Oftentimes, my friends and I would walk out of our way to go to a retail dining location, only to realize when we reached there that they were not accepting meal swipes at the time or none of the options were appealing. During these situations, we would comment on how useful a meal swipe app that told the user the menu and times of the Purdue retail locations would be. Hence, the Purdue Meal Swipe app was born.
What it does
The Purdue Meal Swipe app's home page lists all the retail dining locations and the hours for which they accept meal swipes. The user can click on a specific retail dining location to display their meal swipe options.
How we built it
We built the app on Android Studio and started by holding a brainstorming session where all team members wrote down as many ideas as possible. After we settled on a programming language, platform and idea, we designed on paper each page of the app. We started by creating the home page with an Empty Activity. Using a Constraint Layout, we created a series of buttons and textViews to display the retail locations and their meal swipe menus. We then coded the functionality of each button and the Empty Activity pages that they linked to.
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge we faced was the initial learning process for Android Studio. None of our team members have had previous experience with Android Studio and we spent a significant amount of time learning the layout and syntax of the platform. After creating a couple of smaller applications (ex: an app the randomly generates a number within a range), we completed the functionality of the project. The next big hurdle came with the design of the app and the formatting. It was especially difficult to ensure the constraints worked properly so when the app was run, it would look professional.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We feel that we accomplished many goals in our endeavor to make our first app! We are very proud that we were able to create a functional app and learn a new platform in such a limited amount of time. Our entire team cheered when the app compiled successfully and displayed our layout.
What we learned
We learned how to use Android Studio and found that we were capable of creating an app with limited prior knowledge and determination.
What's next for MealSwipeApp
The next steps we would take would be to finish adding dining locations and update the design of the app to be more minimalist. We would also love to have a favorites tab that allows the user to save their preferred retail locations and meal swipe choices. Another feature we would like to implement is a random retail dining location and menu choice generator for when a user is uncertain about what to eat.