Our premium student skills development event for code & design students in the programme is Create Camp, a 2 day API challenge for teams of SoT2015 students. They’re supported by industry mentors, and the challenge this year was to use at least one New Zealand-based API or dataset, and build something cool in a weekend, e.g. a web/mobile app or data visualisation.
Here’s the first in a series of team profiles from our Auckland Web Create Camp, held at Spark Ventures on 8th & 9th August 2015:
Team WhyNot?: Vincent, James, Taranpreet, George, Marek
Lead Mentor: Kerry Halse from Halcon
The team built WhyNot, an android app forStudents, Tourists & people looking for something to do. Big cities like Auckland often have heaps going on, but trying to find something to do often proves difficult. Eventfinda offers a huge range of events, but their interface is a bit overwhelming and complex.Our target audience often find themselves with free time, but don’t want to spend ages scouring the internet for something to do.
We used multiple personas and scenarios to help clarify our target audiences needs, then based our minimum viable product to address them. Referring back to them throughout the development process really helped us stay on track.
We took the eventfinda API and stripped it down, creating a minimalistic native android app that makes it far easier for our target audience to see what’s going on close to them.The app displays only what is happening that day, in an easy to see list, with the name, description, price etc of the event. Users can also share the event using Facebook or SMS. Another screen displays all the events on a map, where they can see how close the events are to them and get directions if needed.
The whole purpose of the app was to provide a lighweight solution to accessing local happenings, truly taking advantage of the mobile platform to provide only what the user needs with minimal but enjoyable interaction.
If we had more time, further Facebook integration, making use of likes to prioritize events on the list, along with other social media sites, were all further features we would to like to have added.
The core API was the eventfinda API, which we used in conjunction with the Google maps API.The app was developed natively in Java, with layouts in XML as well as the data retrieved from event finda.
We used Github for our source control along with Slack as a means of communication.
The whole event was great, we all met a load of awesome and talented people and learnt a great deal, especially from all of the mentors. A massive thanks to Summer of Tech and everyone who contributed, we really enjoyed it.Even though we had our fair share of problems (including our app crashing right before presentations), it all came together pretty well and we are now currently working on furthering the app, this time without all the hacks!