Inspiration

As college students, we all had to face the difficulties of being an incoming freshman or transfer, or even prospective student! Incoming students are often overwhelmed, and large campuses leave these students disconnected with their community. There is no easy way for these students to ask and get answers to questions, especially anonymously. Across the whole UC system, more than 100,000 students are incoming freshmen, and more than 68,000 students are incoming transfers! Our team’s solution is a website and an app where UC students can connect with each other to receive advice, make friends, and share advice!

What it does

It allows students to communicate and ask questions they need, to get the answers, resources, and advice provided by staff, faculty, upper-classmen, and more! Students are also able to make friends, and provide advice to others! Students can ask questions from the website, app, and by texting to our number (267) 433-2248. Texting our number a question automatically posts an anonymous question, and students will be notified about responses to that question via text. UC Connect allows students to ask questions from all kinds of categories, ranging from classes and clubs, to places and mental health!

How we built it

Backend:

Using node.js together with express.js for the backend. Our servers work with any platform/codebase.

App:

The app was built using Ionic framework. Ionic is a cross platform for mobile development. We use Node.Js mongoDB as our back-end.

Design:

We first wireframed and prototyped the app using Figma in its early stages. We also used various free use illustrations and avatars as we created our design. The logo was created using Procreate and Figma to give it a more polished look.

Challenges we ran into

This was our first time using Ionic. We tried to learn as much as possible in order to build our app but due to the time constraints we could not finish the entire functionality of the app, but we were able to build a prototype.

Another challenge that we ran into was properly getting all the data from our backend. This was also our first time using Async functions in javascript. So dealing with promises was something we PROMISE never to do again.

We also have had a tough time deciding which color palette and typography that compliments both the app and the website.

Accomplishments that we’re proud of

Our team is proud of creating both a fully functioning website and an app in such a short timespan of less than 36 hours! As well as finding a way for everyone to contribute and apply all of their skills, regardless of background!

We are incredibly happy that we were able to make our project inclusive. It does this by allowing underprivileged students who only have access to a mobile phone (even a flip phone!) to ask questions and get answers quickly!

What's next for UC Connect

In the future, we hope to expand our solution to many colleges worldwide and hope to help all students connect with each other!

Links

Figma Design

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