We're college students from Duke!
Confucius is the combination of Spotify music, Soundcloud, and breaking news in one package. The inspiration came from the fact that as university students, we don't have the time to constantly be looking for the best news sources. We also don’t have time to sit down and read the news diligently, especially when we are busy. Not only that, we found that with existing news applications, we were visually distracted while online, and were not able to just listen to the articles on these websites. We came up with an app that aggregates multiple news sources and translates their articles to audio, enabling users to take news with them on the go.
What it does
With one tap, the user is able to listen to any article from playlists, trending articles of the day, and different genres from top news sources, in order to give the users the latest news on the go. Unlike other news app where users have to scroll through articles to read them, Confucius allows the user to LISTEN to an article. With our hands-free news app, we give users so much more than just news. We give users the freedom to be informed while on the go.
How we built it
Confucius is composed of three primary components: WEB SCRAPER, CLOUD BACKEND, iOS USER INTERFACE.
CLOUD BACKEND: We implemented our backend data storage with the Parse API, a cloud database implementation. Following web scraping, we interfaced this database with iOS querying methods to easily write to and write from our cloud database. Most importantly, this database enabled us to populate our front end user interface with all the most up to date articles, hottest news article playlists, etc.
iOS UI/UX: In order to take advantage of our solid backend, we had to build a front end capable of reflecting all the information in the cloud to the user in a simple and intuitive way. Every part of our UI/UX has been thought about, and we have taken validated User Interface tips from other top mobile applications. We decided that a Tab bar is the most straightforward and intuitive way to show all the pages in our application, taking only one tap to change from page to page. On each page, useful indicators enable users to intuitively navigate our application with satisfying swipe and tap gestures. .
Challenges we ran into
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are most proud of the fact that we considered all aspects of a potential business when designing this application, keeping in mind that a successful app hinges on our FIT with customer demands/preferences, designing a product that customers actually WANT and that competitors have yet to MAKE.
We take pride in the fact that we have placed deep thought about the business model, and how users will interact with the application. The beauty of Confucius lies in its smooth and enjoyable UX/UI, and we're proud that we have accomplished just that.
We truly believe that users will enjoy the freedom that this application bestows on the user to be informed on the go, creating a product that other news apps simply don’t have.
What we learned
This is our first hackathon and the biggest difference was the fact that we had discussed about our ideas beforehand. Coming into Junction, we already had a clear, general idea of what we wanted to make, and as soon as we got here, we were able to utilize the available resources to implement our idea quickly. With this time advantage, we were able to concentrate more on the app design, UX, and UI, which gives our app greater leverage over competitors.
What's next for Confucius
With the basic features in place, we believe that Confucius is a differentiated product. We need to continue executing on our business model, marketing our application to potential customers in order to generate interest. Customers include those that would pay for subscription accounts with access to premium articles. In addition, we seek to generate interest in the advertising sector. With greater network effects from a growing user base, we think that we can generate revenue from advertisements in the long run.
Furthermore, we will continue differentiate our application with more features: -Provide more news sources -Enable users to crowdsource article recordings of their own voices