Who doesn't like shopping? It's no secret that we all love to buy new things and do fashion. Mostly, among girls, it's like a competition and they buy new things almost every day. If we have our own vehicle, shopping is much easier. But if we don't have a ride, it's kinda frustrating as we have to carry everything we buy all the way until we are done shopping. So, what if we can come up with a solution to that problem? Awesome! Right? 'PICK my PACK' is all about shopping feeling without worrying about the weight you have to carry as long as you are the smartphone user. 😉
What it does
Let's take a practical scenario. There's a clothing shop and we buy clothes full of 2 bags from that shop. We can simply open the 'PICK my PACK' mobile application and put a note like how many bags you have and whether the full amount is paid or not & etc. And then drop a pin on your current location which is the location of the shop, seal your package (2 bags), and leave it in the baggage counter of the shop. And then you go to the next shop, follow the same process and at the end of your shopping game, boom! You got no bags on your hand and did shopping freely. And then, open the app, and you can see all the places where you have left your packages. You can either take a cab and follow the directions given from the app and pick the packages and go wherever you want. Or you can simply share the list of your packages including the details and their locations with your parents, friends or anyone you want, so they can pick them for you on their way home. Sharing is easy and simple as it only takes a few fingertips on the screen. You can either share each package one by one or add them to separate lists and share the entire list with someone who you want to pick the packages for you. Not only that, you can even track whether the package has been picked or not. At the end of the day, you can see how much you have spent for shopping separately for each list you create.
How we built it
-> Mainly for the Android Mobile Application, I used Java as the programming language for the backend development and XML for front-end developing. Adobe XD was used for UI designing.
-> For the map integration, I used Goole Maps API provided by the Google Cloud Services. For analysing the usage & etc. I have used Google Analytics while Google Crashlytics was implemented to identify & analyze if the app crashes.
-> For the database management process, MySQL was used as the centralized database and SQLite for client-based database management.
Challenges we ran into
Lack of experience: Two out of the three members had not done a lot of projects like these and was working on the project while doing self-learning.
Communication: The communication among the team members was considerably at a lower level. And due to that reason, members were not able to develop the web application as it was planned to be designed.
Technical errors: I had to face different types of technical errors while developing a mobile application. Using the e-resources and experience, I could overcome them and successfully complete the mobile application.
We did not have any members with UI designing related experience in the team. So, we had to follow UI designs done by others and come up with a simple UI for our mobile application to keep a better user interaction.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The mobile application was successfully completed within the initialized scope. This is considered as the first stage of this project. When considering the performance of the application, all the features and functions work affectively without giving any errors. The application was tested many times by different users for errors and it was a successful effort.
All the codes and designs are novel and we are proud that we could complete them all within the time we were given. With the little experience, I had related to android app developing I could quickly understand the functionality behind the features. And with the sleepless commitment, the success of the project and the knowledge I/we could gain within the few hours given for this project makes us be proud of our selves.
What we learned
When considering the technical aspects, as a team we learnt so many new things. We exchanged our knowledge with each other. So, our skills in programming were polished with the experience we gained through this project.
Members who worked on web application development had no much experience. And Google cloud API integration was very new to them. So, by sharing the knowledge with them, they also could overcome the issues and understand the technology clearly. And working with a centralized database was new to all of us. And we effectively did manage that part as well.
On the other hand, teaming up with members who we never knew, and working together to accomplish a goal within the scope we initialized gave us the push to collaborate more and more with others as well on a project like these. And it was a great experience for all of us.
What's next for PICK my PACK
We consider this as the first stage of the project. And we need to add more customized features and optimize the functionality of this application. So far it contains a very limited number of features. But we can do some research and customize them to fit to the requirements of the users.
Also, we need to come up with the iOS application as well as the web application. At the moment the web application is still under development and we need to improve security and establish a trusted connection between the users and the application.