Inspiration

The inspiration behind Invisible String comes from Ashley's childhood dance instructor. Ginny always told the dancers to be mindful of their posture, painting the picture with a striking metaphor, "there is an invisible string from the base of your spine to the top of your head- act like it is being pulled taunt." Shoulders would creak back and chins would tip up on the simple and seemingly cryptic command of "invisible string, girls!"

Fast forward to 2018, and Ashley oft forgets about her invisible string. Her posture is terrible. She thought that there should be an application that would send random reminders to her phone so she would be caught unaware and hopefully learn the habit, but most habit apps seemed so niche- one for watering plants, another here for going to the gym.

The team saw a benefit to a habit application that could be customized to the user's goals, be it posture, drinking water, or keeping your thoughts positive throughout the day. Combined with yesteryear's method of remembering something important, tying a string to one's finger, Invisible String was born.

What it does

Invisible String allows a user to select from a set list of suggested habits or create their own, set the frequency of the (random, constrained by a time frame) push notification and badge reminders, select a custom color of string, and watch their habit journey through data visualization of a mess of tangled yarn transforming into a neat, rolled ball and once more transforming into a surprise-shaped string art! When done, add the completed art to your Trophy Case and begin all over again!

How we built it

Though we attempted to learn from 0-60mph Meteor and Angular, we decided to create our well-prototyped and researched idea's first alpha demo with HTML and CSS. We had to get creative, and Olivia worked very hard on getting the pages to look as similar as possible to our mockups created by Tim.

Challenges we ran into

Programming and back-end was difficult for our team, and though we briefly had the help of some very kind mentors, we had too little time to learn the skills required, and went with our current strengths (while learning some new things!).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud of our user research (background research on psychology of habit-formation, quick personal interviews, personas and user flow charting) and overall tone and design of our prototypes. Translating the essence and base aspects of the application to HTML/CSS was also a challenge we appreciated.

What we learned

Ashley learned a few basics about Sketch, which had been recently installed but not yet opened on her laptop before last night. She also learned how to make a looping and once played through .gif in Photoshop, and also got to hone in on some simple editing skills in the program. Olivia got mini-crash courses in the benefits of full-stack Meteor via its download and part of its To Do List tutorials, as well as a few basics on Angular. For all three members of the team, this was a most involved from start to finish we had ever been in a development design, so this was a great overall experience. It was Ashley and Tim's first hackathon. One of the biggest takeaways is how incredible white boards really are for brainstorming, ideation, sketches, user flow diagrams, etc.

What's next for Invisible String

Find back-end developers interested in taking our fleshed-out design, perhaps at SUNY Oswego where we are based, to finish it out. We would like to see a polished web-version as well as an iOS application. We certainly enjoyed a lot of helpful critique this weekend as well as some praise for the concept and design, and we are confident Invisible String has a future.

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