TAG ALONG

An immersive social engagement tool that fosters close-knit connections with like-minded individuals to prevent social isolation in its tracks.

Story Behind the Project

In North America, baby boomers are currently the largest generation by population. In the US alone, there are approximately 76 million baby boomers. Human beings are social animals that evolved to thrive in a collaborative network of people. Loss of social interaction can lead to negative side effects that are accelerated during aging. As a result, as the baby boomer generation ages, negative aging side effects will become more prevalent due to social isolation. Numerous studies indicate that this trend is a primary factory in declining health functions. It was concluded that social isolation is directly linked to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and cardiovascular disease.

What is Tag Along?

The Tag Along mobile application is a social engagement tool where users can create and share activities with family, friends or share to the public. Accompanying the functionality of this application, the Augmented Reality (AR) implemented delivers the information to the user in a friendly and immersive way. With this network expanding, any user can open the application and explore nearby activities that can be joined. This platform can foster friendships in a neighbouring way.

The in-app experience introduces a minimalistic user interface which removes the overwhelming nature of current social media platforms which seem to have endless variety of options and menus. This is done through:

  • Older adult conscious design
  • Simple UI style
  • Solid icon's instead of outlined ones, for better visibility
  • Colorblind compatibility
  • WCAG 2.0 accessibility compliance
  • Minimal gesture based navigation

Tag Along encourages users to do things "in the now" and develop hobby building in a safe and gratifying way.

Implementation

We started the brainstorming process by using mind maps to determine what the problem is, and different branches as to who it effects, when, where, why, and how. Which then lead to the realization of the product along with careful consideration for the target audience and the accessibility requirements that need to be supported. This resulted in the creation of wireframes through Whimsical, drawing illustrations, creating the AR functionality through Unity, backend development through Google Cloud API integrated with Unity using C#, and all of this combined to create a working prototype.

Challenges Encountered

  • Implementing backend support
  • First time using Unity
  • Thoroughly exploring all possible user interactions to ensure as many accessibility features are implemented

Proud Accomplishments

  • First time using Google Cloud API
  • First time using Unity for most
  • Addressing accessibility issues in a subtle way through detailed and thoughtful user interface design
  • Team chemistry

What We Learned

We learned to thoroughly outline the problem at hand before attempting to implement a solution in order to ensure all criteria and constraints of the problem are factored in. We also learned that time management is vital in creating a prototype for any project, this was done by breaking down the project into smaller portions and to set deadlines for each in order to track progress.

What's next for Tag Along

It is our hope to continue to develop our application by incorporating user created avatars that are personally customized, and implementing more AR activity scenes. Lastly, we hope that Tag Along encourages users to continue exploring different hobbies and activities with loved ones and newly found friends.

Meet the Team

Member Position
Ata Dogan UX Engineer
Thano Sipsis Product Designer
Kael Bosland Back-end Developer
Fares Issa Developer and Marketing
Amy Assabgui Illustrator and R&D

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