A photo of typical usage of the web application
The landing page
Notice that destinations can be suggested for many topics
More typical usage. Voting is highlighted here
Booking trips with friends is hard. People don't like doing all of the research for trips. A voting system with google places and a chat room integrations provides an easy place for users to work together on making the best outings possible.
What it does
getout.site provides a platform for users to vote on destinations. Whether it is the hotel that they want to book or the restaurant that they want to enjoy for Sunday brunch, users can suggest destinations for different events.
Reviews and photos from these destinations are automatically added to the page, allowing for informed decisions to be made for an optimal travel experience.
Users can vote on suggested destinations and use the integrated chat service to pitch their plans. Scores are assigned to each suggested destination, allowing for a democratic booking process.
How we built it
getout.site is built as a Flask application with an Ember.js front end. We are integrated with tlk.io to provide a chatroom for each planning board. We are also using the Google Places API to provide reviews for different destinations if available. Our data is being stored in a mongo database.
Challenges we ran into
One of us had to learn about Flask and two of us had to learn how to use Ember.js. It was very challenging to take on such a big framework in this short time span. Integrating with APIs is always a challenge, and working with Google Places has been no exception. The scale of the Google Maps API suite is very large and it is sometimes hard to find the best way to solve certain tasks.
Our team has never worked together before and had to figure it out. We all feel that we have grown a lot from this project and we are thrilled to have had the experience to work together at Hack Western.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our application is way bigger than we originally expected! We were not confident at the start that we would have enough time to pursue the Google Places integration. We tackled our MVP so quickly and efficiently that we had time to work on the look and feel of our hack along with the extra integration.
We are very proud of how effectively we worked as a team. After we decided on our idea, we kept focused and complimented each other's skills amazingly.
What we learned
All of us spent a significant amount of time outside of our comfort zones. Our teammate, Cheryl, had very limited web experience going into this project. She stepped up and learned a lot this weekend about Ember.js. Matt had experience with front-end development but decided to spend a lot of time working on the server because he wants to move his career in that direction. None of us knew how to use Google Places and Charlie stepped up to the challenge after helping the other teammates get rolling!
What's next for getout.site
getout.site doesn't need to be limited to travel. In general, this is a great platform for discussing and voting on ideas. Integrations with other APIs and tools can allow for data visualizations, wikipedia links, etc. to be shown instead of Google Places information.
In the short term, we acknowledge the need to improve usability and apply better design practices to our application. User testing and market research will help us build an application that many people will use.
The domain may not have propagated yet. It will be working by tomorrow for sure!