Announcing uSwap!

Jeanna Vogt

Announcing uSwap!  A classified ads service for UW departments

 
 
 
uSwap is a classified ad system intended to facilitate the transfer of university-owned items between departments.  It is NetID secure and intended for UW use only.
Features
·         Post your surplus items
·         Request items
·         Notify emails/Listservs of your new post
·         Manage current and past posts
·         Use the RSS feed to keep up to date on the most recent posts
 
Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Send questions/comments to jvogt@uw.edu.
 
Share and enjoy!
uSwap Details
The impetus for this project was the clutter of emails on the TechSupport listserv of people offering and requesting items for trade between departments. Emails flood the listserv; those from previous days are easily forgotten and there is no way to inform people when a request has been filled or an item traded, other than more emails. Management of these transactions is both messy and limited. The goal is to promote sustainability and reuse by giving those people and the rest of the UW employee community a proper forum in which to conduct these transactions.
Benefits of uSwap
·         A larger audience to view posts and a central location
·         A searchable tool so posts don’t get lost and people can more easily find what they’re looking for
·         A streamlined transaction process that guides users to transfer equipment in compliance with UW rules
·         Reuse promoted: fewer unused supplies taking up space or being thrown out
·         Money saved when a traded item would otherwise have been purchased new
·         Users can manage and track their posts: enables recordkeeping and easy renewal of posts to save time
History of uSwap
Brainchild of Chris Coyle and Brian Esemann, the idea for a system that would simplify and improve the trade of items between UW departments was first conceived in the spring of 2011.  Shortly thereafter, Jeanna Vogt was tasked with the design and implementation.  Based on the results of a questionnaire posted to the TechSupport listserv, the decision was made to provide an application external to the listserv that would manage posts, allow email notifications, and deliver updates via RSS.  Drupal was selected as the most efficient, feature-rich platform on which to construct uSwap.  Dan Druliner provided a test site from which to launch a beta version of uSwap and, in August, user testing was performed with a selection of respondents to the original questionnaire.  With the beta test, uSwap garnered the enthusiastic support of Procurement Services via Claudia Christensen.  Over the next few months, bugs were worked out and other feedback was addressed.  In November, uSwap was sanctioned by UW Surplus and it was ready to move to its production location.  http://f2.washington.edu/teams/uswap went live at the beginning of February 2012 with an announcement to Procurement Services, Moving & Surplus, OESS, UW Today, EIO, and the TechSupport listserv.  uSwap is now being used for real transactions, but will remain in “testing” for the next couple months to encourage users to report bugs and suggest improvements.  CPO-IT intends to continue to support and promote uSwap for the UW employee community.

 

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