We’ve all had the experience of needing assistance with a task but not having friends available to help. As a last resort, one has to resort to large, class-wide GroupMe’s to see if anyone can help. But most students have those because they’re filled with a lot of spam. As a result, the most desperate calls for help often go unanswered.

We realized that we needed to streamline the process for getting help. So, we decided to build an app to do just that. For every Yalie who needs help, there are a hundred who are willing to offer it—but they just usually aren’t connected. So, we decided to build YHelpUs, with a mission to help every Yalie get better help.

What it does

YHelpUs provides a space for students that need something to create postings rather than those that have something to sell creating them. This reverses the roles of a traditional marketplace and allows for more personalized assistance. University students can sign up with their school email accounts and then be able to view other students’ posts for help as well as create their own posts. Users can access a chat for each posting discussing details about the author’s needs. In the future, more features relating to task assignment will be implemented.

How we built it

Hoping to improve our skills as developers, we decided to carry out the app’s development with the MERNN stack; although we had some familiarity with standard MERN, developing for mobile with React Native was a unique challenge for us all. Throughout the entire development phase, we had to balance what we wanted to provide the user and how these relationships could present themselves in our code. In the end, we managed to deliver on all the basic functionalities required to answer our initial problem.

Challenges we ran into

The most notable challenge we faced was the migration towards React Native. Although plenty of documentation exists for the framework, many of the errors we faced were specific enough to force development to stop for a prolonged period of time. From handling multi-layered navigation to user authentication across all our views, we encountered problems we couldn’t have expected when we began the project, but every solution we created simply made us more prepared for the next.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Enhancing our product with automated content moderation using Google Cloud Natural Language API. Also, our sidequest developing a simple matching algorithm for LightBox.

What we learned

Learned new frameworks (MERNN) and how to use Google Cloud API.

What's next for YHelpUs

Better filtering options and a more streamlined UI. We also want to complete the accepted posts feature, and enhance security for users of YHelpUs.

Built With

Share this project: