My Work

The 4U Android App:

At the Univeristy of Washignton in the Informatics 200 class, "Intellectual Foundations of Information" part of the syllabus is for the students to design, research and prototype a product to solve a certain problem. We had pretty much free reign as to what we could do or tackle. Some groups made smart trashcans for physically disabled people, some designed voting apps to inform voters of important dates and breakdowns of candidates, and my group wanted to tackle mental health on university campuses. Specifically catching signs of depression and anxiety early so that we could work on proactively helping from the start instead of reacting after the fact.

We called our app 4U as the app was meant to not stick out if someone were to glance at your phone, and it's purpose was all centered on "you." In the end mental health is a very personal issue and so this was one of our main focuses with the app we were developing. The app would allow partnered universities to offer access to the application to its students with their student ID, but students would be anonymous to everyone. We would offer access to message board/chat rooms for a smaller number of people to discuss things in their life anonymously, and it would be monitored by a professional that could look for signs that a student was anxious or depressed or dispel any misinformation that was being spread like unhealthy coping mechanisms for example. We would offer games, videos for mindfulness, exercise and chilling. We would include a journaling feature, goal tracking, verfied information about various mental illnesses and a campus specific page with all necessary links to resources on campus related to mental illness. A user would also have the ability to contact a professional through the app and have a one on one chat with them after scheduling it through the app itself. All of this would be anonymous, unless there was a specific reason the professional felt they should know, or the school or otherwise notified. Things such as suicide risks and so on.

While we never actually built the app itself, it was a fantastic experience to develop an idea, research it, prototype it again and again, working from low to high-fidelity and finally presenting it. Due to time we never actually got to develop it though into a real app.

As Java is my main language, I always wanted to attempt to make an app that did more than display a random number, or count letters in an input string. That's where the idea to actually take all the designing and planning we did for 4U and actually build an Android app using Android Studio. It would give me a chance to experiment with Android Studio, expand my knowledge and abilities as well as bring the project to a proper end.

Development on this application has been effectively stopped as I realize that it is a large project and that there are more effective projects I could otherwise tackle. I have also been putting a lot of effort into my classes which have had their own projects that have taken up a lot of my free time.