We’re relying on digital ways to stay connected in these days of COVID-19. Homescapades is a way for the loved ones and larger community to motivate each other to stay home. The idea is that little bits of encouragement can make a large impact.
What it does
Homescapades tracks the consecutive number of days a user spends at home. User home stay is verified by a geofence.
The user can log activities, in a daily personal journal, which are displayed as badges. They can also compile a list of links of resources that are helping them to stay at home (such as news, tutorials, virtual tours of a cultural institution).
All these items are displayed on a dashboard and can be shared to the user’s private friend list. Friends can encourage each other in the Homescapades, even choosing to participate in activities together from their own homes.
Once the Shelter in Place order is eased and people are allowed to meet in small groups, Homescapades can help users verify that their friends have been in limited contact with others, which can assist them in making an informed decision whether to meet up that day... or to wait a few more days.
We are physically distant, and Homescapades is helping to keep us digitally connected.
How we built it
From ideation at 10pm on Friday, we quickly went into development of wireframes and high fidelity visuals in XD. Visual designs slowly became more tuned to evoke the sense of playfulness we were targeting for our experience. By Saturday around 5pm, we have the baseline structure of the experience in place and it was then all about refinement and getting as much of the pieces built for demo purposes.
The features we were able to include are:
- Location awareness geo-fencing of home safe space. App will prompt if location is detected outside that range and will add to the limits or cause your streak to end.
- Login for personalization
- Ability to earn badges for isolation streaks, and activity based actions (ie. I learned to play piano, I baked bread, I video called..)
- Ability to share out status to social media or indicate desire for interaction by other means.
- Ability to cheer friends on their progress
Prototype web can be found here:
Challenges we ran into
This was the first time we used Firebase and it was quite elegant... until we realized we spooled up over 26K of database hits on our prototype in an hour. This was also our first time developing with Ionic React using a pure functional component approach. Quite a heavy learning curve.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We are pretty proud to have been able to build this completely in 36 hr. with our small team.