Inspiration

Sitting for 8 hours a day in a cubicle week over week is a staple feature of many offices, but we are learning that these conditions promote physical health conditions and decrease life satisfaction. We want to empower workers with ways to stay engaged in their tasks throughout the day through periodic breaks in office work that encourage better physical health while fostering a better community culture.

What it does

“Your Move” is a chatbot which encourages workers to be active in the office space. It gives the users small physical and mental tasks to complete throughout the day and provides tips to incorporating wellness in the greater office community. Tasks like “Plan your next one-on-one meeting to be a walking meeting” and “Put a dollar in the nearest vending machine and leave it for the next person” are forms of light activity that over months can increase a team’s camaraderie and energy. The user has the option to reject tasks, and the app transfers information to a database about the frequency of people that accept or decline each activity, which can be used to design programs that better suit the interests and needs of the workplace.

How we built it

We wrote code for the chatbot in Javascript and hosted it on Heroku. We used the Facebook Messenger front-end interface with our app, and we wrote code for the Slackbot interface as well to show this product’s applicability across different platforms based on individual team needs. The chatbot supplies information to our database, hosted on DB4Free.net, which holds the user responses to the activities that they were offered. When the data is compiled in the database, we wrote a Python program to visualize the data from the company to track the successes and shortfalls of the program at engaging with the employees.

Challenges we ran into

Being new to javascript, we had difficulty with our original target platform Slack. We had to pivot our effort towards Facebook Messenger where most of the logic was kept the same and now we could use the better documented Facebook Messenger API. We were able to create a functional prototype after the switch. The concepts of the original MVP were able to remain the same with only some small code changes to form a connection with Facebook Messenger.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This project required us to use multiple languages and have many websites communicate with one another. The moment when all of the pieces came together, and we were able to secure the connection between the chatbot code, Facebook Messenger, the database, and the data visualization, brought the project to life and reminded us what we were working towards.

What we learned

We all learned about setting up a database and making connections with queries to update the data. Javascript was a new programming language for the group as well, and we learned about methods to test applications locally to debug successfully. Our group also tried to use Agile methodologies to plan the workload, which were new for most members of the team. Techniques to visualize the data using Python were used to give users an interface that provides value.

What's next for Your Move

We will continue to work hard to perfect and expand Your Move. In the coming days, we will add a plethora of features such as individual statistics for exercises, an improved UI, a better humanized bot, and much more. We hope to one day show companies how great it would be if they used Your Move to improve their employee’s health and wellness in the workplace.

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