[Interview] – Chris Li, participant of our last Hackathon in NY!

Deep Algo took part of a special remote hackathon – organized by Bpifrance and Business France – in New York City for an entire week in June.
A great experience for all the participants and for our Team!

Interview with Chris Li – one of the participant in the winning team

Hi Chris !
Let’s start our interview. Can you please introduce your team ?

When we formed as a team on the first day of the hackathon, I knew we were it was going to be a unique experience. Our team consisted equally of developers and designers, male and female, American and Singaporean. The diversity of ideas and skills, I believe, ultimately contributed to the success of the team.
As the project manager and one of the designers, it was delightful working with people coming from different walks of life.

Why did you decide to take part at this Hackathon ?
I decided to participate in this Hackathon because of the design challenge it presented.
To redesign the expression of code for non-technical users so they may understand the application was an obstacle that I could relate. In fact, even developers were non-technical people at some point in their life. With the difficulty of the challenge, I saw it as a learning opportunity to advance my craft.
Having that user empathy embedded in my experience, I was invested in making a difference.
As my first UXathon, I saw it as an opportunity to test my determination and craft within this field.

How did you organize your work?
Creating a PRD with a roadmap helped with what the design was for, who it was targeting, and the expectations we hoped to achieve.
We also made it mandatory to meet up on selected days to perform stand-ups and future goals we had for the design.

Which kind of tools or softwares did you used ?
Figma for its collaboration tool and Invision for prototyping.

What was the most difficult during the Hackathon ?
Staying up till 5 AM. I kid… not really.
The most difficult part was to get everyone together because the hackathon extended to weekdays which naturally caused conflicts with our profession and personal life.

And finnally – and maybe the most important – can you explain us the solution you have proposed ?
We analyzed multiple data visualization graphs and tested applications that were designed to teach children how to write code.
The first application we played with was Scratch developed by MIT, it started with simple navigation rules that users implemented and ran, the “player” in the game followed the set of directions given. Scratch inspired us to study Google Maps, a navigating application designed for the general population.
We found the features that helped users navigate to their destination was very useful. Adopting the “pinned man,” we designed a guide tracker that takes the user step by step to through the data flow, so every process was evaluated at the user’s speed.
Within this feature, we allowed users to make decisions on the next probable step. Users would learn from their mistakes and retry for any amount attempts.
Our team wanted users to have a sense of control. Invoking learning by grasping the logic behind the graph allowed anyone to understand the data as long as they are willing to give it a second try. We also applied other features such as the option to rotate the graph, comment, isolate nodes, and search for context behind the data.