Book X-Change

Crafting a dynamic solution for students to exchange used books.

Expertise Provided

Brand Strategy
UX
UI
Backend Architecure
Development

Platforms

iOS, Android & Web

Technology

React Native, Phoenix, Blockchain

Book X-Change is a tech startup that caters to post-secondary students by facilitating the exchange of used books.

The process to be able to resell your used textbooks and the act of purchasing used textbooks is broken. It is quite hard for students to maneuver and a simpler way should exist. Many students rely on classified sites like kijiji and craigslist and have to meet off campus, with strangers and go out of their way to conduct at often times; a difficult transaction.

We have built a university specific web and mobile application that allows students to easily register (restricted to university users), and engage in a secure marketplace with everything you need to buy or sell.

Driving Design to Delivery

We reduced clutter, and streamlined the whole process. You do not even have to enter the complete author name or genre settings. Just slowly start typing the book name and our search API will do the rest. Makes a perfect listing everytime. You will however be asked to take a picture of the book and write a brief summary on the condition and other remarks on the book.

The Build: User Experience and Wireframing

At the core of Book X-Change is the MEAN stack - a JavaScript software stack for building dynamic web sites and web applications, consisting of MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js; the MEAN stack provided a hyper-scalable, efficient, and JavaScript only solution to build Book X-Change from the ground up.

With the use of a service-oriented-architecture. We were able to reduce the workload on the client side by pushing all of our application logic to the Node API, not only was this time-efficient, this also allowed for seamless mobile development with NativeScript, a JavaScript mobile framework that retains the speed and functionality of any native application.

Book X-Change is secured with a JWT solution. JSON Web Tokens is an industry standard RFC-7519 method for representing claims securely between two parties; protecting the API as well as our users.

Book X-Change lives on the cloud. We use AWS EC2 to host the API and AWS S3 for the Angular application and static files such as book images, and profile pictures.

Visual and Interface Design

Since the application is in partnership with York University we decided to implement the colors that represent the school, and utilizing secondary palettes of dark greys to a bright white. We wanted to make the visual interface appealing and easy to use, that way students can easily access the books that they require.

Screen mockups were initially built and put through a wireframe system rounding up to 50+ screens thus allowing a complete and thorough user experience

The Outcome

A solution so simple and beautiful to use that students were raving about how simple it was to now buy or sell their book. We are still working on what else users would like, but our beta test was quite successful.

We are looking to launch our first solid iteration on Jan. 1, 2019 and then drafts for other schools following shortly.

The Future

As this application is still in a prototype phase, we are continuing to note down iterations such as Wishlists, Featured Collections [based on the users searches], as well as payment integrations. But the main goal for this application is to expand to other known universities and be the first platform to unify student book exchanges worldwide.

Lets Get Started!

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