Designing for 500+ students at Hack Western's first virtual hackathon

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Designing for 500+ hackers at Hack Western's first virtual hackathon

Designing for Hack Western 7 💻🐎

Project Overview
As a designer and illustrator for Hack Western 7, I co-designed 3 sites, created 30+ custom illustrations, 10+ graphics, and various other materials such as a teaser video, sponsorship package, sticker designs, and t-shirt designs.
Duration
Apr - Nov. 2020
(8 months)
Role
UI Designer
Illustrator
Team
Justin Zhang
Donna Xue
Aradhya Bansal
Matthew Chang
Jerry Lu
Letitia Kwan
Toolkit
Figma
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe After Effects
Project Overview
As a designer and illustrator for Hack Western 7, I co-designed 3 sites, created 30+ custom illustrations, 10+ graphics, and various other materials such as a teaser video, sponsorship package, sticker designs, and t-shirt designs.
Duration
Apr - Nov. 2020
(8 months)
Role
UI Designer
Graphic Designer
Illustrator
Team
Design: Kelly Chong, Justin Zhang, Donna Xue
Development: Aradhya Bansal, Matthew Chiang, Letitia Kwan, Jerry Lu
Toolkit
Figma
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe After Effects
01. CONTEXT

What would you build if you could make anything, anywhere? 🧰

Hack Western is one of Canada’s largest annual student-run hackathons. For its 7th year, we welcomed 500+ hackers from across the globe to learn, build, and compete. Teams this year built web, mobile, and hardware projects, while participating in workshops, learning from mentors, and competing for prizes - all in 36 hours.

With COVID-19 forcing Hack Western to transition to a virtual environment for the first time, this year especially was crucial to push design and marketing efforts in order to attract applicants, sponsors, and facilitate a smooth experience for hackers.
02. BRANDING

Defining the theme for Hack Western 7

As every year delivers the challenge of introducing a new branding schematic for Hack Western, while brainstorming for Hack Western 7, my team and I took into considerations of the possibility of being remote. We settled on a theme relevant to needing to transition to work-from-home due to the pandemic, and thus borne our tagline "make anything, anywhere" to encourage hackers to build the projects of their dreams from the comfort of their own homes.
Giving rooms personality
Using Adobe Illustrator and Figma, I created various illustrations of household objects hackers might find in their homes. These objects were commonly scattered throughout our web platforms and promotional graphics, as well as to fill up rooms.
03. WEB APPLICATIONS
Landing Page: The touchpoint for probing applicants and curious sponsors.
Designed by Justin Zhang, our landing page allowed anyone to learn more about Hack Western and prompted them to apply/become a sponsor.
Application Portal: Allowing hackers to register with ease.
Our team built a custom application portal whereby individuals could apply to Hack Western 7 directly through our site.
Live Site: Day-of centralized platform for hackers, sponsors, mentors, and organizers.
To make it easier to communicate information to hackers on the day of the event, my team worked on designing a "live site" that featured a dashboard, the event's schedule, sponsor booths, profile page, and more. I primarily worked on the home page, updates page, and sponsor booth overview pages, but I also incorporated all the backgrounds/illustrations and helped bring multiple pages into its responsive devices and dark mode. As well, I conceptualized all the badges in the "badge box" feature of the profile page.
04. promotional materials
Graphics
Below are a select few of the graphics I made for posting on our social media platforms of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Teaser Video
Made in Adobe After Effects to tease the release of Hack Western 7 applications.
05. learnings
Hack Western 7 welcomed 500+ hackers, and successfully ran its first virtual iteration! 🎉
What I learned

Working with the design team allowed me to practice and learn new skills such as Auto Layout in Figma, designing for responsivity and dark modes, and tackling illustration. I'm really happy to have designed platforms that were of use to hundreds of people as well, as we received a lot of positive feedback on Hack Western's design this year. I had a blast helping organize and design for Hack Western for the first time, and I'm super excited to be leading design for Hack Western 8 in 2021 too! 💜🚀

*Bonus*

On the weekend of Hack Western 7, I helped organize and facilitate a "Painting with Bob Ross in MS Paint" activity for hackers who were looking to take a break from hacking. Here's my MS Paint version of "Towering Peaks" by Bob Ross! 

Digital illustration of a Bob Ross tutorial done on MS Paint.