The idea behind 'Floor' came from the question "How might we improve the university experience ?" while keeping in mind the theme of social good. Our target audience is first year students living off campus. There is testament to the challenges they face in addition to the expected challenges that come with transitioning into the university life. The team took the existing Off-Campus Donning program and transformed it into an online platform that reached out to more student.

What it does

The web-app replicates the on the campus residence experience by creating virtual floors based on the students locations and assigns them a trained upper year student as their residence Don. This creates a platform where students are able to meet first year students going through the same experiences within their proximity. The web-app also provides immediate contact with the Don, Campus Police, Health Services, Accessibility and Counselling Services. This introduces all the resources available on campus and potential events. 'Floor' is a tool that will cultivate an easily accesable community for first year students living off campus allowing them to meet students from different disciplines.

How we built it

  • Created a web app using AWS Amplify framework with React and AWS Cognito
  • Added authentication feature that handles user registration, authentication and account recovery using Amazon Cognito User Pools.
  • Managed app users with Amazon Cognito User Pools (users can sign in by creating a username, email, password and phone number).
  • Used React.js and Materials-UI library to build and design the front end pages with JavaScript
  • Used Figma for prototyping and wireframing
  • Used git and Github for version control

Challenges we ran into

When initially trying to implement AWS Amplify, we ran into lots issues trying to link an existing repository to an AWS account. We split the team into two, one team working on the wire frame while the other worked on trying to solve this issue. In the end we solve the problem but we used up significant amounts of time to do so. We also ran into the issue of trying to differentiate our product from existing products on the market. As such, we had to identify what made our product unique and focus on that.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The largest accomplishment that we are proud of is overcoming the issue with linking our AWS account to Github. This was an issue that would signifcally impact the project and the fact that we were able to solve it and continue with our project is something were really proud of. Also, being able to teach our two other teammates who have limited knowledge in coding some very useful things relating to Git and Javascript is something we're also very proud of.

What we learned

From this experience we learned how to link AWS accounts to an existing repository, how to use AWS amplify, introduction to Javascript and Github. In addition to the coding exposure, the team learned the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and skills. The team was able to come up with an idea and execute it due to the variety of skills presented in the team. Through the streams of development, business and design that were present in our team, we noted through the discussions how the success of our product is dependent on all three aspects equally. The importance of interdisciplinary collaboration will cary through in our future projects.

What's next for Floor

Floor is a stagered three phase solution aiming to helping first year students living off campus navigate their first year away from home. The first phase prototyped in this submission starts with three basic functions: profile, instant messaging, students location relative to their floor mates and services. The second phase would include multiple virtual floors that students can access mimicking the on campus residence life. This will allow students to connect and network with a various students and go to off-campus community events together. For the final stage the web app would link with a web-based learning management system that the given University uses (ie. Learn) to maximize the participation and reach out to as many first year off-campus students.

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