UX Hackathon at General Assembly

Last Sunday, I attended the UX Hackathon at General Assembly along with about 200 other people. We were told to split in to teams of 5–10 and prepare to draw a topic. My group drew “music” and “make sourcing easier.” We had six hours to make a design with wireframes and a presentation.

I wasn’t thrilled about this topic because there are already a plethora of music apps out there. Thankfully, we only had to add to an existing app instead of create one from scratch. The group quickly saw there were two main skill areas: marketing and interaction design. Everyone who was more comfortable developing personas, completing competitive analysis and building our presentation was on one team, while the rest of our group, the interaction designers, were on another team.

It took about an hour to discuss the music industry, find the problem and target an audience for the solution. One group member pointed out that the radio and discover features of spotify were not very good because they were only based on an artist you liked and not other things such as mood or activity. We decided it would be even better if a user could customize the radio to play a mix of their preferences. For example, the user would hear 20% Rolling Stones, 30% Happy, and 50% walking for a radio station. If the user wanted more Rolling Stone-related music, they could change the ratio.

At this point, we started brainstorming visualizations from a mobile perspective. Our group took over a small hallway that was covered in whiteboard paint. We needed every inch of that hallway for drawing.

After several hand-drawn wireframes and simplification of our data viz, we were ready to make digital wireframes. I used fireworks because I was the fastest in that program, barely getting it all done before the presentation.

Seventeen presentations later, the winners were announced. Unfortunately, our team did not place, and several judges said our feature was only geared toward power users. However, I was proud of the work we had done and was happy to have had a chance to practice ux while making some friends. I would definitely attend a similar event in the future.

Originally published at veerkampvisuals.com.

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