Verbal+Visual’s Creative Days 2014 – #CR8GR8

By Anshey Bhatia • December 17, 2014

Last week, Verbal+Visual’s first installment of Creative Days took place. In a span of 48 hours, two teams each produced a functional prototype.

V+V’s 2014 Creative Days Teams were:

“Cache Money”, featuring:
+ Caroline “Asana” Molloy
+ Anna “I’ll Clear Your Cache” Pankevich
+ Chris “Create It” Cubellis

“QA All Day”, featuring:
+ Max “I’ll have a chicken burrito” Hart
+ Sophie “More??” Vershbow
+ Anshey “The Principal” Bhatia

We started out with an episode of our Learning+Leadership program over breakfast. Our Principal, Anshey Bhatia, spoke about building your first MVP. This was a great way to kick off creative days, as it gave both teams a clear plan of attack. Once we gained some insight into building an MVP and finished fueling up, both teams got to work.

 

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Both teams hashed out all of the strategy as quickly as they could, then got to designing and developing the products that had been decided on the previous week.

Team Cache Money created Smalltalk, a web app conceived to provide humorous talking points for casual (or not-so-casual) small talk. Designed for both mobile and web experiences, the app connects to location and weather APIs to assist in more situation-specific conversations, à la weather, mornings, and Mondays. When it is ready for public use (a few lines of code away), Smalltalk will also allow visitors to submit their own talking points to the app.

Our audience demographic for this app was pretty widespread: between 14-30 years old, easily-amused, and with a few minutes to kill.  The concept behind the app is fairly simple and was accomplished with just a few API integrations in the back end. As far as the front end goes, the Cache Money team made it quick and fun to use. To enjoy Smalltalk, users need simply tap the space bar or do a quick pull down on their devices. Secondary, non-vital information, such as add your own talk and credits, is initially hidden until the user hovers or scrolls.

The main challenge encountered by the Cache Money team was the API integrations. To account for this, they used an agile development method, simultaneously designing and developing Smalltalk. They worked in steps, starting out with the bare minimum needed to form a viable product (desktop, randomly generating talking points) and then moved on to work in the additional features (less random talking points, mobile, add your own talks, etc.) that were of lower importance for the conclusion of the creative days.

 

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Team QA All Day created a company dashboard to act as an all-access hub for Verbal+Visual employees. It provides links to our most commonly used tools, shows upcoming events, and has a company directory for quick contact information and fun facts. It also showcases best spots to eat in the area, answers FAQs, allows team members to send in anonymous suggestions, and displays our social media feeds.

QA All Day started out by being very ambitious with functionality, so they broke the project into three phases: Phase 1 (Required), Phase 2 (Preferred), and Phase 3 (Add Ons). Phase 1 consisted of the components that they needed to be sure were included at the conclusion of Creative Days. Phase 2 were the components that they wanted to add should time allow, and Phase 3 held our ideas of the future as the dashboard continues to grow. The QA All Day team was able to finish the bulk of Phase 1, however a few Phase 1 items had to be pushed to Phase 2 during the development stage. Still, despite the reduced number of applications, the dashboard prototype serves as a solid initial platform which we can build upon going forward.

 

 

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Both Cache Money and QA All Day enjoyed Creative Days 2014 and built some awesome fully functional prototypes. We also came up with the hashtag #CR8GR8 that we used throughout the 2 day event as we worked on our digital products. Thanks to all who have supported us in 2014. We wish everyone a Happy Holidays and a prosperous 2015!  Enjoy these photos from the event as well:

 

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Check out some more photos from the event here. Congrats to both teams, as they both produced beautiful and effective web platforms in just two days.  We’re already looking forward to the next edition in 2015!

Anshey Bhatia

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