<aside> 📌 The source code powering the Well app is open-source! Check it out on my GitHub at https://github.com/chroline/well_app.
It's an understatement to say that many students and adults feel the high pressure to perform and achieve highly in our modern society. This leads to feelings of anxiety, stress, and of course, burn out. In turn, these stressors negatively affect our productivity and overall happiness. Unfortunately, this inherently creates a feedback loop wherein we are unable to be productive and escape burn out.
So, how can we fix this pressing issue? Unsurprisingly, we weren't the first to consider how we can do so. Research has shown that daily reflection increases our wellbeing and state of mind. This only involves small, simple activities that challenge you to reflect on your day. Where we come along is compiling these small activities into a friendly interface that will help people to make a positive impact on their wellbeing.
I wanted The Well App to be able to make an actual impact on people's lives and actually be helpful, not just another journaling or self-reflection app. To do so, I researched a lot about the field of positive psychology and the science of well-being. If you are interested in learning more about the science behind The Well App and seeing some of the resources I used, jump to the Research page.
The Well app was built using the Flutter app development framework. For persistent storage (database), the app uses the Hive plugin which allows the app to create a custom storage schema and save it to a local database. The app uses the font "Work Sans" as its main font, and the design of the app adheres to the material design guidelines.
For design, I used Figma; using Figma, we designed the app UI/UX. For development, I used VS Code which has great tooling for Flutter with the Flutter and Dart extensions.
So much! This was my first time working with Flutter for an actual app, so figuring out how to work with it was a challenge but was definitely worth it for my future as a programmer. Designing the app before coding it was also a great choice because I knew exactly how I wanted it to look before actually starting the programming process.
In terms of life skills, not only did I improve my coding skills, but I learned how we can better manage stress and burn out in our daily lives. As a student, this is definitely something that I constantly face, but having these skills can help us collectively to improve our wellbeing.
Where to start! My main challenge was that he graphics rendering engine of Flutter can be very finicky, and as such, it took a while to design pixel-perfect UIs for each page. This was my first time creating a detailed app with multiple different screens and navigation systems. However, once I got a grasp of how it works, it was much easier to turn my Figma designs into reality. Furthermore, since the Web and Desktop versions of Flutter are still technically in development, there were still bugs that needed to be worked-around in code. Things like inconsistent designs across platforms and improper font rendering needed to be ironed out.
I am very proud of the amount of features I was able to include in the Well app being a one-person development team. Additionally, I love how polished the app looks, especially considering how closely it resembles our original designs. I put so much thought into every page that it was amazing to see it turn out as well as it did.