The GET app is one among many pandemic-era changes to daily campus life to which residential students have grown accustomed. To prevent congestion and overcrowding at Sharples, Essie’s, and the laundry rooms, the app requires users to reserve a timed appointment at these establishments. The app has not been too well-received, as students often complain about the excessive amount of clunky menus, drop-down options, and confirmation screens that they must navigate just to get a simple Sharples reservation. These widespread grumblings have not fallen on deaf ears, though. On the contrary, the developers of the app have listened attentively to the concerns of their loyal captive user base, and have been working tirelessly to implement new features that address the needs of the student body.
“Our team is very happy with the product that we’ve developed,” said Jim Hoefflin, president of CBORD Group & Horizon Software, the company that developed GET. “We created GET specifically with colleges and universities in mind, so we’re always listening to what young users of the app want and need.” Hoefflin emphasized the outsize role that input from user trial groups has played in the development of the app.
“In early beta testing we found that users were making reservations on the app too quickly. They’d just open GET, press one button, and have a reservation just like that,” he said. “This was a problem for us, because it violates our core design philosophy. Users shouldn’t just ‘use’ the app. They should experience the app. They should be uplifted, aroused, entangled in a coquettish dance of desire with the app. The app should bring them tantalizingly close to their order, edging them to near completion of the process only to pull away at the last second and subject them to five more unnecessary menus.”
To foster this unique experience, Hoefflin and his team set out to make the process of getting a Sharples reservation as circuitous and serpentine as they possibly could. And did so they did — the current version of the app requires users to:
1. authenticate their identity via fingerprint or pin number
2. select “Sharples dining hall” from a list of every eatery and laundry room on campus
3. select a date and time
4. select the time again because the scroll menu is so slippery that it landed on the wrong time
5. select “continue”
6. click “Sharples dining meal”
7. select “Sharples dining meal” again
8. select “add 1 meal”
9. select “view cart”
10. click “payment method,”
11. select “Spring 21 Meal Plan” as the payment method (the only option)
12. select “Schedule order one meal”
13. open Gmail, and finally
14. open the email confirmation
“We were very satisfied with the current version of the app,” said Hoefflin. “But we knew that we could take it further. We want to see students staring at their phones, moaning in frustration of unfulfilled desire as they spend hours fighting with an incomprehensible user interface and unresponsive touch options. We want to see students so thoroughly thwarted and hamstrung that they have no choice but to crawl back into bed, starving, in complete agony and desperation.”
This ambitious new vision will debut in version 4.6.2 of the app, which will be released on the App Store and Google Play next week. To open the new app, students will need to verify their identity by submitting their social security number, their mother’s maiden name, and the three numbers on the back of their credit card. Students will then need to swab their nostrils to verify their biometric data and confirm that they are COVID negative.
Once inside the app, after solving the mandatory daily crossword puzzle, students will need to scroll through a list of every single dining establishment in a 100 mile radius to select “Sharples dining hall.” Having selected Sharples, students will need to solve a series of differential equations that yield the available time slots. After finally selecting a timeslot at Sharples, students will need to go to Handshake to officially apply for a Sharples reservation. The application requires students to submit a resume, cover letter, and two letters of recommendation. Once they’ve applied, students will have to wait 2-3 weeks to hear if they’ve been selected for an interview.
Once they’ve been interviewed and accepted to the position, students will need to go to the island of Crete where they must navigate the labyrinth and defeat the Minotaur. After killing the Minotaur, students will be able to select payment options for their Sharples meal. Payment options will include “left kidney,” “your deepest, darkest secret,” “Spring 21 Meal Plan,” “Phoenix Plan,” or “right kidney.”
After selecting their preferred meal plan, students will be led by the god Anubis to the Hall of Truth, where they will be subjected to the Trial by Osiris, Lord of the Underworld and Just Judge of the Dead. Students will place their heart on a golden scale to be weighed against the Feather of Truth. If the student’s heart is pure and contains no evil, and thus is lighter than the feather, they will be allowed to confirm their Sharples meal order.
Before finalizing their order though, students will need to erect a shrine to ZAL/GO, the Nezperdian hive mind of chaos. This seemingly-unnecessary step is actually essential for making an order through the GET app. If a student forgets to invoke the hive mind representing chaos, then their order won’t go through and they won’t receive a confirmation email.
“We’re very excited about the new GET, and we are confident that students will enjoy it too,” said Hoefflin. “We can’t wait to see people writhing in misery as they struggle with the new interface.”