As university students, our members have been fairly busy due to our academic workloads. Because of this, we have been unable to find time to take our dogs on walks. As a result, it was in our best interest to design something that will help us solve this problem, and hence, Walk The Dog was ideated.
What it does
Walk The Dog links busy individuals with volunteers who are willing to walk dogs. Users can also sign up as volunteers to help other busy people.
How we built it
We decided to integrate Walk The Dog as a feature for Amazon Alexa. Since Amazon Alexa is covering a wide user base, Walk The Dog will have access to a huge user network. We used Voiceflow to make the product along with Airtable for API management. We also added intents (a feature of Voiceflow) that allows non-linear conversations and experimented with their API steps to use Airtable. Another technology that we used was Figma. Since members of our team are beginners, we thought it would be a good idea to plan out our project as a website. Figma helped us to visualize what a final web application for Walk The Dog could look like. Finally, we used Coda to create a doc for our project that highlights its key features and describes our design process as well.
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge that we ran into was diving into web development without having much experience with it. At first our team decided to create Walk The Dog as a web app, however, our members were not that experienced with it. This caused a lot of wastage of time and we had to look for other ways to implement our project. A second challenge was getting the API requests to function properly. A lot of time was wasted only to find out that there were syntax errors in the API request. All in all, the challenges that we ran into made us better at adapting to different situations and of course better hackers.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The biggest accomplishment that we're proud is finishing the project. Although our project did not go as planned, we are very proud of navigating through the challenges that we faced and developing a final product. We had our eyes of the "Best use of Voiceflow" prize and we are proud of a project that involved Voiceflow. Also, personally, this was my first hackathon and I'm proud to have participated and completed a project.
What we learned
We learned to use Figma, Coda and Voiceflow as well as API's like Airtable. We also learned about other technologies through the awesome workshops offered by the HackTheNorth team. Making a project is not easy and we learned how we can face the challenges that arise during project development. Most of all, we learned about each other's strengths and how to be successful in a team.
What's next for Walk The Dog
We plan on developing the web component for Walk The Dog and integrating additional features in the voice app.