Using Power Apps to build a safety mobile application with SharePoint and Twilio
Published Jul 20 2022 01:34 AM 2,396 Views
Copper Contributor

It's time to take safer routes over shorter routes! 


Author Introduction:  


Hello, I am Vidushi Gupta, a Gold Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador from India. I am an undergraduate studying computer science and engineering specialized in Big Data Analytics. I love playing around with data and numbers and then tell a story with that information which makes an aspirant of being a data scientist/analyst. I love to solve problems together in a community and am a strong advocate for community learning and building.  

Vidushi Gupta ProfileVidushi Gupta Profile


Inspired by the quote – “Be a force for good,” I wanted to understand how I could be a force for something good in life being a student. I applied and was accepted to the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors program in January 2021. During my journey in the program, I came across people of different regions, skills and technical abilities and learnt how to interact, deliver workshops, write blogs, lead teams, mentor projects and make projects myself. In January 2022, the new year, I wanted to make a project that has a positive impact on the society – enter, social impact project (Quarter 1). Sayantani Deb, Jasleen Sondhi and me quickly formed a team to build a project for the impact we wanted to create in the society! 


Social Impact leaguesSocial Impact leagues


Prototype sprintPrototype sprint


- Motivation behind our build:  


Our team – SafetyPins- is an all-girls team and we were discussing about few issues that could be addressed in a prototype sprint. We realized that women are extra cautious while walking on the roads after sunset. All the catcalling, the robbery of gold necklaces and kidnapping is something that makes roads very unsafe in the dark. Approximately one in every two women feel unsafe walking on the roads after sunset. With the motivation of reducing crime rates and making roads safer to walk, we built SafetyPins to provide a safer walking experience. 


“Feeling safe is a basic human right. It is easy to be victim of the numerous wrongdoings or natural catastrophe while travelling on your own.” 


Here’s what SafetyPins’ PowerApp looks like:


PowerApp gifPowerApp gif




- What SafetyPins does: 


  • Navigation: It uses the street light data and helps the user with the safest path to reach their destination. (Scope of improvement) 
  • Emergency sirens: It also has about six built in sirens to alert people around in case of any emergencies or when they would want to attract the attention of people in public. 
  • Emergency contact: Furthermore, it stores emergency contact numbers in case of emergencies, they can be immediately contacted within a press of a key. (Uses Twilio) 

- Team Experience:  

Ideation and problem identification:  


As a team, we knew we wanted to solve an issue that could ensure better safety for women. But we did not know what that could be or how can students contribute to a better safety. After rounds of discussions, we figured we could make a safety application. This led to another round of brainstorming as to the features that we could incorporate in the application in time of one quarter and produce a prototype of our solution. We then invested time to lay out the designs of our app on Figma so that we could finalize features as well as the layout for our PowerApp.  

Here's what our low fidelity screens look like:  


App wireframesApp wireframes


And then we refined this further and make high fidelity screens for our PowerApp- SafetyPins: 


App UI screensApp UI screens



Time Management:  


By the time we finished building the UI of our app, India was going through another strong wave of COVID-19. At various times in our project, all the team members and their families were affected with COVID-19. This pandemic hit made it difficult for us to manage time with the project, university examinations, taking care of our health, supporting parents and peers. None the less, we built an asynchronous working nature in our team and would spend time individually learning more about the concepts that were essential to build our PowerApp. With this, we spent a great deal of our time figuring out authentic source of street light data and then learning how to embed the same on our PowerApp. Grateful to Lee Stott and Someleze Diko for their timely support and encouragement 


Mentor LeeMentor Lee



Mentor SomelezeMentor Someleze



Learning Curve: 


 We are all developers and have been used to making applications/web pages from scratch using code, but we decided to go ahead with PowerApps since we wanted to get our hands on a new Microsoft Technology. Since this was our very first time working on a low code application, we had a significant learning curve throughout the project which of course we loved and learnt on our way! Our saviours were the extensive documentation, PowerApps community, Student Ambassador league channels, CPMs and league leaders and a few YouTube videos.  


Accomplishments that we’re proud of:  


This was our first time working on Microsoft PowerApps, we loved it and :sparkles:WE MADE IT:sparkles:. With this, we’re also proud of collaborating and working in harmony despite severe obstacles like being in different states, the pandemic hitting us, side hustles and university examinations. 


SafetyPins team photoSafetyPins team photo


This was SafetyPins and their experience working on a social impact project. Thanks for reading till the end! We all are still working on the future scope of this app as and when we get time. You can check out our project GitHub repo here. Just like we have learnt and grown together in the Student Ambassador program, you can too- check it out here 


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‎Jul 20 2022 08:07 AM
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