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FairfaxVienna student helps design app for buying, selling textbooks

Vienna student helps design app for buying, selling textbooks

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Lyndsay Criscitello of Vienna was part of a James Madison University student duo that won first place in its category at the AEJMC (Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication) “Best of the Web/Best of Digital” competition.

The students (Criscitello and, from Sterling, Madeline Miller) designed the app “BookBuddy” after identifying difficulties with current textbook-selling platforms as part of a School of Media Arts & Design (SMAD) class. The team plans to further develop and refine the app and hopes to connect with developers to make it fully functional in the future.

BookBuddy offers a centralized location for buying and selling textbooks.

The app includes features such as pick-up hubs, contactless payment, school verification and background checks and direct messaging to increase safety, as well as price matching.

The duo found that the average student spends $400 a year on textbooks. Many students are eager to pass on textbooks no longer in use.

“Our SMAD students have been winning numerous digital-design contests, but winning first place in the app category at AEJMC is particularly meaningful,” said Dr. Chen Guo, whose class inspired the app.

“I am very proud of our talented students,” Guo said. “ The award is an acknowledgment of their hard work, dedication and passion for user-experience design. They spent an intensive amount of time researching the topic, conceptualizing, designing and developing their ideas.”

The winning duo will receive a cash prize with the award, and will present their work at the AEJMC annual conference this month in Detroit.

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