Electronic Application Transformation (E.A.T.) School Lunch UX Challenge

What it does

The web application will be for users to apply for free or reduced school lunch for children. The application will help eliminate many errors in current applications (paper and online versions) that can result in incorrect eligibility decisions for children. Once the applicant has completed the form, it will then be made available for school administrators to be able to help them make these eligibility decisions. The administrators will be able to export the filled in form as a pdf.

How I built it

I built the application using Java as the back-end and java server faces (JSF) as the front-end primarily through Primefaces (a JSF component suite). The form data is stored in a MySQL database. I used ActiveJDBC as my object relational mapping tool (ORM) to map objects to the database. Both the web application and the database reside on a Linux box. Apache Tomcat is used to build the application. I used Redmine to manage the development of my project. Redmine was used to keep track of things to implement and as well as bugs.

Challenges I ran into

One challenge was making the application easy for everyone to use ranging from younger to more senior users. Younger users may go through filling out the form without taking breaks while more senior users may want to take a break throughout the process periodically. That's why at certain points while filling out the web form I have a dialog pop up asking the user if they would like to take a break or to continue. If the user selects to take a break, the application will save the data as well as where they left off.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud because I feel this application can be easily filled out by most if not all people, the application will tremendously reduce errors (ranging from required sections of the form needing to be filled to income calculations) and help low income children obtain free or reduced school lunch.

What I learned

How to make web applications more suitable for a diverse range of users.

What's next for Ultimate_School_Lunch_Form

Hopefully my application will be chosen as the winner of this contest and serve as a model for future school lunch applications.

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