Inspiration

So, the past 2 years have been tough different. And businesses are hugely impacted, either for good, or for bad, but mostly it had a negative impact. Especially the ones that are related to art and entertainment in some form. Also, the traditional artists/creators/small creative businesses have lost their direct interaction with potential buyers and people who are actually using their products. Often times, we dont even know who actually made the product that we're using, as it all is mostly being industrialized and is presented from companies' perspective, not the original creator/artist. One more thing is that as the economy is shifting online, the interaction between buyers and producers is of course at a low level, for creators not using much technology, and they've in a way, lost the support and motivation upto a point. The artists are often underpaid, and they find it really tough to cope up with and earn a nice enough amount to sustain themselves.
This is indeed quite sad and must be thought upon, and that is why we came up with expresso, letting creators express their work, letting users express their gratitude, in a way making the creator-consumer relation strong!!

What it does

It's a platform for both creators and consumers. Creators can make their quick profiles on the app https://aakzsh.github.io/expresso/templates/signup.html and fill in their info like name, bio, modes of payment acceptance (PayPal, Google Pay) and submit to get their awesome personalized QR-Code, which can be downloaded with a button click. Now these creators can put this QR-Code on their products, like folklore art, books, utensils, etc,. and when people use their products, if they wanna support the creator, or simply get in touch with creator of the product they are consuming,
they can scan the QR-Code here:- https://aakzsh.github.io/expresso/templates/scan.html
and then they'll be able to see creators profile,
one example is https://aakzsh.github.io/expresso/templates/gratitude.html?user=Hci9OZgWFOaZf1mYdoBcDNuKEVR2#,
where they can type and send cute appreciation letters, or can provide a monetary support, with google pay directly integrated and PayPal's email visible on button click. So in this way, the user will be able to support their creators, and the creators wont be lost in this mad competitive race.

How we built it

As a framework for web app, we took HTML-CSS-JavaScript.
For authentication of creators, we used firebase's google Sign-In Auth kit,
For storing user data, we used Firestore database.
For scanning QR Codes, we used SitePoint Editors (an open source community) package for QR-Code text detection, basically the QR Code stores Firestore doc ids, so it passed that onto the js function which makes a callback to redirect to the creators profile page with the information that is fetched from Firestore in real time.
For generating the QR Code, we used JQuery, the complete profile function basically takes user info and pushes it into the Firestore DB, and gives our a doc id, and that doc id is exactly what is sent to the QR-Code generator, and is rendered over the screen, and could be downloaded thereafter of course.
For validating payments through google pay, we used google pay business API that can be integrated into Javascript, although its only partially functionable as we would need merchant id of each creator as well, we would be working on it in the future for sure.
The initial design was done in Figma, and then we coded it along HTML-CSS.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into a bunch of challenges, the biggest one being the time constraint, completing everything within the time limit was tough. We also struggled a bit with getting the firebase functions to work properly, since it was plain serverless Javascript, and also the callbacks for QR-Codes, but we finally managed it all somehow.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

First of all, very proud to complete the project. We're also very proud of the idea, the potential, and the change it can make in the society, and the simplicity of course. Also, it was a fun event so yea we enjoyed it all along.

What we learned

One of our teammate was almost new to Javascript, and he learned a lot. Then we learned many new concepts like using firebase in Javascript, validating QR codes.

What's next for Expresso

We would like to make google pay and PayPal functionalities 100% functional, and also would want to revamp and make the UX a bit better, to make it easier for everyone to use it, like adding toggle mode and other languages' support.
We also wanted to include giving a thank you card to creators, and created the python script for the same. We love love to convert that script into a flask rest api and use it to send thank you images through the website!

demo intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7L_hH7Mbz4

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