At Princeton University, our home base, Counseling and Psychological Services is a robust but somewhat inefficient branch of our health system. Students often have to wait weeks in between appointments, making it easier for students to fall through the cracks. We were inspired to build an app that tackled this issue to streamline the process of accessing psychological services on Princeton's campus.
What it does
Speak matches students with a health professional suited to their needs based off of a short and straightforward questionnaire about what they are going through. Once they are matched, they can enter a chat with the health professional.
How we built it
We used Xcode and Swift to create an iOS app because we wanted to learn a new skill. Our team consists of three freshman from Princeton, with two having taken an introduction to computer science course and one who has no prior programming experience. Two of us had never been to a hackathon so we came in with absolutely no clue how to start.
Challenges we ran into
We had zero prior knowledge of Xcode, Swift, and app development in general, but we were determined to make an app. Xcode was initially extremely confusing and we did not understand how it worked together with Swift. Concepts like constraints, outlets, and actions in Xcode were foreign to us. We struggled to conceptualize object oriented programming in a brand new language. With a lot of research and perseverance, we gained a basic understanding of how to code in Swift and how the IDE Xcode functions.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are extremely proud of the fact that we were able to create a native app in less than 36 hours. We learned how to use Xcode and Swift for iOS app development. We learned Swift as a language and app design in Xcode.
What's next for Speak
We hope to introduce Speak to the Princeton University student body through the student government. With their support, we would like to expand our chat function, to allow students to directly talk to a Listener via the app. We also hope to increase the personalization of the app, growing our questionnaire while keeping it streamlined, and allowing students to save their information and create accounts.