Inspiration

We were thinking about problems faced in these covid circuitbreaker times, and it struck us that the most common, everyday problem worldwide is boredom and restlessness. And this problem has unseen consequences - some people break stay-home-notice rules simply because they're too bored at home, and other times these feelings develop into anxiety and other psychological unease, which is especially problematic when everyone is living and working in such close quarters.

Furthermore, this place for the sharing of ideas and suggestions isn't useless once covid is over! We've had this idea for a while, because nowadays we're all so wrapped up in algorithms, we get sick of the content we're constantly recommended based off what we've already seen. Sometimes we want to be surprised; we want something completely new! And that's where crowd-sourced suggestions from random people would be really useful in quickly finding something fun and fulfilling to do.

What it does

HuiJia compiles ideas and suggestions with a title, author, short description, external website link (if any) and background image for each one! These get displayed in a pinterest-like style, with the homepage showing the various categories (e.g. Games, Maths & Science, Music, Programming and much more), and then each category page displaying the idea "cards" submitted under that category while also allowing navigation to other pages. Clicking one of these cards will lead the user to an expanded full page view of it.

When a user submits an idea, there are several optional fields: 1) user's name (default will be 'Anonymous'); 2) an external link (a button for the link will only pop up in the card's page if a URL is submitted); 3) an image URL (the image will be diplayed as the backdrop for the card in its category page, and a picture in its full page view - if the user doesn't submit one, a default image will be used instead); and 4) description. Compulsory fields are the idea title and category.

Our special feature is a randomiser 'try me!' button that will take you to a random suggestion card, so the user doesn't even have to scroll through the categories and can be completely surprised by something he may never usually consider!

How I built it

We used HTML/CSS/JS with a free Bootstrap theme, a mySQL database to store the ideas entries and socket.io to communicate with the database.

Challenges I ran into

Neither of us have ever used bootstrap or done responsive web design before, or even much web development, so our main challenge was in trying to edit a bootstrap theme to fit our desired specifications (especially on different browser sizes). We had to learn a lot by searching online and scouring forums, and doing a lot of trial-and-error and troubleshooting, but it was very fulfilling!

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

This is the nicest website (first proper website for Hui Ling) we've ever made, so we're really happy that we managed to do it in such a short time!

What I learned

Yi Jia - I learnt to use bootstrap, especially the responsive design part, and customise it through copious amounts of googling. Hui Ling - I learnt a lot of basic technical skills in webdev, including how to use javascript with websites and how to use socket.io!

What's next for HuiJia (Go Home)

There are some UI/UX improvements that we can continue making, and to push the website to our friends or online to let people use and increase our database of ideas!

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