Project.Incoo, How I Built An App?

How to somehow develop an app, LOL.

5 min readDec 7, 2018

A story of my class Technology and Application, about how a lazy bitch — me, overcome the final project.

The class itself requires we to first find a community that we are passionate about, identify an issue or need for members may have, come up with a possible solution that can be assisted by using technology, including both software and hardware.

My project is called Incoo, I chose the software direction, which I (somehow) developed this app for the solo traveler community. (The idea was inspired by one of my friends, who is a solo traveler and have some issues with his traveling.)

Incoo, a mobile application that helps with improving communication efficiency for solo travelers.

Here is how project.Incoo made.

Traveling sounds amazing. Solo traveling sounds even more exciting.

“Leave your school, leave your work; you go to different places, explore different things, capture unforgettable moments.”

But one moment had definitely frustrated our trips when we landed in a foreign place. And especially, when we were lost, when we were hungry, even when we injured on adventures.

I guess this that a situation where solo travelers often encounter, but with our nowadays technology, it’s so easy to “solve” all these, you can search on Google Map about where to go; you can ask Siri about where to eat, she can also do translation now, etc.

But what’s next? Assuming now, you are going to a restaurant.

“你好,想吃点什么? (What would you like to eat?)”

You will be like: “oh, wait a minute, let me use a translator…”

When you finally figured out how to talk with this person in that context, your next table will probably be finished eating. Also, you are most likely to get this: “Four Happy meant balls (四喜丸子:braised pork balls in gravy; Ants climbing trees (蚂蚁上树:Vermicelli with spicy minced pork.”

Joking, but it’s possible. And it is an annoying issue for our solo traveler community members. Because of the language barrier, the hardship of dealing with instant conversation with the local people is a real struggle. Accordingly, it may affect our trips with finding hotels, restaurants, cafés, local shops, and (sometimes) pharmacies in a foreign land.

Thinking about this very issue, my starting point of applying technology to this problem is how I can help solo travelers to reduce the language barrier when they are struggling with coming up words/phrases in instant conversations when they have to talk with local people. To apply technology to this issue, my idea here addresses how to get solo travelers pre-equipped before they enter a place and start to talk with local people, for example, a restaurant. Instead of letting them do the input like how they use translator apps. My idea is to give predefined and useful phrases to solo travelers so that they can use right away.

“With project.Incoo, solo travelers’ traveling experience can be much easier and more manageable.”

Introducing project.Incoo, a mobile application that helps with improving communication efficiency for solo travelers. Incoo stands for “Instant Conversation,” as the app’s primary goal is to improve communication efficiency between solo travelers and the local people. Incoo takes advantage of mobile GPS, cloud map service, and online translator that the Geo-location and map service can provide information of where is the user and what’s around the user; when users surrounding information is processed, then the map will display different pin animations regarding nearby stores, restaurants, malls, beauty salons, and local pharmacies. Every annotation is clickable so that users can click in and see provided phrases. (Contents are displayed in both languages — the users’ mother tongue and the local language) The built-in translator is based on Google Translator API, uses can have further searches with translating words.

The design of Incoo.

It varies from what incoo actually looks like when I programmed it in Xcode. But ideally, my original plan goes like this:

Designing “Incoo” is about linking design concepts to real life. Since Incoo addresses the real-life issue for solo travelers, its design language is directed by the principles of efficiency, convenience, and joy.

Incoo uses familiar metaphors for its design, especially in its icon. The design of icon is inspired by solo travelers, human communication, which it abstracts the very attributes of people and languages then uses vivid color, appealing contrast, and understandable glyph to create focus, and deliver the meaning of its usefulness and functionality.

The user interface design features consistent theme color, shape, elevation, light and shadow effects to produce a balanced design pattern. The primary color that Incoo has used was Yellow, and it is wildly used as the dominant color on many interfaces include the major color of the icon. The secondarily color applied to Incoo’s UI is dark orange, it is mostly applied to buttons and other screen elements to create contrast, focus, and the hint of interaction. Typography — The typeface for displaying heading title is Futura; Other contents are displayed by system default, for example on iOS — SF Display, and SF Text, PingFang SF, etc.

The design of user experience also features a fluid and delightful user experience. The operation logic as illustrated below. Animation and motions are expected to enhance the user experience.

My submission of this assignment is ready, but further modification is also in process. I will upload project.Incoo on Github, although it is not programmed in an advance level, the code is good reference for those who are beginners like me to develop iOS App, specifically, the code of project.Incoo includes using CoreLocation, MapKit, WebKit and UIKit in iOS. I discussed how to set up maps, how to add multiple annotations, how to customize annotation views, how to direct annotation call-out actions, how to create floating action buttons, how to segue to multiple view controllers, how to pass data between view controllers, how to set up basic WebKit view, how to customize navigation bar, how to set up table view, etc.

Thank you for reading, hope my poor writing didn’t bother you that much. I am doing a 30 days writing challenge, I gotta keep practicing writing. I will try my best to do better! Have a wonderful day, my friend:)




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