Traditional retail is undergoing a seismic shift where self-serve technology is essential for growth, operations, and more with almost every facet of the merchant and consumer experience being redefined through new cultural norms. Our main inspiration for this project came from our community and these new times of uncertainty.

What it does

Our application runs solely from existing square merchant menus. These menus then populate on our user-friendly self-serve software. Our main objective for the software is to emphasize customer loyalty and safety, by being able to create an intuitive/gamified loyalty program with squares API and promote COVID-19 safety guidelines given by the CDC.

How we built it

Engineer Aspect:

  • Most of the transaction, order, and customer information were acquired through robust Square APIs that track large volumes of this incoming data. Using our own NodeJS Rest Server we were able to access this information, along with menu and category information. With this repository of data, we were able to create a visual representation of the menu. Our newest functionality uses the Square Loyalty program to store customer information, and create a rewards program that will get customers back into stores.

Design Aspect:

  • We determined the target audience & understanding their needs based on research: > merchant: to build relationships with customers & increase revenue, cope with COVID > customer: to have a smooth & enjoyable self-order experience, incorporating a social aspect
  • Identified opportunity areas: customer loyalty program & set pick up time
  • Created wireframes based on these needs, ranked & determined to go with the ones with more priority because of limited time.
  • Communicated with engineers about flows & feasibilities

Challenges we ran into

Engineer Aspect:

  • One of the biggest challenges we had was using the Square API functionalities in our iOS program. The API does not have the best documentation for iOS so we had to create our JS Server to more feasibly create queries for the information we needed. Another challenge we faced was linking information across the Square APIs. Since the API information is inherently linked, we had to build our own infrastructure that stored and organized all Square data.


  • Ranking desired functionalities & having to make compromises within the limited time understand that not everything can be implemented.

Accomplishments that we are proud of

Engineer Aspect:

  • Our engineer team is proud that they created a fully functional application that was robust and easy to use. We were especially proud that our team was able to build an infrastructure that we believe improves on Squares data storage. We were able to leverage this interconnected, yet flexible repository of information to create an application that better tailored to the needs of the customer.


  • Delightful customer journey
  • Provided a way to benefit both merchant & customers
  • incorporated pleasing & fun visual elements

The biggest accomplishment for the whole team was the fact that we were able to complete all this in one week

What we learned

Engineer Aspects:

  • Getting experience in full-stack development is very important and utilizing the Square API required me to learn a lot of skills across UI/UX, networking, Swift, Javascript, databases, and more.


  • The importance of user stories to establish the team's common understandings.
  • The need to consider consistency when designing to save the need to create various screens from engineering's perspective
  • While it's important to think about edge cases, it's more important to focus on the most relevant user journey and making that journey delightful first

What's next for Project Arya

  • As we continue making improvements to project Arya, our main goal is to help our communities and their businesses grow in the crazy world we live in today. That's why with these updates made within this hackathon we are going go to continue to reach out to our fellow communities with our services to help grow.

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