The primary motivation for developing Harbor was to solve the existing problem of unsafe drinking and sexual harassments faced by college students. For example, Carnegie Mellon University Title IX Office reports that almost 40% of college aged women get sexually harassed at some point of their college career. What is striking is that 97% of those cases involve alcohol. Even more, according to Association of American Universities (AAU), 2015, 23% female college students said they experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact. The statistics is 32% at Yale and 29% at Harvard.

As a group of developers and designers, we want to create an application that would ensure students safety during events involving alcohol. After intensive research, we couldn't find such an application that solves this important problem. Hence, we plan to create a tool that offers basic safety checks to college students during parties.

What it does

The picture below shows the three basic functionality of our app: Alt

How I built it (Paper - Digital - Browser)

Step 1. Paper Ideation:


Step 2. Digital Flowchart


Step 3. Development

We implemented the following technologies in Harbor:

  • Facebook APIs to log in users,
  • Microsoft Azure as our platform, and
  • Twilio API to make calls and send messages.

Challenges I ran into

Given the time and resource constraints, we had to prioritize all the features that we wanted to implement. Also, we experienced difficulties in hosting the web app under the domain name; however, we are confident that everything is working on local hosts.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • Solution to a real life problem that affects millions of college students
  • User-centered web design & development
  • Complete working web app
  • Flexible and sustainable app design that allows for feature extensions

What I learned

  • Using provided APIs
  • Deciding tradeoffs between features
  • Performance scalability
  • Coding integration
  • User Experience strategies
  • Team collaboration

What's next for Harbor

  • Social Aspects: a map that indicates friends' location
  • Effectiveness: more effective safety check-ins
  • Accuracy: additional safety measures that prevent unfortunate events from happening
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