We wanted to assist small businesses in today’s pandemic world by allowing them a platform to interact with their customers in a closer manner. Part of the charm of small businesses is the ability to get to know the owners personally and make a connection with them. With the world of business shifting online, we wanted to create something to bring back that owner-customer personal connection.

What it does

Jygsaw is an ecommerce platform tailored for small businesses that brings back the personal connection between shop owner and shopper. Small businesses can sign up and create a shop in Jygsaw. Users will be able to shop from a variety of local businesses. A user can enter the video chat room where they can meet the owner.

How I built it

We built the backend with express and used MongoDB to host the database. In addition we hosted our backend on an Azure VM and used WebRTC to enable video calling within the app. As for frontend, we used Javascript and, specifically, React.

Challenges I ran into

We encountered two major challenges that took up a significant amount of time throughout the event, with one being a challenge on a project management level and the other being a technical challenge. Our hack uses web communication technologies in order to allow video calling between remote clients, and we had difficulties getting this connection set up and serving the video feed because of the nature of the challenges of real time communication as well as issues with securely streaming video and SSL certifications. Our other major challenge was a project management challenge as we realized that over the course of the development of the hack, our idea was significantly more complex than anticipated and overestimated the amount of time it would take to develop. As a result, we were required to scope down parts of our project in order to meet time requirements.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We’re proud of the fact that we were able to create a functioning web app with a full front-end and back-end communicating through different API endpoints to pass data. Being able to create this app that can help small local businesses connect with customers virtually during a time of distancing and allowing businesses to continue to thrive as more and more retailers take their operations online is something we’re super proud of.

What I learned

We definitely learned the importance of scaling down an idea and taking time to discuss its details before implementation. It can be hard to jump right into coding if everyone is not on the same page for the end product and so it definitely helps to understand your own goals beforehand and find teammates with similar interests. With like-minded people, it becomes easier to streamline your interests and find a problem everyone is passionate about solving.

What's next for Jygsaw

Jygsaw will continue to build out features like video scheduling and product suggestions from the owner based on past purchases to enable business owners to connect with their customers Jygsaw will market to local businesses and begin driving traffic to the website.

How to run

cd into frontend and run npm start

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