Mental health and wellness is very important to our team. Several of our team members struggle with anxiety and often find their minds racing with a sense of claustrophobic dread. Our goal was to design an offline application that can create an easily accessible calming "bubble" to help ground users when they are feeling overwhelmed.
What it does
This Windows application includes a variety of anecdotal and therapeutic tools to help bring a sense of relaxation to the user.
This application has:
- A Guided Breathing page, containing a box-breathing gif to follow along with in times of panic. Box Breathing is a therapeutic breathing technique shown to help lower heartrate.
- Wellness Stretches, a collection of low-intensity stretches designed to be done in one's office space to bring relaxation to the whole body without disrupting others.
- A random tea selector, to select a caffeine-free herbal tea from Twining's Herbal Tea Collection to help one unwind.
- A Smile Section, containing lots of cute animal pictures to bring a smile to the user's face.
- An optional music player, that plays gentle rain sounds to help drown out exterior noise and stressors.
How we built it
Our development process required a lot of perseverance, teamwork, and a little bit of frustrated yelling. We began with a mockup on Figma, and used it to guide our development process. We used C# to create our random image selection function which was used on three of our four feature pages. XAML was used for our navigation and UI.
Challenges we ran into
Most of our challenges arose from configuring GitHub to allow us to collaboratively and cohesively work in languages new to most of us, and unfamiliar with all of us.
However, we also encountered issues with implementing pages and setting up navigation, as well as determining the best way to implement our random image selector used on many of our feature pages.
Implementing our breathing gif also posed significant issues, as our content handler boxes did not play nicely with them. Additionally, we struggled to implement our music player in a way that was unobtrusive and achieved the envisioned functionality.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're incredibly proud of how much we were able to accomplish in only 36 hours! This is our entire team's first hackathon, and we're very pleased with the prototypes and product we were able to create. This was an excellent learning opportunity and helped us ALL build some confidence with developing on the fly.
What we learned
We learned that we function surprisingly well on minimal sleep! We also discovered a newfound appreciation for the complexities of UI development. Coordinating our buttons and features to behave exactly as intended was FAR more complicated that we initially assumed it would be, and as result some compromises were necessary. However, we learned how to persevere and make quick changes to our plans on the fly! We've never worked under such a tight time crunch and it taught us to trust our skills and be confident in our abilities, even if we're learning on the fly!
What's next for The Calm Down Zzzone and Distribution Plan
The UI design of this application allows it to be easily converted into a mobile application (for both Android and iOS) to bring The Calm Down Zzzone to users on the go. Ideally, this app would developed in a language that can be utilized on all platforms (such as React Native), however, due to the learning curve associated with a language completely foreign to all of us, this was not a feasible route.
To ensure The Calm Down Zzzone is advertised to those that need it most, we plan to partner with people who produce relaxing content online like ASMR and mindfulness podcasts. As this is a wellness tool, we would not be marketing it for-profit. However, our team explored the possibility of introducing non-intrusive banner ads, for which the proceeds would be donated to the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, a mental health facility partnered with 3/4 of our Hackers' university (Ontario Tech University).