Babson Sophomores Participate In Design Hackathon
More than 250 Babson undergraduate students — approximately one-half the sophomore class — participated in a design hackathon on February 24, 2017 on the Wellesley campus.
While a typical hackathon involves the coding of a minimally viable product, this event focused on the user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI) of a mobile application.
Organized by the IT faculty, the three hour hackathon was kicked off by Sunny Steele, Principal Experience Architect, from Mobiquity, a professional services firm that helps organizations conceive, design, and build digital solutions.
At the start of the event, the students were presented with a challenge — design a mobile app for the on-campus grill. To aid this process they were given a persona—a representation, or amalgam, of a group of users who exhibit similar behaviors—and asked to address their vital needs. Exercising design thinking principles, the students worked in time-boxed intervals, to prioritize the requirements, brainstorm the user interface, create screen mock-ups, and design the underlying database. At the conclusion of the event, the students were asked to create a short narrative of their user interface.
The faculty will review these designs and a winning team will be selected from each of the seven course sections.
After participating in this activity, the student now:
- Appreciate the hackathon environment as a way to quickly identity and develop ideas through collaborating with their peers
- Better understand the importance of keeping a persona, and that persona’s journey in mind, when developing user requirements
- Have experience applying the UX, UI, and database design principles they learned in class
- Grasp the significance of quickly obtaining user feedback, learning from it, and refining the application based on the feedback
This event was run by the following Babson faculty responsible for delivering the college’s core IT sophomore course: Ken Accardi, Clare Gillan, Ruth Gilleran, Judah Phillips, and Donna Stoddard.