In a time of great isolation, people are yearning for social interactivity and for things to get back to normal. Seeing the rise in mental health issues, we asked ourselves how we can provide a fun way to connect people back together.
Our passion for sports and the research-backed claims of physical activity improving mental well-being, led us to build - LinkUp. The platform that brings people together and encourages physical and mental well being.
Our app was built with a focus on fulfilling the needs of many. We not only wanted to promote mental well being by encouraging physical activities but we also wanted to help people make new friends through our app and form life-long connections.
We wanted to reach people who didn’t know many people around them or people who just moved to a new area and want to know if anyone plays their favourite sports or even people that just wanted to try a new sport. LinkUp was built with everyone in mind!
What it does
LinkUp is a Mobile app that bridges the gap between people and sports allowing them to meet up, become friends and enjoy sports together! LinkUp offers the users to enter in their favourite sports and allows them to create or join events for it.
The mobile app looks for nearby events and finds users the perfect sports event they would be interested in. It does this by filtering the events to match their interests, age group, gender and location. Once users join or create an event, they can chat with others who are attending and get to know them before they link up. LinkUp allows users to add others as friends after they have played with them. Friends can then invite each other to future events and get together to have a great time.
How we built it
We knew from the beginning that this project would be an undertaking. So we prepared with a mockup (using Figma) for what the mobile app would look like and created a Trello post for all our ideas. We decided to leverage Firebase and Firestore to handle our authentication and backend storage solutions. This allowed us to develop quickly and get many features done without needing to write REST endpoints for basic data retrievals.
Our front-end mobile client was built using Quasar and Vue.js. We use cordova plugin to build and deploy our mobile apps. Quasar also supports deployment to desktop and web, and so our app supports multiple platforms.
Challenges I ran into
While most of us were experienced with basic web app development, only one of us used the framework we decided to use which was Vue.js and Quasar. This was challenging for us in the beginning, but with our collaboration and guidance by our experienced member, we were able to quickly learn the basic and help out.
We also ran into problems when it came to geo-encoding location data with OpenCage, but one of us figured out how to encode it back to address form and that provided us with the proper format for parsing.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are proud to have built an end-to-end solution using real backend and geo-encoding APIs like Google Maps and OpenCage to provide real and relevant data. Despite being new to the framework Vue.js we were able to build something that not only works but also provides value by solving problems of many.
What I learned
Working with Vue.Js with Quasar, Figma. Integrating Firebase Auth, Firebase database with Quasar and Vue.js. Importance of UI/UX. And non-technical things like collaboration, teamwork and supporting each other when faced with challenges.
What's next for LinkUp
We believe that LinkUp can truly help bring people together to form life-long connections through a common interest in sports. That is why we plan to finish the mobile app with all the features and add some features that we were not able to finish such as:
- Providing daily challenges to keep users engaged and promote a healthy lifestyle
- Gamify challenges among friends and given rewards if friends plan X amount of event
- Assessing machine learning models to improve event suggestions and connect people with similar interests and background.