Memorado #hackweek15

Project #refugeeswelcome

Day 2

Links to the previous & later posts on the Memorado #hackweek15:
Day 1:
Day 3:

And we are hiring:

We met at 9 am on Tuesday and started coding to reach our goal:

Make 4 apps in 4 teams in 4 days
that help refugees in their daily life

And here is where we stand and what we learned after Day 2:

Team “Refoodgee”

Mission: Connecting refugees and helpers sharing a meal as a first connection

  • Created clickable prototype and defined architecture of the app
  • Worked on communication and on-boarding to make concept clearer
  • Started with a storyline for an intro video for the appstore
  • Decided to use Parse for quickly building a backend to exchange data
  • UI design and color scheme defined and started styling first screens

Key learning: Really go down to absolute minimum requirements and cut off anything that is not 100% needed

Team “WelcomeGuide”

Mission: Create a dynamic refugee welcome guide on both platforms

  • Structured the content of the pdf welcome guide into categories, cities and languages
  • Got a first build of the app running on Android and iOS devices using Xamarin’s cross-platform technology
  • Deployed a first version of the admin backend for the help coordinators to keep the content up to date and upload additional information. Leveraging RailsAdmin for a simple interface, Grape for rapid & scalable API development and Heroku for hosting to have first version up and running in very little time

Key learning: Cross-platform technologies have come a long way and are a solid option for apps with very simple UI, whilst they still don’t seem like the best option for apps requiring custom UI.

Team “Alles Klar”

Mission: connect German speakers with refugees that need translation help

  • Reviewed initial concept of matching time/date availabilities and decided that it’s too large for 2.5 days
  • Cut down concept to entering refugee’s requests and showing requests for help
  • Introduced onboarding for helpers to sign-up and create profile using facebook log-in & Parse as an out of the box backend
  • Decided on and created UI (logo, branding)

Key learning 1: Feedback culture is super important as it prevents the problems before they arise

Key learning 2: Planning should be as detailed as possible, otherwise miscommunication between Design and Dev is bound to happen

Team “GoGive”

Mission: Leverage user’s location to show places close by for donating clothes and other support equipment

  • Created first draft of app and set up all views
  • Developed a simple backend using NodeJS with Bootstrap running on Heroku to allow helpcenters to sign up and enter what they need
  • Assembled content for first 30 help centers in Berlin as a start and to showcase the functionality
  • Browsed list of needed items and categorized them to implement a tagging system

Key learning: Search is really hard. You need to standardize search items, no free text.

We are looking forward to Day 3!