Inspiration

Everyone wants to spend time with their friends, whether it's to go to the movies, have a picnic, or just chill at each others' houses. But sometimes you just can't be bothered to have to go through the process of texting all of your friends just to make sure one is available to hang out. This is an issue we wanted to tackle with our app, i'm bored.

What it does

i'm bored allows users to see whether or not they're friends are ready to hang out, or "bored," all within the privacy of their own account. Each account contains a contact list of friends who are on the app, and that contact list is only displayed when the user labels themselves as "bored." The contacts are displayed in a way that allows the user to differentiate between their "bored" and "not bored" friends so that they can consider their options of who to hang out with more easily. "Bored" contacts can then be notified by the user if they want to hang out.

How we built it

Our minimalist design was constructed using HTML5 and CSS. In order to allow users to use our app conveniently on many different types of devices, we took advantage of the JQuery Mobile Library in order to give our product a responsive design. The functionality of the app, from the buttons and switches to the notifications and user accounts, were initialized using JavaScript. All of the data used in i'm bored, including the usernames, passwords, names, and friend lists for all users, were stored in a Firebase database, which we accessed with JavaScript.

Challenges we ran into

As we wanted to make our product as simple and user friendly as possible, we spent a large chunk of time figuring out which features we were going to include in the app, so as not to distract the user from the main function of i'm bored. It was very difficult to cut ideas that could potentially have worked in our product, but would've defeated the purpose of making hanging out and connecting with friends a relatively effortless process.

One of those features was in-app messaging, so that users could interact with the friends they wanted to hang out with and possibly set up a time and place to meet, rather than just notifying them that the user is bored and wants to hang out. We were planning on integrating the Twilio API, where each user would be able to swipe on a friend's name and open up another screen with the message feed between the two users. Unfortunately, integrating Node.js with HTML5 on a local drive proved to be more of a challenge than we expected, despite having the original Twilio JavaScript file work in Terminal.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Overall, we're proud of the design of our app. Many of the debates we had over the app itself were about how people could merely see i'm bored as a substitute for a group text, so we reached the decision that i'm bored had to be simple enough for a potato to use. We were able to design and program an app that seems to have a very bare and minimalist design, but actually has a lot going on beneath the surface.

What's next for i'm bored

As of now, i'm bored is a web-application, which works fine across all browsers and operating systems, especially when the Twilio API is involved in terms of messaging. However, we would like to take it to market as an iOS and/or Android application, possibly linking the in-app messaging to the respective devices' built-in messaging applications. Users that prove to use different browsers and/or operating systems could still make use of the Twilio API in order to communicate.

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