UCL Art Futures


Methodology and blueprint design

This guidance will help you decide on, and structure, the activities your participants will do during your hackathon.

Planning your hackathon exercises will be critical to the success of the day and to achieving your desired outcomes.

These exercises will be tailored to each individual event. Consider:

  • What are the deliverables or outputs you want to achieve? (e.g. glossary entries)
  • What do you want your participants to experience/take away? (e.g. exploring new ways of working, developing creative confidence, networking across disciplines)
  • How much time do you have? (e.g. 20 glossary entries to be drafted by 8 teams across one day, allowing sufficient time for breaks and introductions) 

As you start to create your exercises and methodology don’t worry about design detail at this stage. The key thing is to get the structure right so that you can iterate and test it. For example, our process involved:

  • brainstorming at internal meetings
  • drafting high-level power point blueprints
  • reviewing and iterating the power point slides
  • first design of the blueprint

Once you have the first design, it's critical to test your blueprint (or exercise) and methodology. We tested our blueprint with a multi-disciplinary group of users so that we could see not only how the blueprint design worked but also whether the 8-step methodology achieved the desired outcomes (for more information on the methodology read about the CreaTech Glossary project). When testing, it's important to use testers that are similar to your intended hackathon audience e.g. with similar subject matter expertise or experience.

After testing you can modify the methodology and design as needed, ready for the final day.

Download our final blueprint design (PowerPoint), which involved an 8-step methodology and pre and post mapping exercise to test user’s understanding.