How to get the most out of a Hackathon

Here at realise we are all about travel and innovation so what better way to bring the two together than with a Hackathon to find ways technology can enhance the travel experience.

As always it takes lots of planning to make sure everything runs smoothly on the day. Our Hack team has been working tirelessly the month leading up to the hack and it’s finally nearly upon us. This Friday 20 May our teams will be working over a 24 hour period from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon.

It’s an exciting time for innovation here at Realise as we get the chance to set ourselves free from requirements and client constraints and let our imagination run free! Our problem to be solved this week is something I think we can all relate to.

Use technology to enhance a travellers journey from their front door to destination.

This is a space where there is huge room to innovate. We’ve all been on a business trip or holiday where the journey has been less than ideal, from long boring journeys, to delays and last minute changes. From keeping your journey planner up to date to making your wait at the airport more bearable, there is plenty to keep our hackers inspired.

With so much new technology to take advantage of including the next gen VR which is finally reaching the mass market the applications for travel in particular are endless.

As a uxer I am fascinated with new ways in which we can enhance the user experience. I am also a real advocate of lean UX with an emphasis on getting out of the building and testing our ideas as early as possible with our users.

A hackathon is a great platform for this, the whole team is forced to be lean, choosing to build/prototype only the most important features for our MVP (minimum viable product) we are forced to think fast and iterate as we go when things don’t quite work.

A great way to test your idea or user journey quickly before building is by paper prototyping. A spiral bound reporter's’ notebook serves well for prototyping mobile apps. Just sketch the screen design on each page. If you want to make a change, just rip the page out and start again. Fast results and minimal waste. Another great technique is interviewing potential travellers to find out their pet peeves and motivations on the way to their destination.

As our teams were announced last week there are lots of opportunities to research new trends and technologies prior to the hack. We are super excited about what creative and innovative things are going to come out of this latest hack….we hope you are curious too so check back here for the results next week. You can also follow our progress live on Twitter by following @realisetweets and #hackmytrip.