Bridge conducted an all company hackathon on 9th and 10th November 2017. Here’s a rough outline of how we conducted a Hackathon, the prototypes developed and the power of teamwork to build game-changing ideas.
Hold up, what is a hackathon?
A Hackathon is a community driven event where developers, designers and – in Bridge’s case – all company team members come together to solve a problem using their individual expertise and knowledge.
Motivation for Bridge’s Hackathon:
To alleviate the pain-points in tradie businesses and allow a frictionless user experience in Bridge.
How did it work?
There were three teams. A team consisted of developers, designers, marketers and customer success experts.
Each team was given 5 hours to;
(a) identify a challenge or problem experienced between trades and their customers
(b) brainstorm and present a mockup solution addressing the problem
The first day of the hackathon was dedicated to brainstorming and rapid prototyping. This involved all the necessities:
- Post-it notes
- Pizza break for lunch
Team members discussed various ideas to identify pain-points and ways to alleviate them via Bridge App. Due to the frequent engagement with their customers, e.g., via interviews, phone conversations, the team members were already familiar with the pain points that tradies and customers go through. This knowledge was pivotal to prioritise the ideas and come up with solutions to those challenges.
Once the idea was discussed, refined and finalised, the prototyping started. Team members sketched up user journeys while dev-heads, filled with cutting-edge technologies, started discovering ways to enact the ideas discussed. Groups drew on each individual’s skill set with designs, user data, business cases and market research.
At the end of the first day, all teams gathered over a case of beer with a strict 15 minute time limit to present their idea and prototype.
Three Final Prototypes
[Team 1] BridgeConnect:
The problem identified: There’s a lot of back-and-forward communication between the tradie and the customer before a job is started. How might we improve communication between the tradies and the customer?
Technology: This project aimed to harness the power of social media networks to establish a communication channel between the tradies and their customers.
Use case: When a quote is sent, customers could use this channel to ask further questions, send photos, arrange a time or clarify the quote. Such a feature would reduce the missed calls and misunderstanding of the job requirements as you have once place to track a whole conversation, rather than it being lost in emails, calls and text messages.
The prototype used Facebook Messenger for the consumer communication. This was identified as the lowest barrier to entry with no additional app to install and 70% Australian market penetration of Facebook.
Customer Messenger experience
The chat functionality was then designed within Bridge to give the tradie a central place to manage the job end-to-end. This would also give the tradie business a tech-trail of the complete job history.
Tradie Bridge App experience
[Team 2] iLoveMyNoteBook:
The problem identified:
No matter how much technology we adopt, there is still a connection to writing and sketching on paper. The ease of use in good-old pen & paper is undeniable.
The team set out to marry the infinite benefits of technology with the habitual easy of notebooks. How might we digitise the notebook contents with minimum effort without removing the easy of writing.
iLoveMyNotebook project attempted to tackle this issue by allowing a tradesperson to scan their notebook by taking a picture with their phone. Then the image is processed to identify the contacts, reminders, notes and diagrams and saved to Bridge App. These contents could then be used to create quotes, clarify scope and accessed anytime, anywhere.
[Team 3] Hey, I’m alright!:
The problem identified:
Tradies are often very humble about their work and inorder to ‘showcase’ their skill-set it would require more time, money and design skills.
Customer testimonials are pivotal to having a competitive advantage and winning more work. A tradesperson could use social networks such as facebook and instagram to spread the customer testimonials they received.
convert into beautifully designer social media images to share and post to social media.
Easily allow tradies to select imagery and customer feedback in Bridge, which we would convert into beautifully designed images to share and post to social media. Images could also be added to quotes in Bridge to showcase previous work and build trust with customers.
How do you select a winner?
All team members are given 1-vote. The winning project was selected based on the value to our users, business objectives and feasibility.
The winner was Team 1: BridgeConnect, due to it’s impact on the tradie and customer experience, low barrier to entry, low cost to build and future growth opportunity.
The second day was dedicated to implementation. This was predominantly developer led, with input from design, based on the solution that we selected as the winner.
Overall it was a great experience and highlighted the power of collaboration behind a dedicated goal. The hackathon drew on the whole company’s skill-set and revealed expertise that has previously been underutilised.
Our next step is to add the prototypes to our product roadmap – stay tuned for releases throughout 2018!