Inspiration

We took inspiration from democratic values and practices. We also chose our app to be focused on local government as many people are not involved in local politics.

What it does

Our android app, MyCouncil, allows local governments to gain the community insight they need as well as give citizens more of a voice on issues they hold dear.

How we built it

This project was built using a variety of tools. Our main app was built using Android Studio and Java as its language. This allowed us to create the different activities seen in our app and display all the different information we needed. The backend we used was a LAMP stack where php code was written to interact with the mysql database. In our Android app, we sent different requests to the backend which both stored and retrieved data from it. In our app, we used a variety of different tactics to write cleaner code. For instance, we used OOP for the different types of users, posts, and polls. Through the project, we learned a lot about the different strategies in coding and this allowed us to gain a better understanding of Android apps and LAMP stacks.

Challenges we ran into

We are a new team, and we ran into a couple challenges early on in the project. The first challenge was when we had to set up a user database, which we did using mySQL and PHP. This was our first time using these resources and it took a while to figure it out. In addition to this, we struggled with many components in our app including the list views. Sometimes the list views were not displaying what we wanted it to display, and the refresh button wasn't working, so that took a lot of debugging before we finally solved the problem. The poll feature in our app also took some time to set up, as it needed to take information from the database in real time, and provide users with feedback. These challenges took us hours, and maybe even days, to overcome. However, we worked around the clock to ensure our product has the polish to meet the high quality standard we set for ourselves, and we are glad to present our app to you all.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Since we are a new team, there was a lot to be proud of after finishing this project. This hackathon has given us so many opportunities we previously did not have. We were able to seize these opportunities, and achieve what we set out to do. Many of us are beginner hackers, and were not confident we would be able to produce a product of such vast scale, so finishing it was a great attainment for us. Another one of our biggest accomplishments was to set up a working database, that was extremely efficient in storing user information. This helped us implement many of the features that our app offers. For instance, we were able to implement the poll system, which was very challenging to store.

What we learned

We learned many valuable skills in the process of developing our app. We learned how to use SQL Databases to store user and app data, how to use Adobe XD to implement and design professional UI.

What's next for MyCouncil

Due to the limited time frame we were given, there are still so many more features we would like to add to our app. First off, we would like to give our users the profile customization many social media platforms have. A user should be able to click on the profile of another user and gain insight into their views and moral values to gain insight into why a certain individual has the concerns they have. In addition, we would like to expand the post and poll functions and add a discussion page that a user can access by clicking on the post/poll in question. In the discussion page, the user would be able to interact with other people and debate the topic at hand.

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