Website design and illustrations for LA Hacks, UCLA's annual hackathon with 1500 student participants and various company sponsors. Timeline: 6 months of working with my co-Designer and a team lead, and 3 weeks of working with developers and full team before event start. This project included handover of existing logo and goals from LA Hacks team, UX research, copy, graphic design, documentation, and attending LA Hacks.
Our website, copy, and branding successfully increased the amount of applicants who were female or from non-technical backgrounds, compared to previous years.
I worked on a design team within the larger student-run team of organizers, many of whom had been part of LA Hacks for multiple years. For 2016 the organizers had the goal of drawing in a range of participants, from students new to coding, to skillful returning coders, to hackathon minorities such as non-coders and females. My co-Designer and I paired our market research with participant feedback from LA Hacks 2015, to craft a visual style and website. As the event weekend neared, we brought in two designers to focus on apparel, event space design and videography. Together we incorporated the event's goals and user research throughout the hackathon experience.
With every design decision, from our website's structure to the hackathon shirt colors, it was important for my co-Designer and I to educate our full team about how users could perceive LA Hacks as inclusive and encouraging. We focused validation on event goals, target users, and best practices from research and event history.
Our full team would be representing LA Hacks 2016 on campus and online, so it was important for everyone to use social media and recruitment messaging that reflected our goals. We worked with our two developers to communicate goals and timeline constraints. We updated new features side by side as the website phased from its initial splash page teasing the event, to a site with detailed information about the event, to a day-of Live section with quick links that could be saved offline.
I wanted to keep learning after event go-live when my traditional 'Designer' role was done, to see how our organizers had executed this year's values and inclusivity goals. I stayed for much of the weekend, wearing my organizer shirt with the inviting pink bear, walking around the event floor during project demos, and attending lectures by women and minorities in tech to hear participants' and lecturers perspectives. Other members of our team would also attend the event and reflect on LA Hacks 2016 success metrics for what to improve for 2017.
Below: Concepts and visual design directions that my co-Designer and I presented to our team lead to reach a visual identity and website concept.