Team: Rags to Riches

  • Claire Jin (claireji)
  • Jesse Ding (jessedin)
  • Tracy Yang (tracyy)
  • Maggie Cai (maggieca)


We wanted to create an application that would promote sustainability while also allowing people to have fun and engage with others while participating in Earth-friendly practices.

What it does

R2R is a virtual platform that connects people everywhere to share and exchange old items that they no longer need. R2R comes in as both an app as well as a website. Through the app and webapp, the user can sign in (or sign up first) with with account to upload items they're looking to exchange, view posts by others looking to give away old items, post their upcycling crafts to a community sharing space, and connect with others to either exchange items or just to chat. Additionally, as users make more exchanges and save more items from going to the landfill, they earn points that they can use to buy items for their in-app avatar character.

How we built it

We prototyped a website using HTML, which we embedded into a Google Site. Our site shows what a fully fleshed out version of R2R would look like and how the various pages would be linked together. We embedded editable text fields, maps, and purposefully chose which pages to hide in navigation from the client for the most seamless user experience. In the website, we also set up a preliminary form of data collection using Google Forms to collect data on new posts. Additionally, we created a UI/UX prototype for our mobile app using Thunkable. We also embedded user authentication utilizing Firebase to ensure that accounts are secure.

Challenges we ran into

This is the very first hackathon for all the members on the team. The process from developing an idea to the actual implementation of the project was a great learning experience. The first challenge we faced was coming up with an idea which would be practical and useful. Then to implement our vision, we learned how to use new tools, such as HTML, in a short period of time and came found ways to integrate the new tools with tools we had used before, like Google Sites. Additionally, we learned to think from an HCI lens because we needed to carefully plan out our website in order to link all the pieces together in a logical way that keeps the user experience as simple as possible.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud that we created a successful prototype at the end of this hackathon that accurately conveys our vision for the app we wanted to make.

What we learned

I learned that food and sleep are important. I learned how to implement user authentication in an app. I learned how to code in HTML. I learned how to select which pages to allow the user to see in navigation and which to hide for a more professional-looking app.

What's next for Rags and Riches (R2R)

Our next step is to transfer our prototype to another platform to create a more streamlined front end and then to create a functioning back-end that will make the features we envision a reality.

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