Girl Develop It Boston organized their 2nd Annual Hackathon at the Amazon Audible Office on November 23 – 25, 2018. There were over 50 hackers who joined this event. After a warm opening speech and short skills workshop, we were randomly assigned into small groups on Friday night. The actual hackathon spanned a full day on Saturday with a general open topic involving any technology platform.
On our team Pauline was from California. She moved to Boston to pursue a master’s degree in public health at Boston University a few years prior and currently worked in a healthcare startup in the Cambridge area. Selen has recently moved to Boston with her husband from Turkey. CJ and I are international students and classmates at Northeastern University. As none of us were native Bostonians, we naturally relayed to each other our experience of the city. From this conversation, we decided to make a mobile app for the newcomers to Boston — for making friends and sharing trips around the town. Simplify speaking, the app was a fusion of Uber + Meetup +Airbnb + Venmo. We called it wonderlust. The issue we wanted to tackle was engaging young adults in the cultural scene around Boston, both natives, and transplants, and connecting people based on interests and desired experiences. We wanted to streamline the travel and booking process to encourage greater participation, which we found to be a new experience economy, where young adults could discover new local events and locales, embark on single or multi-day trips, find travel companions while sharing transportation costs.
We split work on individual passion and skillset, checking in on each other from time to time. Selen helped to gather data, research, build a persona and conduct user testing. Pauline took on the business plan, cost module, and presentation. I took in charge of user experience – building a rough sketch and wireframe, workflow, and information architecture. I then passed my work to CJ for user interface and front-end development.
With our team great effort and collaboration, we won the Best Design Prize at the conclusion of the event.
It was an intense working experience to say the least. We finished an entire design process in one day where it would normally take up to days and even weeks at a professional digital agency. Effective communication and goal-oriented collaboration was important components of completing our project and winning this challenge. While being recognized for our efforts was rewarding, I valued the experience and making new friends.
Our presentation slides link: https://goo.gl/aR2bmZ