Tag Archive | YLE

Hackathons as Design Experiences

 

I participated recently in two hackathons, Emotion Hack Day hosted by YLE and researcher Katri Saarikivi, and Climathon by Climate-KIC, hosted by Urban Academy. Hackathons are events that generate solutions to a challenge, and usually the solutions are technical in nature, like applications or programs. It seems though that the idea of hackathons has broadened somehow to include all kinds of idea contests, since both of the hackathons approved of all kinds of innovations. In both events I was especially interested in process design of the events.

The challenge in Emotion Hack was about solutions for an internet for more joy, and for Climathon about creating sustainable food solutions for food hub at Teurastamo area in Helsinki. At Emotion Hack I participated as a team member, and at Climathon as an organizer with minor responsibilities.

32595760-0A0C-4113-9BAE-1E8F3516812D.jpeg

Ideation process at Emotion Hack

Observations on Hackathon Process Design

The hackathons followed loose design pattern as following:

  • Presentation of challenge
  • Inspiration talks related to the challenge
  • Team formation
  • Ideation
  • Group work on idea
  • Mentoring
  • Final presentations
  • Choosing a winner

At Climathon there was also an excursion to the challenge location site, Teurastamo, arranged.

2D19EF55-8F9B-4F5D-9F58-99FFED69B0B2.jpeg

Climathon teams and mentors visiting the Teurastamo area and food entrepreneurs there.

The order of the different phases was little bit different in both hackathons, as well as facilitation support offered for the teams. At Emotion Hack there an ideation process was conducted before team formation, and at Climathon the teams were formed first. At Climathon the excursion to the area seemed to be considered important by the organizers, and at Emotion Hack Day a lot of emphasis was put on personal support by mentors.

In both of the hackathons the facilitators did not explain a how an ideation process works or offer tools for participants to work with. Also the teams did not have much time to get to know each other or go through their individual interests or skills, which I as participant found to be a major obstacle when working with 2 complete strangers. Of course the time is a very limited resource at hackathons, but I still would have felt working together with the team would have been much more efficient if there would have been time for getting to know each other. Also I think it would have been great to get some help on creating common understanding on the whole process of concept creation, which can be very different for people from different backgrounds. What I also found quite surprising in both hackathons is that they did not include any kind of empathy phase with trying to understand a customer’s viewpoint on the product.

BB3E8522-5B3C-4C9B-B28F-53C503338BF2.jpeg

My team at Emotion Hack working with the our idea: an app that would remind you of things you are grateful for in life after too much time online.

What I liked about the facilitation at Climathon was that there was a lot of time to define the problem that the team was trying to solve, before diving into creating a solution. At Emotion Hack I appreciated the atmosphere with games and laughter, and really putting effort into having a fun day together as well as offering technical assistance with producing a video on the final solution, which I thought was a great way of showcasing the solution.

The winner of Helsinki Climathon was called Winter Garden, you can read more about it here.

You can see all the solutions created at Emotion Hack at YLE Areena. Sadly, I was not in the winning team, which was defined by newsreporter Matti Rönkä’s reaction – the one that made him smile most was the winner!

Power to Change User Behavior

In yesterday’s Service Design Breakfast event at Startup Sauna, Janne Lohvansuu from User Intelligence has presented the case of live UX design in YLE’s Eurovision ambiance. User Intelligence have prototyped and tested new event page for YLE during the Eurovision 2013. Prototype was interactive, connected to live content during the events and tested by Eurovision enthusiasts. That way they have obtained crucial insights for the new service concept that intend to change the way we are watching TV.

“We, user experience professionals have an awesome power to change user’s behavior with the help of technology” Janne said. Research shows that 86% of mobile internet users are using their devices while watching TV. This brings an opportunity to introduce second screen on mobile devices and engage users with the content related to TV program. YLE and User Intelligence got engaged to explore that opportunity. That’s how it all began.

UserIntelligence - Ding dong! - Live UX design in YLE Eurovision ambiance

User Intelligence – Ding dong! – Live UX design in YLE Eurovision ambiance

Applying service design, User Intelligence started from understanding the big picture – customer journey. It was about creating event hype stamina, from initial competitions through different events, culminating in Eurovision finals. After the big picture, they moved to details of the customer journey – what happens before, during and after each event.

Having in mind different screen sizes of mobile devices, User Intelligence came up with event page concept. That was based on mapping of event’s time dimension (before, during, after) on different type of devices. Event page concept helped them to understand the change and to enter the cycle of rapid prototyping. For example, “before” page contained down counting ticking clock. “During” page had 2 tabs – one to watch TV show and another to watch next to TV content, like current ranking of songs. Depending on device, one or both tabs were present.

In-event testing was not done with ordinary, but extreme users – Eurovision fans. Their needs are quite the same as ordinary people have, just amplified and therefore easier to identify. Separate room was decorated to resemble home atmosphere, with sofa and multiple mobile devices scattered around – phones, tablets, and laptops. Users were freely using and changing device. For example, when following live content if they noticed their favorite is moving up, that produced more interest and made them change device looking for video content. Most useful were video clips. If they missed something they were able to find it.

Design process – the wheel of UX with key additions.

Design process – the wheel of UX with key additions.

Interactive co-creation went on through multiple iterations, finally producing pages that scale both time vise and device vise. The result has met YLE’s expectation – meaningful concept of second screen and user engagement. As such, the outcome is seen as a significant step towards changing a paradigm how people are watching a TV.

How to change paradigms, or key learning from live UX design in YLE’s Eurovision ambiance case:

  • Have enthusiasm and energy – go out and interact with users
  • Engage extreme users – get into their mind set
  • Make the process lively – engage users with fun and excitement

Written by Predrag Miskeljin.