Inspiration

After experiencing the convenience Uber services bring with a peer-to-peer system, we looked for another problem that can be improved upon using such a system. Because we are prone to losing things, we decided to design a service that allows users to find and request help to find items that are lost.

What it does

ReturnBin is a website that allows users to submit requests for finding lost items by filling out forms with general inquiries such as description, location, and contact info. Then, users who are near the locations where items were lost are notified and sent a list of items near the area, which they can keep an eye out for. If someone finds the lost item, they can accept the item on the list and mark it as found. Users can then arrange for a method to return the item to its owner. Rewards/bounties may also be listed in the help request posts if an user desires to do so.

The prototype contains only the frontend code, with a submission form for requests (containing fields for image upload and basic google maps integration) and a demo list of lost items. We plan(ned) for it to allow users to post requests and have the fields be stored in a database that creates request templates on the request page. Location tracking on google maps and on-site contact methods/login system are also features we want(ed) to implement.

How we built it

The frontend was built using HTML and CSS, with simple functions of the website being created with Javascript. A simple Google Maps embed using was added using google cloud API.

Challenges we ran into

Due to our inexperience in web development, it was a challenge learning how to design a website, how to code the design, and how to deploy a site. However, the workshops at JamHacks helped a ton and allowed us to successfully learn the basics.

Another challenge we faced was task management, as we were unsure what parts each of us should and could do. The lack of team members rendered some tasks near impossible for beginners (such as creating a frontend, backend, and design within 24 hours). However, we were able to overcome most of the hardship through constant googling and support from workshops; in the end, we were able to achieve 2/3 of our goal, with our project only missing its backend.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Coming up with the project during the hackathon was a proud moment as we had no idea what to make previous to it. Learning how to create a website within the time limit with no previous experience was also something we are proud of.

What we learned

We learned the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JS and how to design and pitch a project under limited time.

What's next for Return Bin

We plan on creating the backend of the site by learning PHP and MySQL to make the website's operations functional. Additionally, learning how to use and integrating the Google Maps API for location tracking is another thing that we plan on adding. We also want to improve the frontend of the site by cleaning up the code and learning ReactJS.

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