"where should we eat?"
"where do you want to eat?"
"idk you pick"
We've all experienced this dilemma -- it has even inspired multiple memes across the internet (ex). Back when we could go out and eat with friends and family before COVID-19, deciding on a restaurant to eat at would sometimes be the most difficult and stressful thing in the world. Luckily, someone on Reddit came up with the genius idea of a Tinder-like app to match people's restaurant choices, and we've made that a reality!
What it does
Chikin Tinder allows groups of people to create party rooms with randomly generated restaurants based on criteria set by the organizer, such as location, number of restaurants, and price range. The organizer can invite others to the room using a code sent via text, and they can swipe through the restaurants Tinder-style, view additional details, and see which ones they end up matching on.
How we built it
React Native, Firebase, Expo, Yelp API, Figma
Challenges we ran into
Some of our biggest technical challenges were getting push notifications to work properly within Expo and working with the Yelp API to fetch the proper data we needed.
In terms of designing the app, we wanted to incorporate a fun personality throughout the UI while also maintaining simplicity and consistency in overall UX.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Given our busy summer schedules of working in internships and other projects, we're proud of consistently making time to work on our own parts of the app, meeting up every week to review our progress, and finally finishing the MVP of our app. Given that half of the team was new to React Native and mobile development, and the other half had only worked on one mobile app project before this one, we all learned a great deal of new skills and were able to come together to complement each others' skills in terms of front-end, back-end, and design to build a fun app that could be a real solution to a common problem.
What we learned
It's always important to test your application on different screen sizes to ensure consistency in UI and behavior across devices. We also found that taking some time to wireframe and lay out the overall app flow and user stories helped us expedite and streamline the dev process. Lastly, in these last few days, we learned that the presentation of the end product is just as important as its functionality and complexity.
What's next for Chikin Tinder
We'd love to add a feature where users can make customized sets of restaurants that they regularly eat at and be able to swipe through those in party rooms. To make the app even more engaging, partnering with new, local restaurants to provide discounts for users could encourage people to try novel eateries in their communities and form stronger relationships with local restaurant owners through food.