Hackathon Survival Guide for Hipsters

First of all: hackathons are a place to have fun! Competion is nice but not necessary. The most important thing is that the attendees get along with each other and have a good time.

I am currently sitting at our third love hackathon. It is 3:30 in the morning and the teams are already creating their prototypes. Interdisciplinary teams consisting of programers, consultants, marketing experts, designers, etc. Here I am trying to give you some insights about hackathons and especially: how to have a good experience at a hackathon even if you have no coding knowledge.

Before you start implementing your solution: be sure you and your team-members have absolutely the same understanding of the problem you are trying to solve.

The following questions could help you in this phase: 

Which problem and of course for which user are you developing your solution?

Have you already developed a persona about your target audience? How does it look like?

What do the defined personas want so that they can achieve which result? Define some user stories for your users if you haven’t done it yet.

Example: As a (Avocado), I want (to be crushed) so that (I can become Guacamole) .

Do you want to build an app? 

Start by doing a scribble with pen and paper and try to visualize your userflow. Which elements (images, buttons, etc.) will your users see on certain screens? How are the screens linked to each other?

Once you are sure about that you could start building your first clickdummy with the help of i. e. the tool prottapp.

If you are already more confident and want to bring your prototype to a next level I recommend you to use the Ionic creator.

With the help of the Ionic Creator you can create your web app by just using simple drag and drop mechanisms.

Once you have finished your design process you can then export your app as a .zip file.

This .zip file you can then upload at phonegap which lets you build your own android app right away! Be sure to allow the installation of apps from unknown sources on your phone if you want to install the android app  on your smartphone.

Do you want to build a chatbot for facebook messenger? 

Be sure you have a facebook page where you can link the chatbot to.

Chatbots in facebook messenger always need to be linked to facebook pages.

If you would like to create a protoype chatbot you could use chatfuel or motion.ai.