Boxy: A Lost and Found Web App

Easy way to post found and lost items to your community living space


Inspiration

If you live in a community living space--especially a college dorm--you are sure to have run into a lost sock or two in the laundry room, a coffee-ring covered mug in the kitchenette, and more than one indistinguishable hoodie in the lounge. And if you are a college student, you have most likely left a calculator or a pair of keys somewhere around campus. Wouldn't it be great if you could post these found items and lost items to a searchable feed? With tags to filter out unrelated items? This is where Boxy comes in.

How it works

Boxy's main focus is the user, making posting, tagging, and searching easy and accessible. Want to post a lost/found item? "Throw" the item into "the Box." Want to search items already posted? Why don't you "Ruffle the Cardboard."

Sign-In Features

Users can create an account, which allows for authentication on posts, notifications, and commenting. Although anyone can view the listings, only members can post items or comment on other items. We used Meteor.js's Account-UI package to create these user profiles.

Notifications

If you leave the web app for a bit, don't fear! With our Notification feature, we can alert users when other users comment on a posted item. And these notifications are specific to their own posts. We promise you won't be notified about your roommate's found rubber chicken.

Authentication

We created Javascript checkpoints on the server side to ensure that only members can post items. To create richer user profiles, we linked the user id to item listings in the database. When a user creates an account, she enters her email and phone number for easier notification. With this information, we could use an API, like Twilio, to text users notifications when an item has been retrieved in the future.

Commenting

See a post on an item you have seen around? With an account, you can comment and help other users gather more information to locate lost things. And if one user notices an item is tagged both lost and found, they can comment on the posts and alert other users that the item has been found already!

Post Items: Throw it into the Box

Found an item? Lost an item? Easily navigate to the correct form from our beautifully designed Boxy homepage. The homepage allows users to click to a Lost Item form or a Found Item form. These forms ask the user for the title of the item ("purple socks"), the item description ("hole in toe of left sock but still loved"), where the user thinks they lost it ("somewhere in the laundry room"), and a time frame ("lost between Wednesday and Thursday night.")

Tagging

One of the most useful features of Boxy are the post tags. Users can tag posts they create with locations and descriptions. Added a tag on accident? Boxy supports deleting tags. In the future, we would implement searching and filtering features. These features would rely on tags to present the most relevant items to the user.

Timestamps

When each post is created, it is automatically paired with a timestamps. These timestamps currently allow the most recent items to appear at the top of the feed. In the future, we could enable features like filtering posts by a date range. With more time, we could also use these timestamps to try to "match" lost and found posts that are similar in description and time posted using MongoDB.

Search Past Items: Ruffle the Cardboard

Want to search through recent listings to see if any match your item's description? From the homepage, click the link to "Ruffle the Cardboard." This will take you to Cardboard, Boxy's lost and found item feed. Scroll through listings, comment on items, and (coming soon!) search through relevant tags.

Real-time Listing Updates

Boxy provides real-time updates to the lost and found item feed. This is super useful to users in a time-crunch to find an important item. Meteor's ultra-responsive real-time updates allowed us to create this experience. Data updates live on the screen as new posts come in and others are deleted, flowing seamlessly through a sleek and beautiful user interface.

Future Updates

We hope you find our Boxy prototype useful and look out for updates in the future! These would include searching, filtering, and post-matching. We would love to make our web app available for university campuses and beyond.

Try it out