Working at Vibe, our designer Darren came up with the idea of an easy-to-access Chrome extension helping you to check your teams morale straight from the browser bar.
We opted to spend some of our own time on it as a side project, and got a prototype ready for hallway testing in a couple of hours. After receiving some feedback from our colleagues, Darren made some UI tweaks and improved the user flow.
A day away
Since this side project has low priority for now (as our team is working out the core features), Darren and I decided to take this out of the office and have an intense 1 day hackathon at a coworking space.
After a quick search we settled on the Pasela Co-Work space in Higashi-Shinjuku, which is actually not far from our office. Being first-timers, we got the noob-tour to get to know the place. We passed a meeting room, some quiet space, a line of personal rooms and an open room where talking was allowed. The rooms looked clean and the tables and chairs comfortable. Access to free drinks like pepsi and cafe latte lifted our spirits and after organizing myself a second monitor also provided by the place, we were ready to go. Plans start at 500Y for 3 hours up to 2000Y for the full day.
On the clock
After talking through the interaction Darren made a couple of adjustments and I pondered about the tech to use. As the extension would be more complex than our prototype which just displayed an image, I opted in to use vuejs backed by browserify. I have recently become quite a fan of the simple and accessible API and powerful data binding features of vuejs, so this setup would guarantee to grow with our requirements. Roughly an hour later Darren presented the updates and a skeleton extension using vuejs was setup.
We now started implementing the flow of the extension, with Darren coding the elements in HTML/CSS and myself wrapping them up in components, sprinkling in some transition animations and building a mock api using Promises.
At the end of the day (when Darren left for his Japanese lessons) we had developed a great looking prototype which fit the design perfectly. The API was still a mock but the pieces fell together nicely.
Spending the day at the coworking space helped us to focus and really push the development of this extension. With only the API being left to do we made good progress.