Courtesy of IDK App

November 7, 2019

Turning ‘IDKs’ into Choices: Students Launch New App

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Indecisiveness is a universal plague. ‘Should I wear my parka or my light jacket?’ ‘Should I go to sleep early or stay up to study more?’ ‘Should I go out or stay in?’ Realizing this problem, a team of Cornell students from developed an app to help streamline and consolidate that process: the IDK App.

Created by a team of four engineering students, the mobile application allows users to post polls that exist for 24 hours. The app connects users via phone number; any user already in the poll maker’s contacts can vote in the poll.

The app can be used to ask any question with two answer choices. Examples range from weekend activities to course selection advice to ice cream flavors.

“The purpose of the IDK App is to get opinions from friends really quickly,” said co-creator Tae Kyung “T.K.” Kong ’20.

The team noticed that many people make important choices largely based on input from their close friends, but there was a gap in the app market that didn’t address this social phenomenon. Instagram story polls offer the choice of crowd-sourced decision making, but Kong and his team saw an opportunity to bring this functionality to an app of its own.

“It can be various sets of friends: people from their hometown, people from their high school, people that you’ve met in different clubs and organizations,” said Kong.

With the app, users can streamline the process of asking multiple group chats or individuals for opinions to simply posting one poll. The app is also intended to connect people mainly with their close friends, which is why it connects users via phone number and not social media, according to Kong.

The app’s team also consists of Kevin Chan ’20, Young Kim ’20 and Omar Rasheed ’21, who are all computer science majors. The ball started rolling on this project in May 2019, and they quickly organized a plan to finish their product once they reunited on campus after the summer. While other students were figuring out their class schedules, the app team was hard at work developing the interface. Chan, Kim, and Rasheed worked on backend development and Kong worked on interface and marketing.

The app was recently submitted to Apple’s App Store team to be approved for sale. If all goes according to plan, the IDK app should launch as soon as Wednesday this week, Kong said. The app will also include a few other Easter eggs, such as being able to change the color of one’s profile and emoji-related features.