In my first hackathon, I partnered with two of my classmates to streamline the boba purchasing experience and inspire a stronger community of boba lovers. In twenty-four hours, I interviewed hackathon participants, conducted competitive analysis of popular applications, created a medium-fidelity prototype in Figma, and exhibited our solution to a panel of judges in an award-winning pitch.
Due to the limited timeline of this project, we decided to limit our target demographic to young adults. Thus, to discover how other customers interact with their boba, we sent out a Google Forms survey and gathered over 184 responses from other StarterHacks participants, classmates, and friends.
From this data, our team quickly synthesized these results into three ways our solution could improve the boba discovery, buying, and sharing experience for young adults. In addition, we also ensured to consider the business needs of the boba shops as we progressed through the design.
Now that we had a basic understanding of how young adults wanted to interact with their boba, it was time to research how current popular applications served these needs! For competitive analysis, I decided to investigate Instagram's discovery and sharing features and Uber Eats' approach to ordering and marketing.
It was time to start planning out the user interfaces, information architecture, and user flow of our mobile application!
From this, we were able to transition these concepts and ideas into visual elements within a medium-fidelity Figma prototype!
simple call-to-action buttons to prompt user interactions such as saving their favourite drinks and reviews for later reference
a compact card display of the creator's information, caption, picture, and location to minimize the effort needed to view new content.
After a challenging twenty-four hours of ideating, researching, sketching, planning, designing, and pitching, it was time to view the results!
Our team had won Best Pitch out of over a thousand hackers! After the event, Patrick Icasas, the marketing manager of GrowthDriver.io and one of the adjudicators, made this statement:
Your pitch really did wow me as a judge! Your team impressed me by how thorough and comprehensive your research was, the well-conceptualized prototype, and even down to the actual app design looked ready for prime time.
Whether it be the insightful mentors, camaraderie built between hackers, or the elation of winning Best Pitch, this first personal experience of a hackathon has been nothing less of amazing.
However, my process and designs are still far from perfect. As I believe it is always important to analyze one's own performance, here are my three areas of future improvement:
While illustrating bubble tea at 3 in the morning is a memorable experience, it is also a very exhausting one. By setting a schedule of deadlines to finish certain steps of the process, I can minimize future stress.
I consider myself to be a bit of a boba expert (lots of hands-on experience!). However, after conducting user research, I realized that most of my assumptions about the problem space were incorrect. Thus, no matter how familiar I am with the subject material, I must always resort to evidence as the foundation of my decisions.
When we chose bubble tea as our problem space, I was hesitant that the topic's childishness would ruin our chances of succeeding. After such a rewarding experience, I have realized that with enough passion and enjoyment within the design process, any project can be successful.