I'm an ADHD Student, and like most ADHD Students I know I have trouble keeping track of events in my daily life. I had an idea that if a calendar was easy enough for me to use and as fast as possible, that I would finally begin to schedule events and have more free time.
After talking with multiple ADHD friends from high school I realized this was a widespread issue among ADHD people. Now that I knew there were people who could benefit from an app that made calendars easy and with more versatility, I set out to build the perfect calendar with a friend (Xavier Anderhub).
What it does
Usability: The key to our design is simplicity. Everything that we designed had usability in mind so that people who hated using calendars would feel more comfortable using our app. We also plan to have a high contrast mode for people with vision impairments at a later date.
Speed: We designed ProcrastiNOT to be as fast to use as possible. Most calendar apps require users to tap elements on screen in order to choose the next calendar event field, but ProcrastiNOT allows for the user to never have to leave the keyboard. And in the case where you do leave the keyboard we felt that in the specific case of our alert selection screen it helped usability.
Anti-Procrastination: ProcrastiNOT is nothing without its alert system. The goal of the alert system is for people to set up as many alerts as they want and be much more specific with when they should get alerted.
For instance, a user would be able to choose to be reminded every day, or every other day, or Tuesday and Friday, or any other combination of days at a specific time they choose. An example would be every Tuesday and Wednesday at 4:30 because that is when they have a block of time to work on an essay.
Each of these reminder settings would be saved as 'presets' so that they can be reused at any time.
How we built it
We started both working on UI, but we quickly realized that our strengths were in different areas so we split our work into front end and back end.
I (Amit Nagdev) worked on back end while Xavi Anderhub worked on front end. Matthew Hess built the alert selection page UI.
Challenges we ran into
Xcode has a bug with git in version 9 or above that causes problems with Git. For instance, we would commit changes via the IDE then immediately attempt to push those changes and Xcode would abort with a message saying to commit changes first despite already doing so. It resulted in hours of setbacks.
Aside from this, I ran into issues with building layouts in iOS as I had never had experience doing it programmatically.
Another issue that comes from the Git issues is that we were not able to work on integration of back end and front end due to time constraints.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We built an amazing proof of concept that was true to our vision. And we have all the pieces to finish the project, the last step is simply integration. And we know integration can be a big task, but we are fairly confident that with our communication throughout that we should have a relatively "easy" time of integrating.
Our biggest takeaway is that we intend to make this a full app at some point and we are 90% there in terms of making the app function perfectly. To us that is a huge accomplishment for a team mainly consisting of two programmers only working over 24 hours.
What we learned
- Find our strengths before the project begins so we aren't both working on UI if someone is better suited to work on the back end.
- The tools you use matter.
What's next for ProcrastiNOT
Finishing integration with back end is the priority. Once that is complete, the app will be fully functional. We also have a group focusing on designing better visuals for when we eventually try to sell the app. We are focusing on perfecting the product through targeted user testing of ADHD students so that when we release ProcrastiNOT it will hopefully be successful.