We looked at some of the sponsored prizes for some ideas as to what our hackathon project could be about, and we noticed that TELUS would be sponsoring a prize for a mental health related project. We thought that this would be an excellent idea, especially so due to the current situation. Because of the global pandemic, people have been more socially isolated than before. Many students in particular have been struggling with online schooling, which further takes a toll on their mental health. In general, mental health is a bigger issue than ever before, which is why we thought that creating a project about it would be appropriate. With all of that in mind, we decided that creating some sort of application to promote positivity hopefully create some inspiration and order in everyone's lives during these uncertain times would be our overall goal.
What it does
Ponder is an app which allows the user to write journal entries about whatever they're grateful for. This prompted self reflection is meant to have the user try to stay optimistic and see the bright side of whatever situation they may be in. It also provides inspiring quotes and stories for the user to read, which can hopefully motivate the user in some way to self-improve. Lastly, there is also a to-do list function, which is meant to help keep the user on task and focused, and allow them to finish whatever work they may need to do before they fall behind and create more stress for themselves.
How we built it
We built the frontend using React Native, using Expo CLI. Most of the project was frontend related, so most of it was made using React Native. We had a bit of backend in the project as well, which was done using SQLite.
Challenges we ran into
One major challenge we ran into was the fact that most of us had no experience using React Native, and most of our project ended up using React Native. Because of this, we had to learn on the fly and figure things out, which slowed down the development process. Another challenge was time zone differences, which caused some time conflicts and inconveniences.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Overall, we are proud that we were able to develop Ponder to the extent that we did, especially considering most of us had no experience using React Native. We are proud of our app's front end design, and the project idea is something that we're proud of as well, since we were able to think of features that we hadn't ever seen in any other app which we could try and implement.
What we learned
Many of us learned how to use React Native this weekend, and for most of us, it was our first hackathon. We learned what it's like being under time pressure and trying to collaborate and work towards a goal, and we learned about the challenges but also how rewarding such an experience could be.
What's next for Ponder
Next for Ponder, with more time, we could add even more features, such as things for tracking mood. We could also improve some functionality of some of the existing features, given a bit more time.