In November 2013, I participated in a hackathon sponsored by Mindbody, a company that specializes in fitness software. My partner and I were given 20 hours to create an application that fit one of three themes - Health, Local, or User Experience (UX).
My partner Elaine Lau and I decided to create a webapp that drew heavy inspiration from Pinterest. We liked the idea of a small, local database of fun locations that people could navigate around quickly when they were bored and wanted to do something. Perhaps you were looking for ideas on what to do with your parents, or where to take your date. Our webapp would store and display locations, which would consist of a name, picture and URL. Users could add their own locations or edit existing ones. Locations could also be tagged, which allowed users to search by a certain category of location if they wished. The application design would be primarily visual, showing an image of the location, some tags which helped give the location context and a url that the user could follow to get more information.
The concept was intentionally simple, so we could focus on refining the UX. We wanted users to be able to seamlessly search the website; the webapp made heavy use of autocomplete and other similar technologies to help facilitate the experience.
After we decided on what exactly we were making, we began to code. The website we created is open-source, and can be found on GitHub. The commits give a general idea of the flow of the implementation, and the difficulties we ran into. The end result isn’t perfect, and does have a few bugs. But given the 20 hour time limit, Elaine and I are very proud of what we accomplished.
At the end of the 20 hour hackathon, we were awarded 1st place in UX.