Technews Writer
Sat Apr 07, 2018

Started in 2017 as a class project by team members Heather Nelson, Daniel Wojtowicz, Keith Baleman, and Akhil John, piniit (pronounced "pin it" with an extended "I" sound) is a web-based application (with a phone app in the works) designed for campus event planning. As of writing, piniit will have come out the week of April 2. According to Nelson, one of the two team members present at the interview for this article (the other being John), "it gives the individual student at IIT the ability to create their own events. You don't need to have a campus organization to have a pickup game of smash brothers...you can just drop a pin on the map and people will be able to see it and rsvp."

Built on minimalism and convenience, the functionality of the piniit app is very simple: users with Illinois Tech email accounts (pulled from the Illinois Tech address book), create an account and log in at piniit.com, view the map to gauge the day, week, or month's events, and pin events to the map with the add button. In addition, the application offers a list view to see a more streamlined view of events. Events also appear as different colors on the map, with orange being regular student events and red being from student and other campus organizations. Nelson said that it would make sense to have Welcome Week events also appear in the app, so long as the focus of piniit still remains on student / organization-created events. On that note, once it's ready for mass usage, piniit will be pushed through official Illinois Tech channels, offering school-based promotion alongside student-based promotion, and for now is only planned to be pushed to student organizations.

In regards to future feature implementation, John mentioned push notifications and an event filter feature, which Nelson noted that a tagging system would be employed for. In addition, Nelson noted that being able to favorite other users in order to give their events more prominence on the map is a feature being considered. When asked about the addition of a guest list feature for event creators, she said that was a planned feature as well. Further future additions include Google Calendar integration. It should be noted that the team wants to implement convenience features through the use of Google app permissions, but also wants to avoid keeping as much data as possible. Further features will be rolled out based on usage feedback. For interested parties, piniit is built with the CodeIgnitor framework, which includes PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and MySQL. In addition, they use Git for version control and application maintenance.

According to Nelson, new users should "drop a pin" for an event like a study group and see what happens. You can check the app out by visiting piniit.com on desktop or mobile and creating an account. Feedback can be sent to [email protected] 

Channel