Endless scroll. Notifications. Powerful recommendation algorithms. With the state of social media today, it’s no surprise that many of us spend more time on it than we can control!
But evidence shows that too much social media is making us unhappy. Isolation, low self-esteem, and suffering relationships are only some of the symptoms.
When used well, social media can do amazing things: connect us with others, allow us to engage with things we care about, enrich our quality of life. So this weekend, we sought to answer the question: how can we help the world interact with it more meaningfully?
What it does
A growing number of people have started to cut back on their screen time. Unfortunately, this usually ends up in one of two ways: cutting back on social media temporarily, only to fall back into bad habits - or, leaving social media entirely and risk missing out on important social bonding.
Curated solves both of these problems by providing users with a "snapshot" of their social media platforms: a curated aggregation of the most important content, without feeds or fancy growth tactics. By removing the distractions that so often suck time but add little value, we enable users to stay connected, but in control.
Our app also encourages users to build healthy digital habits by rewarding them for responsible social media usage (e.g. limiting overall session time) by tracking their "streak" and sending them motivational push notifications.
How we built it
We used the following:
- Google Firestore
- Facebook API
- Instagram API
- Twitter API (v2 filtered stream end-point) Curated is an iOS app built in Xcode using Swift.
Challenges we ran into
- Our group had little to no background in mobile application development and this was a fun challenge throughout this entire hackathon
- Working with APIs which had us we involving many 3rd party resources to implement these APIs within our mobile application
- Overestimating the time to implement Facebook and Twitter’s API in our application
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Having clean UI/UX
- Integrating a database for user email authentication
- Getting the chance to work with company APIs that we’ve never touched before and learning as much as we could
We're very proud of our attempt to solve a very common problem. We believe our design is:
- Useful, by conveniently aggregating content in a way that eliminates the need for social media.
- Innovative, by focusing on building the users’ habits.
- Delightful: with our use of streak rewards and notifications.
- Usable: with a clean UI that uses recognizable design patterns.
What we learned
Project management is key. It's important to lay out a plan of attack, including an estimation of dev time, for the highest priority features before dev work is started.
What's next for Curated
In the short-term, we want to:
- Allow the user to receive notifications for comments and tags
- Give users the ability to share a limited number of posts per day
- Aggregate messages from different platforms into our app
In the long-term, we hope to be able to commercialize Curated. For example, we might sell a version to parents to give to their children, or teachers to give to their students. Both of these user groups would benefit from being able to ensure that a younger generation is building healthy digital habits while still staying connected to the groups and people they care about.