One issue I noticed in the past year was that there was always a disconnect between designer and developer. We would have to participate in several design reviews before the final product looked like the initial compositions. Thus to increase productivity and reduce work time, I wanted to develop a system to improve design hand-offs for all of our initiatives.
As a result of merging with another hackathon organization, we onboarded more people. More people meant an increase our initiatives. One of our members was previously working on a registration system and we picked up the project, too. But to expand on it, we wanted to integrate it with a QR-scanning mobile app to expedite hackathon processes. We also have more hackathon websites to line up and need a method to organize all of our domains.
Part of the goal to increase internal initiatives is also to reduce costs and improve efficiency. We use different services on different platforms, which not only costs money for subscriptions, but also makes processes such as sending emails to our listserv, reviewing hackathon applications, and sending approvals/rejections more complicated.
The hub website was my first initiative of the year. Its purpose was to provide a central source of truth for users to access our various domains. This is especially important as we are increasing the number of events and workshops that we are hosting.
Although we are active on social media, many users have sent us emails confused about when events occurred or information about each event. By collating all of our information in one place, hopefully people will be able to have their questions answered and explore events that they might not have known about.
The biggest change this year became hosting two hackathons instead of one. We experienced an increase in team members, but also an increase in work.
With this project, I took a step back and helped guide a junior designer into creating the layout and content. I provided feedback on his designs on things like usability, colour contrast, and content organization. I helped develop the website to give him full control of the project and allow him to participate in design reviews and fix issues he noticed after development.
The following are some screenshots of the finished product:
Several of our high-cost external services we used included MailChimp and Typeform. We began designing and implementing our own registration system from scratch to reduce on these costs.
Currently, I am preparing for TAMUhack 2020. After updating our registration system, I have been designing a new landing and content pages for the upcoming season. As this is my last year on the team, I wanted to go out with my best work to truly give back to the community I have belonged to for the past three years. To make the following years successful, I also have onboarded two new designers and hope to guide them along this project.
Look forward to TAMUhack 2020 updates!