Inspiration

While at the hackathon we hit a wall in our program proposals. It seemed that with all of our ideas flowing at one time, we simply could not hit the "full Monty" of ideas. We wanted something simple, something that spoke to the audience around us, but most importantly, in the midst of such grand ideas, we wanted something practical! While in the thick of our idea hiatus, we did what any group of women does when they can't seem to make a decision...we took a group trip to the bathroom. While in the bathroom the three of us laughed as we swapped embarrassing bathroom stories that happened while on our separate campuses, thus was birthed the idea of Occupotty!

What it does

Occupotty is an app that helps students and visitors to not only find bathrooms on campus, but also comment on the quality and location of the bathroom. For example, if you are a bit more shy when it comes to nature's call, the app can help you to find a private bathroom while on campus. The app can also be used by campus maintenance to know what  restrooms need attention and when. This app allows people to upload reviews, pictures (appropriate pictures), and even funny stories or moments that happen while in the restroom. 

How we built it

  We created a website using Brackets, creating it from scratch using html and css. We incorporated javascript to allow the user to interact with the interface by clicking on the button that says "find bathroom" which makes additional information on the image pop up. It was our first time working with Brackets, coding, javascript- everything- and it was quite a fun but frustrating challenge. We were able to successfully code and create the website, but unfortunately we couldn't figure out how to put in on the web and make it accessible for others even with help from multiple mentors. We have uploaded screenshots of our work to give you an idea of our final product, but do not have a functioning website.

Challenges we ran into

At first, the idea of Occupotty was an app that allowed people to play games, read trivia, etc while using the restroom. We were originally very excited for this idea, but through the advice of a few mentors we realized two important things: 1) A smartphone is essentially already a landscape of fun for anyone using the restroom and 2) for the purpose of a Hackathon, we needed to keep it simple and stay focused on one thing. Once we nailed down the idea of a "bathroom finder app" we felt great about the direction we were headed, that was until, we realized that we had no idea how to do any of this. The three of us worked diligently to learn JavaScript and WordPress and ultimately decided to go with JavaScript. We took a few tutorials as well as called in a friend who could help us to at least come close to understanding how to do what we wanted. This process was extremely challenging because we are not the Hackathon type, in fact, we almost left after the initial Assembly because we felt so deeply out of our depth. I feel that having been what seemed to be so far behind everyone else perhaps made our process more difficult, but it also made it all the more rewarding! 

Accomplishments that we're proud of

As stated in the previous paragraph, we came into this Hackathon barely knowing how to trun on our computers let alone create a website with them. We are not only proud of all that we have learned through developing this idea, but we are also proud of how we all worked together. It was great to see as the process went on how each of us sort of molded into our desired roles. At the beginning, we all felt pretty useless due to our lack of computer knowledge, but as we hacked away (see what I did there?) it was incredible to see how all of our individual talents met a direct need for the development of the project!

What we learned

 During the process we learned how to use a basic JavaScript template as well as how to create images and internal links within a domain. We learned that the "little things" such as a pin marker on google maps, actually takes meticulous work in order to create. I think overall, we learned that persistence and passion can overcome a lack of knowledge. Once we decided that we were going to stop letting what we felt like was our shortcomings define us, we were able to accomplish much more than we thought possible. 

What's next for Occupotty

 We ultimately want occupotty to be a part of every campus. We want to create a simple search app that will find your campus (or the campus you are visiting) and will pull up the floor plan of said campus. We are also hopeful that Occupotty will take off as a sort of socail media hub. In the same way that YikYak allows people to talk about their campus, and thus makes a sort of inside joke comradery, that Occupoty will become a place for people to post funny stories, thoughts, and helpful tips to make their bathroom experience all the greater. We are also hopeful that Occupotty will become a Helping hand to campus maintenance as they will be able to view the needs in each restroom and solve problems all the quicker. 
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