How we ran our first hackathon

Tamara Willner
Written by

Tamara Willner

7th February 2019

You may have noticed the new food diary feature in the latest version of the OurPath app released earlier this week – it was built during the first OurPath Hackathon.

We want to give our users an idea of what happens behind the scenes at OurPath. Here’s how we created a new feature that would typically take over a month to research and build in just two days!


What’s a hackathon?

The idea behind a hackathon is to bring together different members of the team who might not interact with each other every day to work on a single problem that we want to solve in a short period of time.


What problem did we solve?

We knew we wanted to help the OurPath community feel more in control of their eating habits as well as make it easy to share information on food with mentors during the ‘food recall’ weeks of the programme.


How did we spend the two days?

The OurPath product team started the morning with some fun activities to help us brainstorm and avoid limiting our ideas. We thought about what we could do if there were no technology limitations or how we might solve this problem without using technology at all. After lunch, we then brought these ideas back to reality – considering what our users actually need as well as what would be practical to build in a day and a half.

That afternoon and throughout the next day, our designers built wireframes from our initial sketches and tested our ideas and assumptions, while the engineers split into two teams to turn the prototype into a reality. It was great to see collaboration between members of different teams – helping each other out and learning about new areas.

Our first hackathon was a massive success and we’re looking forward to the next one!

Get started

We’re keen to for you to give food diaries a try and let us know what you think!

Here’s how to get started.

  1. Download the latest version of the app from the App Store or the Google Play Store
  2. Head to the Learn tab in the app
  3. Click Food diary and then Start today’s diary
  4. