triggers and their associated methods of stress alleviation for that individual

How I built it

I brainstormed on Google Docs, designed a mock app over Google Slides (a slide per screen), then helped push tickets for front-end code using GitHub and Android Studio from my and Daan's laptop. I made the logo in Adobe Illustrator.

Challenges I ran into

My computer crashed the first day and I lost a lot of my files. My OnePlus One wasn't working when I tried to emulate, so it definitely delayed programming. A mentor tried to help me fix my Android Studio because that emulator wasn't working either, but we didn't have any luck. A majority of my work was done through pair programming and using my teammates' computers. It was also time-consuming to research ASD and appropriate ways to construct the app, but we wanted it to be credible.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

About 80% of the original design was completed, with wonderful additions from my teammates. I started a content workflow early which really helped streamline the creation process.

What I learned

I learned more about Android development, mobile drivers, and back-end development. I also am grateful for the workplace experience I gained by collaborating with developers of different styles and skill sets.

What's next for Buoy

The UI needs to be refined - new fonts, colors, layouts - to be more aesthetically pleasing. The buttons and font could be bigger. I think we were too focused on cranking out a product in time. Adding more stress-alleviating activities and games, along with creating a dashboard of all the data collected, is also next up on the list.

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