After a handful of peers separately voiced frustrations in the difficulties of navigating airports as hard of hearing individuals, an idea was sparked to solve this problem with an app.
What it does
Weid is a mobile application made to accommodate the hard of hearing community while traveling by providing an alternative form of communication to audio announcements via visual and sensory notifications.
In addition to airports, many other transportation environments make important announcements over loudspeakers, creating a stressful challenge for hard of hearing individuals while traveling, and putting them at risk of missing out on important information.
We designed Weid to be a centralized tool that delivers alternative means of communication with its users, providing visual and sensory notifications to supplement audio announcements while users navigate airports, train stations, and various other environments.
By doing so, Weid allows user’s to enjoy comfort, confidence, and social inclusion while traveling by mitigating confusion and exclusion in an industry that currently relies heavily on audio only announcements.
How we built it
- Planning + Design
- Research: User + Technology
- Plan: Features and UX
- Design: Wireframes and User Paths
- Build Out
- Design Frontend Architecture + File Tree
- Build out React App File Structure
- Develop Backend to house user account data, as well as Places and Trips as relational resources
- Incorporate external frameworks, libraries, and feeds to provide in app updates and notifications
Challenges we ran into
We initially were unaware of how we could access these announcements as usable data in our app. To overcome this challenge we did extensive research into current popular technologies in the transportation industry as well as communication standards. We found that RSS feeds would be very valuable as a foundation of data input, that we can later build upon and supplement with other external data feeds and APIs.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
What we learned
- Teamwork makes the dream work! We each had been hesitant to participate + complete a hackathon individually, but became very motivated when working as a team. We also were each able to bring different skills and ideas to the table and enjoyed working as an international team.
- We both learned about RSS feeds, and RSS feed readers for the first time.
- Challenges for the hard of hearing community still exist in many everyday environments that many people without this disability take for granted. However, we would all benefit from better technologies that focus on inclusion and accessibility.
What's next for Weid
We will continue to develop Weid into a fully functional MVP application. As demonstrated in our presentation and documents, we will initiate our launch of the app in the US, and look forward to gaining real user feedback, so that we can improve it's usability and technical features.