As current college students we have faced the problem of overbuying brand new textbooks when we simply could have found a more convenient and more sustainable option through our peers. If we had a way to find others around us that had the textbooks we needed, we would definitely buy from them instead of from our local bookstore, supporting one another and saving money through our college career.
What it does
Textbook Traders is unique from a regular bookstore not only because it supports college students, but it is also college specific, so every college has a unique library of courses/textbooks. Textbook Trader allows users to either list a textbook to sell or allows a user to look for a specific textbook for their class. The sellers add a picture of their book, describe the condition, the title, the course, and include a price. The buyers search for a specific category (ie. Art, Math, Computer Science) and a specific class (ie. Math2A), and the app shows all the current books listed that fit their needs. Textbook Trader allows buyers to buy a book straight through the app using an embedded payment system, and then connects the buyer and seller through a messaging system.
How I built it
We used Swift and Firebase to create an ios mobile app. We used Firebase to authenticate the user login.
Challenges I ran into
This was our first time using Swift and Firebase, which was a very challenging but fun experience. It was very hard for us to change screens when the user performs an action (ie. presses a button). Additionally, we didn't have enough resources to support our ideas, which made implementing our initial plans much more challenging.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Over the course of the hackathon, we got progressively more comfortable with Swift, as well as, getting exposure to mobile app development and UI/UX. One of the biggest challenges we faced was creating a PickerView for the user to choose from different drop down options. However, we asked for help from mentors and found online resources to facilitate the processes, making it a success.
What I learned
We learned that there are a lot of different tools, options, and varieties of things in Swift for us to create a more user friendly app. Additionally, we learned that all of this work is very time consuming.
What's next for Textbook Trader
We want to expand to other colleges, as well as, finish embedding the messaging and payment systems to make it a more cohesive app.