Showcase Project


This project will challenge you to use the technology you’ve become familiar with over the course of Mod 3, as well as force you to work inside some constraints. Everyone will be working with (at least) one API and one audience.

Project Goals and Requirements

  1. Use the technology you’ve been working with over the course of the module to demonstrate mastery of the following:
    • React
    • Router
    • Asynchronous JavaScript
    • End to end testing with Cypress
  2. Create personas and user stories to describe your target audience.

  3. Work within constraints to deliver a product for your niche audience, which helps solve a problem unique to them.

  4. Your applications must have the following core functionality:
    • Display the data from the API in a way that applies directly to your audience
    • Ability for users to store/manipulate the data displayed in the application, such as (choose one) favoriting/unfavoriting, adding to/removing from a list, searching, commenting, etc
    • Multiple views handled by Router
    • Be deployed using Vercel, Heroku, Surge, or any other similar service
    • PropTypes has been implemented in all components with props
    • App is responsive across mobile, tablet and desktop sizes


This project, having a short time frame, will need to pack a lot into a small space. We’re going to accomplish this by building an app that serves the needs of a very small, very niche audience.

You’ll create an MVP to serve a deeply specific audience of users.

What is an MVP?

When we talk about “MVP”, we mean “Minimum Viable Product”!

An MVP defines the features that MUST be included in an app to achieve its base, core functionality.

Let’s consider Twittter. It’s MVP may be defined as:

  • A user can write a tweet, which when submitted will be visible on the page

That’s it! Obviously, Twitter has MANY more features. But without tweets, Twitter wouldn’t be Twitter.

These other Twitter features (which may FEEL very central and vital) are actually just nice-to-haves, which make the experience richer and more robust:

  • A user can log in
  • A user can see their previous tweets
  • A user can follow another user
  • A user can like tweets
  • A user can re-tweet
  • etc


Here are some tips for creating an interesting, tightly-scoped application!

Finding an API

Choose an open API to work with where the data sounds interesting to you. A good place to start looking is this repo with a list of free/open APIs. You can also reference the list outlined in the Stretch project spec. Choose an API where you could make an application based on the data from the API. Do not choose an API that requires “OAuth or OAuth 2.0”, which is a more complicated authentication scheme. Also, be wary of APIs that have “CORS” value of “no.”

APIs that require an apikey are usually easy to deal with, and some APIs don’t require an apikey. If the API you want to use relies on an API key, be sure to request one ASAP!

Sometimes an API (especially open public ones) can cease to be maintained, so request keys from a few and start playing around with the data you can get!

Choosing an audience

After you have an API that interests you, the next thing you need to do is choose an audience. You need to be specific with your audience.

For example, if you chose an API that served cat data, your audience should not just be “cat lovers”. Instead, it should be something more specific like “cat lovers who live in Alaska”. This will give you some constraints for the project to make it more unique and design decisions a little easier.

GET WEIRD. HAVE FUN. (And also still be professional. Silliness is good; rudeness/crassness is not.)

Once you’ve chosen your API and audience, start thinking about how you’re going to build something for this audience, using that API. Come up with a few different ideas.

Niche audience

The best audiences for this project are highly specific. You won’t have a lot of time to build something, so a big app that has to serve lots of different audience members is not really feasible. You’re not building Airbnb or Twitter here.

Examples of past student apps that had excellent audiences:

  • An app that interprets sports statistics into bite-sized sentences to share at work, intended to help non-sports-fans talk to sports-fans.
  • An app for plant-killers to remember to water their plants.
  • An app for wine-haters to find wines to try.
  • An app for soon-to-be-dads to begin building up a repertoire of dad jokes.

As you can see, specific, niche audiences are more fun and interesting than broad audiences! These constraints will help inspire specific app features.

Thinking like a developer

This project is often a portfolio piece for FE students. So let’s make this as professional as possible!

User personas

We expect you to write 2 thorough user personas which describe two members of your niche audience. These personas should inform the design & features/functionality of your app.

Wireframes & design inspiration

Wireframing will be a major component of this project. The more time you spend intentionally thinking about the layout/views and user flow of your application, the better the final result will be.

There are many different tools you can use for this, including just plain old pen and paper. Just make sure you really spend time thinking about the user interactions. For a good overview of how to effectively wireframe a project, check out this video.

We also want you to choose two design inspiration pieces, which can be as broad as inspiration for the layout of your app, to as small as a color palette or a micro-interaction animation.


Day 0 Kick Off & Proposals Due By Day 1 - 12 PM MT

Day 1 before 3 PM MT

  • The link to your repo
  • The link to your Project Board
  • A link to 2-3 pieces of design inspiration that you will aim to mimic - using this template
  • A wireframe of your app - this can include sketches of your user interface, or a link to your Canva, InVision, etc.
  • An Equity Analysis - using this template

PR Buddies - PR review

You’ll be assigned a PR buddy. Sometime this week, tag each other in a review that you’d like some eyes on (hopefully a PR for something that involves the learning goals of this project). Plan to spend about 20 minutes deep-diving into your buddy’s code, asking questions, proposing refactors, and just generally discussing the code with one another.
There is a time block Thursday morning to connect with your PR buddy. PR buddy assignments will be posted in this calendar event. Your PR reviews can occur before or after this time block.


Unlike the evals for the previous projects in Mod 3, you will receive less feedback on this project. Instead, you’ll be asked to answer some high level questions about your code and the decisions you made.

