My former classmate and I had never participated in a Hackathon and wanted to take on the challenge. Since we missed the registration for the live event we were determined to participate in some aspect of this interesting project. As aspiring UX Designers we chose to collaborate and problem solve to better the NYC OpenRecords portal.

What it does

We sought to focus the bulk of our project on research and to really understand the user. Each of us used techniques and skills that we touched on briefly in class but were never able to apply in real-world situations.

How we built it

We used Sketch to create our low-fidelity wireframes and various analytical tools such as: online card sorts, Google Analytics, NYC OpenData, and consulting with various professionals who gave us insight on research and UX.

Challenges we ran into

Time and information... Time simply because we had 4 days to complete an extensive research plan (with little to no resources) and compile the data in an organized way.

Information because we had no idea the NYC had so many websites and portals. Also we had little knowledge about the Freedom of Information Law and the requesting of records.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Being able to come together with such short notice and truly collaborate was the biggest accomplishment. We learned A TON about public information, what that means, and how it can help us. Unfortunately we had to seriously dig for that information making it extremely difficult for the average person to learn about all that NYC resources have to offer. We also put the data together in an organized way.

What we learned

We learned that people want efficiency and simplicity to be at the forefront of design. We also learned that sometimes it's okay to drop perfectionism for the bigger purpose, or project. The ability to prioritize tasks with limited resources was also a huge triumph for us. And most important we learned not to compare ourselves to other, but rather, to compare ourselves to ourselves a day, a month, a year ago.

No matter what the results of the competition are, to us this is already a triumph.

What's next for NYC Open Records: What the User Wants

Although we didn't have the time or skills for high fidelity wireframes and a live prototype we would like to use this basis as an opportunity to work on those skills with programs such as Sketch and InVision. Who knows...maybe one of us will be sitting on the judging panel someday?

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