Hackathon

Developer Student Club > Hackathon

Starting a project is the hardest part.

After conversation with a hundred of college students across the globe, we were able to understand what make successful solutions. Here is the four parts of framework focused on solving from a specific problem you can leverage. 

1. IDENTIFYING A PROBLEM

The first step to building any solution is a clear and well-defined problem.

2. IDENTIFYING A SOLUTION

The next step is to identify the best solution based on your user’s needs and given your team’s resources and capabilities.

3. DESIGNING THE INTERFACE

After that, it’s time to design your solution’s interface, or how a user will interact with the solution. This work is where user-interface and user-experience design comes in.

4. DESIGNING THE TECHNOLOGY

After fully understanding the problem and designing how a user will interact with our solution, we design the technology.

1. IDENTIFYING A PROBLEM

When building any project, the most important step is identifying a true problem — something that people truly feel. A lot of people don’t spend enough time here because, honestly, it’s difficult and it’s time-consuming. Like anything else, though, the hardest part is getting started, so here are three methods to help begin the process:
  1. Interview students and professors on your campus to identify their problems.
  2. Approach local businesses or NGOs and ask them how you can help.
  3. Speak with people in your local community to find a shared problem you could solve.

2. IDENTIFY A SOLUTION

One popular method we can use to identify our solution is an exercise developed at GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, called The Design Sprint. Usually done as a 5-day exercise, The Design Sprint is a flexible framework for solving problems through designing, prototyping, and testing ideas with users. It allows you and your team to validate ideas before going through all of the energy of building a product.

3. DESIGN THE INTERFACE

Interface design has two parts: user experience and user interface — UX and UI for short. UX covers how people will use the solution while UI covers what the solution looks and feels like. Both are very important because they dictate how your users will interact.

4. DESIGN THE TECHNOLOGY

Most applications have what’s called a “front-end” or “client” — this includes the mobile devices, laptop or desktop computers, tablets, and smart-watches we know and use. There’s also another side to the equation, which is called the “back-end” or “server,” and most backends have multiple parts, which can mostly be bucketed into “Running Code,” “Data Storage,” and “Other Services.” In this step, you define what tools you’ll be using to build your solution.

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