Mobile applications otherwise referred to as Apps have revolutionized communication and connectivity. Almost everybody today owns a smart phone capable handling applications. Apps are convenient because the user does not incur carrier charges other than the internet connectivity costs. This is a paper on a Book Exchange App. Special focus is given to the design and architecture of the app and how it will help students trade books amongst themselves.
The objective of the Book Exchange App is to ease the task of laborious library searches for a needed book. The app will also eliminate the need of making new book purchases because there is someone somewhere with a book lying unused while there is someone else who needs it. Chances are that the second party also has a book that the first individual might find useful. The app will bring these two people together to trade their books without making any new purchases.
BOOK EXCHANGE APP ARCHITECTURE
Only registered subscribers to the Book Exchange App will be able to trade books on the platform. New members will have to sign up first before they can view the books available for trading. Users shall create personal profiles with contact details and a list of the books they have at their disposal and ready to trade. Subscribers can also post the books that they might be interested in acquiring against the ones that they are willing to trade with.
A search tab will be provided for users to search a certain text book of interest. If a search item exists on the database, the system will display the book title, its condition the kind of book that its owner would like to trade it with. If an inquirer would like to go ahead and execute a trade, he or she will put forward a request to the book’s owner and state the book he or she wants to trade with. After the first user accepts the conditions of the trade, both parties can proceed to exchange contact details to facilitate the actual trade.
WIRE FRAME DIAGRAM
The wire frame below shows the proposed user profile. Only a registered user can view other users’ profiles. The profile picture will help will help in elimination of fake accounts and instill trust among the users.
A user will go through a profile and to view the books posted and the ones desired for exchange. If the viewer has the desired books, he or she can contact the profile’s owner through a message tab available at the bottom of the profile. Search items can be entered at the top of the page above a user’s profile.
A prototype will then be created at HotGloo, which is a website that allows creation of virtual software models for testing purposes. The site allows developers to design a graphical user interface by dragging and dropping of placeholders into place. HotGloo also provides button functionality so that developers can have a real feeling of how the real application will respond and appear (Haselmayr).
CREATION OF THE STORY BOARD
The Book Exchange App home screen will provide users with a login function. When users login they will see the trade requests that have been proposed to them. Users will have the option of accepting or rejecting trade requests if the offered book does not meet their needs. Users will also be able to update their information and revise books lists. In the case of a successful trade, the list will be updated automatically to reflect the changes in books available.
Navigation through the various app functions will be enabled by clear menu items and buttons.
Security for the subscribers to the Book Exchange App will be paramount. Then app admin will monitor and moderate interactions between users to ensure the platform is not abused. Also, subscribers’ personal information and contact details shall not be publicly displayed. After two subscribers have been satisfied with the conditions of a trade, both can go ahead and execute the trade.
The Book Exchange App will be tested by members of one class. They will create profiles and update them with their information and proceed to execute trends in between themselves. This will help identify flaws and dead-end links. They will then give reports of their experience with the app. Any flaws identified in the design will warrant further scrutiny of the design and information flow in the system. Any changes to be done to the system will be done at this point before proceeding to the final design structure to ease the burden of any late restructuring (Bizitpros).
BUILDING OF THE APP
After all the design parameters have been laid out, the developers will embark on the back-end development to build the app. App development aspects such as servers, APIs, storage and database will be handled by the in-house development team. The development team will also apply for developer’s accounts in major online app stores, so that the product can be rolled out seamlessly (Varshneya).
DEVELOMENT OF SKINS
The feedback from the testing done will be used in the development of the final interface. Individual screens will be optimized for high definition environment devices and made adaptable to varying screen sizes.
The final testing will then be made and if no flaws are detected from the respondents, the product will be rolled out as a beta version awaiting review by consumers and tech-critics.
Haselmayr, Melanie. How To Build Your First Mobile App In 12 Steps: Part 1. Forbes, 2014. Web, 3 Dec 2014.
Bizitpros. Create a Business Mobile App in 12 Steps. N.p., 2014. Web, 3 Dec 2014.
Varshneya, Rahul. A Step-by-Step Guide To Building Your First Mobile App. Entrepreneur, 2014. Web, 3 Dec 2014.