My First (definitely not last) Hackathon

How many of you have attended a Hackathon before? I bet most of you have, I’m sure of it. Unless you’re like me and new to the whole field of tech. As the title states, this was my first and I had an absolute blast!

Where do I begin? It was in the heart of downtown Chicago and hosted by AT&T. I’m not going to lie, I was definitely a bit nervous going into it. Not knowing what to expect, not knowing anyone in the design community, and going to a random event was definitely out of my comfort zone.

The way this Hackathon was set-up was very laid back. We were allowed to form our own groups or work solo, come up with our own mobile app idea, and later present it to everyone to be judged for prizes. As it was my first, I went into it with the intention to just experience and meet others, disregarding the competition completely.

My team had already come up with an app idea and I had just found my way into the group after working up the courage to meet strangers. Glad I did, I met some great people! The idea they were working with was basically a volunteering app. You can connect with people from your social circles and/or even people you don’t know to post tasks that you need help with or help others out with their tasks. For instance, you need someone to pick up your dry cleaning. You can post this task, someone can accept to complete it, you can approve them to complete the task based on their ratings, and there you go. Someone just did a good deed for you and earned some karma points. Literally points, the app even has a gaming aspect to it. That brings me to the name of the app, atKarma. It’s a play off of AT&T and the concept of Karma, “what goes around, comes around.”

Although very preliminary, it was just a fun concept to create and build. I was the only UX designer on the team; the others were all developers. But it was great to work with them to further experience designing with a team from different backgrounds. Take a look a some wireframes I created below and pictures I took from the event below!

Wireframe for the main screen for selecting and posting tasks. The entire background is meant to be an interactive map that detects your location to find tasks in your area.
Wireframe for part of the registration process where users can select multiple things they are talented with and can assist other people with.
Working with my team on the app.
Other teams working in this awesome space.
Team presentations.
Team presentations.

And if I haven’t convinced you yet, then perhaps this might help…the event was FREE and the food was amazing! We had snacks all day and breakfast, lunch, and dinner were fully served.

So if you want to create lots, learn lots, meet lots, and of course eat lots, I urge you to check out a hackathon in the future! If you’ve been to hackathons before, I’d love to hear about your experience. Comment below! Thanks for reading!