TechFWD Hackathon

A mobile app for job seekers to connect with potential opportunities and mentors.

Background

The TechFWD hackathon was hosted by the Memorial University in Newfoundland as a way for people to network and join forces to create a MVP in the span of 72 hours.

We formed a team of 6 consisted of 5 software developers and engineers and myself, a UX designer for this challenge. Because of the time limit, we had to work collaboratively to brainstorm ideas, collaborate on the MVP, and create a pitch deck by the end of the hackathon. As a UX designer with a strong focus on user research, I created a plan that consisted of:

 

- User Research

- Wireframing

- Prototyping

- Usability Testing

User Research

To stay cost-effective and time-efficient, I created a survey to discover the user pain points and user needs when it comes to job seeking in the tech field. We wanted to get clarity on the direction of our hackathon challenge as we had different perspectives on the features of the deliverable MVP.

The user research focused on the following aspects:

- User demographics

- Challenges faced (in job seeking process)

- Ways to achieve user goals

Survey can be found on this Google Doc link. Here are some of our core findings:

 

techFWD survye.png
Splash.png
Onboard.png
Home.png
Companies Overview.png
Company Details.png
Mentors Overview.png
Mentor Details.png

You can find the Figma prototype here.

Usability Testing

To ensure that our prototype addresses our user needs, we contacted 2 of our survey participants to participate in a quick usability testing. Prior to reaching out to them, I had involve the rest of the team to test out the prototype to identify any intricate content opportunities and interactions for further improvement.

Our usability testing demonstrated that our users understood what our prototype is looking to achieve, in addition to its functionality.

Takeaways

Using our MVP to showcase our proposal, we presented our idea, findings, and prototype in the virtually-held hackathon. As a final project, our team landed the number 2 spot, out of 10 teams in total.

After the event, I also reached out to the TechFWD hackathon coordinator for feedback regarding our team's approach and the prototype. Here are some of the takeaways:

- User research was important to guide and validate our objectives

- MVP was straight-forward and simple to use

- MVP highlighted the two core features

- Visuals were used well to complement the MVP functionality

- Our roadmap in terms of scalability could address for partnerships

Wireframing & Prototyping

After analyzing our research findings, we found that an accessible mobile app that addresses the user needs of mentorship and industry connections are our top goals. This solidified our next steps to create wireframes and prototypes that act as a MVP for usability testing.

Using pen and paper for the wireframing process and Figma for the prototyping process. We created an interactive MVP that was simple to understand and use.