Inspiration

_ Dining@PSU _ was created in response to the unexpected removal of Penn State's dining services application from the App Store in the Summer of 2018. Many students we know relied on this application when deciding where to go for their meals each day, so we figured composing a new stand-alone app from the ground up would be a fantastic way to give students the convenience they are looking for when quickly searching between classes.

What it does

-Our application provides Penn State students with a minimalistic and clean experience when accessing the dining hall menus each week. Our UI provides the end user with the ability to seamlessly choose which dining hall, day of the week, and precise restaurant in order to view their menu and nutritional facts. The app also provides people with allergies the opportunity to easily access which options they should stay away from on a day's menu. On the iOS application, we have also utilized iOS 12's Siri Shortcuts functionality in order for anyone to create custom shortcuts in order to search for each dining hall's menu, all from vocal commands. Simply stating, "Hey Siri. What is the menu in East today?" will prompt a quick and simple interface for the user to view each of the food options for the given meal.

How we built it

-Our team utilized Javascript for the initial data parsing, employed Swift for the iOS application, and utilized Kotlin for the Android app and denser data restructuring.

Challenges we ran into

-Our team ran into some unique design challenges when utilizing Penn State's dining API in order to retrieve the information to use on our apps. We were faced with some difficult challenges regarding how we parsed through the data in Javascript, and we ended up having to restructure a poorly-designed hierarchy in Kotlin in order to methodically access the API data in a sensible manner.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

What we learned

-Our team developed a much stronger level of communication and problem-solving during the duration of the competition. The limited amount of time we had to design and implement our ideas forced our team to delegate each task to the member who possessed the most knowledge and experience on the topic. But at the same token, we were able to ask one another questions regarding syntax and overall design, making our team effort that much more of a learning experience for each of us.

What's next for Dining@PSU

-Our team's next step is to take our application to the head of dining services at Penn State to discuss their interest in utilizing this app as their official dining application in the future. We are optimistic that they will enjoy our design and choose to implement our design as the official university dining application.

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