The purpose of this is to give you an opportunity to begin experiencing what it is like to turn in a code challenge for a job interview. Often, you will not receive close code feedback - you’ll simply move on to the next round of interviewing, or not. It’s also common to be asked to talk about your code and what led you to make the decisions you did.

Eval process

Project evals will be asynchronous. The feedback for this project will be limited - but feel free to ask questions about your code. We highly encourage you to seek a code review and feedback from a peer, house mentor or from the #questions channel in slack - a great opportunity to connect with an alumni and create a warm contact for networking!

  1. We will DM you your scores
  2. In a DM, we will send you a link to part of your project code.
    • Please describe that code in your own words:
    • what does that code do,
    • when is it used,
    • what choices did you make when you wrote it?
  3. Answer the following question in a short paragraph, using specific examples from a Mod 3 project:
    • “What is a benefit of using a framework like React over vanilla JS? What is a drawback?” (this is a common interview question!)

Minimum Professionalism Expectations

  • Commits are atomic and frequent, effectively documenting the evolution/progression of the application.
  • A project board is utilized (and updated throughout the project) with Github issues and labels.
  • Developer uses branches, PRs and thorough code reviews to add new code to the main branch.
  • The README is formatted well and at a minimum contains:
    • Overview of project and goals
    • Overview of technologies used, challenges, wins, and any other reflections
    • Screenshots/gifs of your app
    • List of contributors


For the rubric sections below, you will be scored as Wow, Yes or Not Yet depending on whether you have demonstrated competency in that area. Each section lists examples of what types of things we may be looking for as demonstrations of competency. Just as there are many ways to approach code, there are many many ways to demonstrate competency. These are just some examples.

Does the project demonstrate student understanding of the learning goals & concepts?

Projects will answer that question, being marked as yes, not yet, and wow. Similarly, each section of the rubric (see below) will have yes/not yet/wow markings, helping you understand your progress and growth in specific areas.

The overall project outcome (yes, not yet, wow) is determined by “averaging” each section’s outcome. You can think of a “yes” being worth a 1, a “not yet” being worth a 0, and a “wow” being worth a 2.

For this project, an average of 0.5 is considered a yes - a passing project that demonstrates good student understanding! An average of 1+ is considered a wow. Anything below a 0.5 is considered a not yet - a project that indicates that the concepts have not been fully understood (see note in the section below).

In addition to any WOW examples listed below, you can strive for a WOW by demonstrating not just competency, but excellence and thoroughness across the rubric sections.

Specification Adherence / Functional Expectations

💫ON TRACK💫 requirements:

  • Project meets all MVP requirements
  • Application is deployed (to Vercel or similar service)
  • Application design is responsive** across small, medium and large breakpoints

WOW option:

  • Project completes 1 or more additional features beyond MVP
  • After your project is completely finished, you could deepen your understanding of React and strive for a WOW by creating a new branch and refactoring your stateful components into class-based components. DO NOT merge this branch in. Instead, DM a link for that branch/PR to your project manager. Highlight your ability to work with both styles by describing the refactor and linking to the branch in your README.

React Fundamentals/UI

On track can look like:

  • A consistent, modular file structure is used
  • Hooks are implemented to manage and update state. State remains pure and immutable.
  • Data and functions are passed as props (only as needed) to effectively organize the application
  • Logic is pulled out of return statements when it makes sense. return statements are as readable as possible, only communicating what will be displayed
  • Props are protected via Proptypes or type-checking
  • Application properly uses a catch block for network request error handling (if the server is down or if a fetch call fails) and displays helpful information to the user.
  • Code is DRY, reusable, and empathetic and functions follow SRP

WOW can look like:

  • Data retrieved from a server is run through a cleaning function to handle any missing/inconsistent data and remove any extraneous data that isn’t using in the application - before setting that data to state.
  • Application shows loading state


  • Application uses Router to display appropriate components based on URL
  • The user has access to previous routes via the back button
  • A 404 page with home button handles undefined routes. You can check this by going to localhost:3000/nonsense and localhost:3000/:specificroute/nonsense
  • UX is clear and set up so the user has access to previous routes
  • When the user enters a bad URL, they are given an easy way to navigate to a working page


On track can look like:

  • Application views are thoroughly tested
  • Application user flows are thoroughly tested
  • Tests make specific assertions about the content DOM elements contain
  • Network requests are properly stubbed (intercepted)
  • Happy path async functionality is stubbed and tested
  • Sad path async functionality is stubbed and tested

WOW can look like:

  • Implements Cypress alias and wait()
  • Implements Cypress command or other features not covered in class


You will not receive a score for professionalism, but you should be meeting these expectations:

On track can look like:

  • Project is deployed
  • README concisely communicates the developer’s individual and joint learning goals, the evolution of the project, and developer reflections while using good formatting to enhance readability
  • README links to all user GitHub profiles and any applicable repos & deployed sites
  • Setup instructions for any and all repos are thorough and verbose enough that even non-technical people (like recruiters) could follow them
  • Git commits are atomic, with concise and precise descriptions of the change made.
  • PRs have full, consistent descriptions
  • Evolution of the project (decisions made, etc) is documented in the git history and PRs
  • When the project is run locally, the terminal shows no errors and no warnings.

WOW can look like:

  • Mapping out extensions in your project board beyond your MVP
  • Using github issues to track bugs or other issues as they crop up.
  • Getting several PR reviews from your rocks and/or mentors and implementing their feedback before you merge the PR.

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