The idea for BookMind came from our own struggles as well as conversations with other people. We realised that as much as we enjoy reading, we forget facts really easily! Our goal is to revamp the ‘I read 52 books a year’ - make sure more information sticks in and make it more entertaining. Because does it matter how many books you read if you can’t remember what you read about Our team are all book lovers and have read hundreds of books. However, recalling any specific information from those books is a real challenge. A great way to keep things longer in the brain is by getting asked questions about the subject. Some authors quiz their readers as part of the book but what happens after you put the book away for a couple of months?
What it does
The BookMind allows the user to refresh their knowledge on previously read books. Furthermore, it allows the user to be part of a community of fellow book readers by allowing them to create quizzes of their own. This happens in a very gamified and encouraging way. Additional features of our app allow people to diversify their reading portfolio as the points they are gaining from participation are evaluated by the category as well as overall.
Book Mind is community based just like stack overflow, it engages all the users to contribute and participate.
How we built it
At the beginning of the Hack we “came together” and outlined specific functionality we would aim to implement during the 48 hours. We split the functionality into specific tasks and added them to the Trello board. We did separate the design work from the app development. One of the team members was creating the designs and wireframes in Figma and Photoshop while the remaining two team members worked on technical implementation. Periodically we came back together to make sure we are going in the same direction and to identify any issues early on. Within two days we managed to build an MVP with fully working core functionality. We chose to build our app using React Native for the front-end and NodeJs with MongoDB for the backend. For book search we use Google Books API so our app allows users to browse, add questions and take quizzes on almost any book ever written (providing at least one user added the questions). The fact that the books are dynamically fetched means that the Book section is always up to date with the latest books included. Furthermore, the server has been deployed on the Google Cloud which made it possible for us to provide a working APK with the frontend. The technologies were chosen based on their scalability and relative popularity. Because of our robust tech stack, we believe BookMind can be scaled rapidly and made available in the marketplace with relative ease.
You can download our app by pasting this URL in the browser on mobile
It doesn't work if you just click on it, it needs to be pasted in manually. Alternatively, we added a drive folder that contains a zipped APK.
As well, we made a descriptive GitHub readme -> https://github.com/NiklavsM/BookApp
Challenges we ran into
48h sounds like a lot of time only on paper Our drive to implement more features left us little time for documenting the project.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We managed to deliver a great looking app with core functionality working in just 48 hours We managed to operate in a well-organised way with each of the members owning a part of the delivery. Our teamwork and communication were on another level. The team atmosphere and the collaborative spirit kept the team super productive.
What we learned
We learned a couple of new technologies like Google Cloud and MongoDB that none of the team members had experience using before. Furthermore with each of the team members bringing such a unique skill set all of us could pick something up from each other be it a technology or a way of thinking.
What's next for BookMind
We would love to continue the work on the BookMind to make it a market-ready application. We believe that BookMind with some additional time and funds can be put on the market. Furthermore, there were a couple of cool features we would love to implement that were left on our kanban board. Features like challenging a friend or sharing your accomplishments on social media would be a great addition to our application. Moreover, in the future, we could even collaborate with authors to create even better quality questions. Overall, designing and building BookMind has been a great experience and we would love to continue working together to deliver a full capability app to the marketplace.