An interesting czech company STRV, focusing on mobile apps & web have organized a hackathon in Brno. The objective was to develop any kind of idea for an app into a prototype for the new Apple Watch.

STRV is quite interesting – they originated in Czech Republic, then moved to U.S, having three offices there now.  The reason? Time–wasting tradition of a competitions for contracts and also lack of respect for their experience and skills, which basically prevented them from effectively do the best work they can in a reasonable time.

The hackathon began lasted all Saturday, with about 6 Apple Watches in place.  Each team could borrow the watch for some time. My friend Pacek who just got a job at STRV told me about it and I was 100% game, due to my sympathies for collaborative events like this one. Pacek is a wise and experienced programmer, currently focusing on iPhone app development – Apple Watch was a good challenge for him to make something work, and for me to do the design bit.

Our table at the Impact Hub Brno

Our table at the Impact Hub Brno

Few weeks ago we started discussing a potential app for adventurers who go on a river – in Czech, this has quite a tradition. So we brought that idea in, took advantage of the waterproofness of the watch (not official though) and started thinking how to develop this idea for Apple watch in 8 hours into something that works, and share the app’s story through the prototype.

Traditional czech water adventurer – our target user group

Traditional czech water adventurer – our target user group

I sketched, designed (using Sketch software which was behaving little weird that day) and Pacek coded the app prototype in xCode.

Our workflow - Sketching UI, developing, testing, shooting video

Our workflow – Sketching UI, developing, testing, shooting video

To convey the user’s journey, we made a short video straight on the hackathon, with the help of Petr Simon from Lip Production – great guy when it comes to video work.

When it came to the final presentations, the video conveyed the idea very well and most of the people understood it quickly. We got feedback form the jury, that proposed a different use of this concept (for bike trips for instance) which I found quite irrelevant – this app is just for river adventurers and benefits from the linear river spirit. Second request was about photos of places – this from my point of view goes against the nature of watch interaction, especially on rocking boat – you don’t have the peace to judge photos on small watch display. You want quick, efficient interaction.

Final presentations

Final presentations

We ended at beautiful 3rd place (out of 12) and we both learned a lot from this short event. More hackathons please!