A few months ago the local Mudgeeraba Show contacted us with a problem:
“Help! We need an app!”
Volunteers down here at Gold Coast TechSpace got together and planned out a simple to use and (more importantly) simply to manage app that could be created in the short time span before the event.
This simple framework and build process opens up the project to a wider range of skill sets and experience levels. Someone with basic HTML/CSS knowledge could contribute to this project and use it as a learning platform to up skill in other areas. This project will be a perfect starting point for a student wishing to learn more about app development and the skills required, and we plan to use it in our ongoing Kid Hack classes (our local Kid Hack classes attract many people who want to create apps).
Simple to use:
We chose to have three categories within the app. A Schedule, Map and Venue list. These are easily accessible through “tabs” along the top of the app.
The Schedule Page is an easy to navigate list of all the events planned over the weekend. A user can quickly see the event name, category and location. A user can click on the event to view more details. Events that start at a certain time but continue all day are flagged as such.
The Map Page was fun to create. We opted for Google Maps with a custom image overlay. This way we could use the built in Google Maps “GPS Location Dot” to show the users rough location on the map. A user can click the “Locate Me” button and their “current location” dot will appear on the map. You can see the satellite imagery visible underneath our custom drawn map as well. Users can also open the standard PDF map to view more details if required.
The Venues Page is a simple alphabetical list of all the stall holders, venues and services available over the weekend. Clicking on a venue will show more details such as the location and a description of the venue. We can show important venues at the top of the list so users can find them quickly.
Simple to manage:
This was the most important part. We needed a simple way to manage the “information” within this map. Spreadsheets! Couldn’t get easier. We opted to use the free Google Sheets service so we could collaboratively manage the event schedule and venue listing within the app.
The magic here is we can update the time schedule in this “spreadsheet” and a few minutes later everyone using the app will see the updated information. We can change the time schedule or venue information on the day of the event and everyone will see this updated information. It all happens automatically behind the scenes. We couldn’t get much easier than this.
Here is what our online spreadsheet looks like. Staff down at Mudgeeraba Show are tweaking the schedule as things change and the app gets updated automatically. Super simple!
Download the app:
There are a few posters floating around the Mudgeeraba Show as well: