While attending this event and brainstorming project ideas, our discussion moved to possible challenges that the organizers of Hack The North would experience while gathering feedback for improvement. We realized that, for this event (and really for any other large-scale event), it was hard for those who were visually impaired or had similar accessibility needs to give their input. Since participants are often encouraged to express their thoughts in a survey to be filled out online, this would greatly deter or even bar the visually impaired from giving input if they could not easily fill out a survey without assistance.
Through this thought process, the solution to create an app that could handle surveys by voice alone came to mind. Not only would this provide those with accessibility needs with a means to express their thoughts, but it would also allow organizers to be introduced to another demographic with their own suggestions and input. Furthermore, those who do not have accessibility needs but would like to give input in another way would also benefit from Smart Survey.
What it does
Smart Survey reads out the contents of a survey to a user from start to finish, one question at a time, and uses voice input to allow them to fill the surveys out in a hands-free manner.
How it was built
Challenges we ran into
From an accessibility standpoint, we found it difficult to find a balance between being succinct versus being too overbearing with our voice assistant in giving directions. The members in our group were occasionally split up and doing a variety of different tasks in order to complete our project, and we found this was effective, but was still an challenge as we each had our own piece of information.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are really proud of getting all the different APIs we used to work together in an cohesive manner, creating both an satisfying and useful product.
What we learned
One thing we had learned from this project that it may often be difficult to provide for those we don't have a significant amount of experience interacting with. Another major thing is that integrating many different APIs from different companies may be very difficult as they are all unique, causing some conflicts with different APIs.
What's next for Smart Survey
There are still an number of functions we are intending to add to Smart Survey, such as help and pause functions, providing more in terms of accessibility for those that need it. We also will need to make our general program more streamlined, allowing for greater ease of use as it currently may feel bogged down in certain situations.
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