REU Week 4

Hello all!

This week has been busy, but not as productive as I had hoped. Still, we’re making progress, and I think we’ll still be on track to be testing at week 9.

My work this week essentially consisted of further familiarizing myself with Xcode and Swift, examining the app Momento to figure out what features I like, setting up our GitHub repository, working to meet the goals assigned to us outside of our project, and working with Michael and Arash to create a list of features we want in our app and to design the layout of the app.

I’m continuing to work through the book Beginning iPhone Development with Swift 4, and in the most recent chapter I completed, I worked a lot with controls, including switches, buttons, sliders, etc.

This chapter also introduced me to alerts, which was exciting!

I’ve also been working my way through a set of YouTube tutorials. While I like the book, I found out the hard way that it’s slightly out of date, making one of the projects in it much less doable. The YouTube videos also help me to visualize concepts more quickly. After the tutorials are over, I’ll probably resume in the book, mostly because the next chapter is on multiview applications, and that’s what our app is going to be.

In other exciting news, our project is up on GitHub! There’s hardly anything to it at the moment, but it’s there! Click here to see it.

We’ve also started laying out how we want our app to look! Below is a design I created this morning.

In our meeting yesterday with the three of us, we thought we wanted our home screen to include large buttons, which would be easy for the mother to hit one-handed, linking to settings, profile, adding a new entry, and viewing old entries. When I was brainstorming this morning, however, I thought it would be neat if instead of clicking a button on the home screen, the mother could swipe right from any view in the app in order to start a new entry! If we pursued this design, we would probably have a small bar on the right side to remind mothers of how to add a new entry, and the home screen would be freed up to display past entries, which would hopefully entice the mother to open the app more frequently and scroll through pretty posts.

I shared my design with Michael and Arash, and both of them seemed to like it; now the trick will just be figuring out how to implement it!

For more features we’re planning on including in our app, check out this Google doc.

Some other important mentions from this week:

  • Tuesday all of the REU students helped out with IU’s Mini University, where older adults can come take a few miniatures classes! We taught them the basics of circuits and how to create light-up cards using LEDs and copper tape. I found it really fun and am looking forward to working with the Girl Scouts later in the summer.
  • We met with Professor Michael Chabin to talk a little bit about iOS development. We ultimately found out that he uses Unity rather than Xcode, and he offered to help us if we were willing to switch; we heavily considered it, but ultimately decided to stick with Xcode since we’ve been working with it.
  • We did not meet with Dr. Clawson this week; I didn’t see him in the office any day except Monday, and he was busy working with another group that day. I think we as a whole need to work on better communication among ourselves to make sure our visions for this project are lining up.
  • In our meeting yesterday, Arash, Michael and I had some different ideas on what content we thought the app should collect and how much it should be filtered. This is something we need to follow up with Dr. Clawson on.
  • We started peer reviewing this week, and I’m excited to get feedback on our draft!

Our new timeline:

  • Week 5: Get a significant amount of code in the app, continue developing ideas on what the back end of the app will look like, research and implement the features we want; work on our personal websites
  • Weeks 6-8: Continue to create the app and implement desired features
  • Week 9: Start field testing with other ProHealth students
  • Week 10: Devise ways for sharing this app with other students for further testing; ie: first-year SICE students to track their first couple weeks at college; do debugging and other minor adjustments

I think that’s about it! This weekend will be spent with some relaxing, as we have a ProHealth cookout scheduled for tomorrow, but I’ll also be working further in the book. Have a great one y’all!