The back story
In April 2021, when the second wave of COVID-19 hit India, Pune was the worst-hit district. Being a Pune resident, I saw all my close ones testing positive, my relatives testing positive, and even lost some of them. My own family had tested positive, and my father was in the ICU. It felt like everything around me came crashing down all at once.
With everyone looking for medicines, plasma donors, injections, oxygen cylinders, and ventilators, I felt those around me could use some help. I decided to create a one-stop platform for all resources in my vicinity to simplify things and reduce the time it takes to track down these resources.
Knowing I did not have enough time to work on a backend, frontend, and database, I opted for something that I could have ready quickly and would be user-friendly. I did some research and came across ‘Glide’.
Glide enables you to use any Google Sheets spreadsheet and turn it into an actual mobile application with no coding and minimal effort. The process is relatively simple — you start by selecting an existing Google Sheets spreadsheet or create a new one using templates Glide offers and then use the website’s visual editing tool to design your app.
Navigating through it
My first and most tedious task was creating a database. I narrowed my search to three main categories — test centers, pharmacies, tiffin services. I had to collect not only the basic details like addresses of pharmacies and test centers and prices for tiffin services but also verify all contact numbers and services. I created a verified database of almost 25 pharmacies, 15 test centers, and 10 tiffin services only for pin code 411007.
Then came the task of exploring Glide and creating the app. It took me a couple of days to get the hang of the tool, but it was fairly simple to use later. After applying several different filters and features, I got the application the way I envisioned it. It was user-friendly and seamless. Although a guest user can access the application, I added features to sign up and log in. I also added a feature for users to add any additional verified pharmacies, test centers or tiffin services they may own or be aware of. For the main home page, I created a PNG on Canva and synced it with my app using my existing Google Sheet itself.
Wireframes of the App
The app proved to be very helpful to residents of the locality. It helped families, friends, and senior citizens and was shared on community groups across Pune.