Looking to serve the growing tech community in Westchester, NY I along with a friend decided to try and validate our idea of a hackathon in the area. We came up with Code914.com. I have attended and mentored them before, and love the work ethic they inspire and think it's a great way to see what you can produce in a short amount of time. I created the brand with inspiration from the areas proximity to NYC and wanting to use a duotone effect. I started this process in Sketch, working through some layout and branding options. You can see I started with something very different than what I ended with.

initial design of site and brand

Since at this point we were just validating the business, it was important to get this done quickly and spend more effort on marketing the site. From this initial design, I saw what I liked and didn't, and what direction I wanted to go in. I setup a static site locally using an HTML5 boilerplate, NPM, Gulp, SASS, and Include-Media helper for responsiveness. With this stack and Browsersync configured in Gulp I could quickly prototype the experience and design. I created the landing page with the main intent to deliver the purpose and drive email signup. After testing a few different email captures, from sending them to an email, dropping them into a google sheet, and integrating with a list service I decided to go with Mailchimp. To keep the experience as on brand as possible, I redirected users to a custom thank you page post signup, with the ability to share the site with friends.

final design of site and thank you page design

Using Browsersync allowed me to have live updates on all my devices as I prototyped the design. This made it much quicker to do the responsive styling and create universal styles where possible, and avoid more troubleshooting later on.

mobile design of site

Using sharingbuttons.io I inserted the lightweight social sharing options on the Thank you page. This in addition to the Open Graph tags added in the header allows for users to share a branded message in social channels. To extend the brand and provide a full experience I continued to setup the social channels, which are part of the outreach efforts and serve as a vessel for content creation and an inbound strategy to help awareness grow organically.

Code 914 twitter page

Over a few hours I was able to take our idea to a working site and visible brand. It was the MVP needed in order to shift our attention towards validating the idea and pivoting where we need to. I'll continue to update this as the product evolves and hopefully becomes an actual event.