I wasn’t truly sure what a hackathon was about when I decided to attend the event. For me, it sounded like a fusing ok “hack” and “marathon”. After the event, I thought that it was actually closer to be a sprint than a marathon. If you search in Wikipedia you get this definition:
“A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, and others, often including domain experts, collaborate intensively on software projects.
The goal of a hackathon is to create usable software or hardware with the goal of creating a functioning product by the end of the event.”
The event I attended to, was organized by VoiceXMeetUps and hosted by Google Campus for Startups in Madrid in relation to WWF. The idea was to explore how interaction technology, through the use of voice (VUI), can be used to solve one of the main challenges human face when dealing with the conservation of Nature.
We grouped in teams of a maximum of 5 people, to try to generate a relevant product. Our team was formed by one marketer, one developer, one linguistic and two UX/ui designers.
The event was two days long:
The first day was introductory. They gave us valuable information about topics related to Climate crisis, loss of wildlife and mass consumption.
The second day we had about 10 hours to ideate and develop our solution.
Our challenge was the following: ¿How can VUI help people value and feel closer to Nature?.
After a quick desk research, we found out that 76% of Spanish people are concerned about problems related to the environment and ecology. But, how many of us really make an effort to change daily habits to improve their relationship with Nature? Our group aimed at turning these interests into actions.
The solution we created aimed to help users change small habits to turn them into a more conscious individual by helping them to be more respectful with the environment.
So…what did we ideate? How does our solution work?
After the user installs the app he/she can start configuring it, to set up the number of tips to get each week (e.g. The user could get tips every day or just twice a week).
The app distinguishes between three different categories. Within these categories the solution intends to help the user to get tips about: Reducing waste and consumption, recycling and reusing to raise awareness and ultimately, spreading the word. After that, the challenge starts.
The user will get automatic tips from its voice assistant (Google Home, Alexa…) the days and hours the user selected during the configuration. Alongside the tips, the assistant will provide information about how these specific tips affect on a bigger scale and the impact they have on the planet. This way we can raise awareness in our users and help them acquire better habits to help to preserve nature.
At the end of each week, the assistant caries out a followup. It asks the user how he/she has been keeping up with the changing of the tips suggested. The user also receives a summary of their progress. We gamified the experience by adding a trivial game that the user can play at any time and check how much he/she is learning about the topics involving the app.
By the end of the day, we created a functional product that aimed at bringing people closer to nature and help them acquire good habits to preserve the only planet we have.
We did a quick presentation to talk about our solution and putting it to the test.
I am so happy to have had the chance of being part of such a rewarding event, that intents on generating change in relation to such a crucial topic as it is climate crisis. It is a pleasure to meet people who care.
Thank you 🙂