Continutionation of the previous post
The following are the features we thought about.
The heart of the Reuse-It app is the search feature. Our idea is access to a searchable database of common and not-so-common trash items. The resulting search results would provide general information, recycling information and a location that you can recycle it. The location information would be tied to provided zip code or GPS information. At some point we could also use the phone's camera to scan bar codes. If something is not found in the database, we might ask the user to submit information to us to fill in missing items.
Questions about what to do with items like e-waste and old tires were common in our survey. The "Quick Links" is really an extension of the search feature. From the home page, we plan on providing some buttons to commonly asked questions.
This feature would extend the information from the search results and give the user ideas about how to reuse, re-purpose or up-cycle the items.
The following features are ideas we would like to explore adding in the future for our app.
This would be a way to report road side trash issues. Using the phone's GPS a user could report an issue they see in their community and even take pictures of it. These could go to community officials that maintain the roadways, be used for statistical purposes, or maybe to recognize individuals who help keep the roadside clean. These "Trash Tracker Warriors" could be recognized with digital badges or social media posts.
This feature would provide a way for individuals exchange items that they don't need any longer. Also people could post items they are looking for. If a match was found, the app would let the two parties message each other.
Where we are:
We ended up with a bunch of questions from our survey that needed answers. Our research took us to some interesting places Leading up to the FLL tournament we have been researching ways we could make the app. Guided by our coach, we picked a hybrid framework (Ionic) to base our design. We have designed our database schema for the initial feature set. We were able to get a "Do Gooder License" for Balsamic that we used to build our wire-frame mock-ups. Some of us have learned to use Balsamic and build a number of mock-up screens. This is what we are presenting at the FLL tournament as well as the K-12 Maker Faire, in the coming weeks. We have created a survey to get feedback from the public. We are also posting our mock-up on our blog and asking for feedback there. We have been able to able to get a few software development professionals to assist us in our early stages including our coach.
Plans going forward:
We plan on continuing to work on the wire-frame as we get feedback from the public. We will be meeting with some software business analysts and working their feedback back into the wire-frame designs. Our coach and some of his co-workers will start on backend development taking our database design and building it with some initial data. When we are happy with the mock-up and the database is done, we would start working developing the app. We have identified the screen development for us under the guidance of our coach. At the end of this effort we hope to have a working prototype and a better idea of the work involved.
From there we would continue to solicit feedback and talk to app development companies and/or individuals. Hopefully we would have enough information at that point to build a detailed plan with cost, timelines and recommendations. We would also look at funding methods (maybe Kickstarter, sponsorship or ads).
We hope our initial release will be fully functional for search, quick links and reuse-it for the state of Vermont. After that it should be mostly research work, adding more states. We think our work would cover Discovery, Wireframing, App Screen Designs Database Design and some of the Hybrid App development and some of the Back-end Programming. Some of the development effort we would hire out. We would look to volunteer for most of the quality assurance and testing, but possibly supplement that with paid software developers. Along with some other costs, we expect $10,000.00 would be needed for that initial release and we hope it could release in summer 2016.