It was our first hackathon and our team won! :)
This hackathon challenge was provided by the Boston government; here's a nice intro youtube link:
Currently, the Boston government has a cumbersome process for permit applicants and the two main issues are:
- The city's website does not serve as a good tool to educate applicants with accurate permit information.
- The applicants cannot track their current application process.
Specifically for the first problem, a user would receive an extensive list of pdf links and permit suggestions at the end of the tool, which often causes more confusion, defeating the educational purpose. This problem not only frustrates the user, but also consumes government employees' time because they are required to respond to individual questions.
During the hackathon, we were able to listen to the current applicants and the city officers who have been taking care of the requests on a daily basis for years. We were also able to gather their feedback as we formulated ideas, visualized workflows and developed prototypes. Our fast iterations and the constructive feedback from our users allowed us to create what was, in our opinion, the closest product to what our users wanted. (Final prototype on ChallengePost)
At the end, we got a weekend of 4 hours of sleep, a chance to work with the best teammates and a victory of our first Hackathon!
Link on McKinsey News :)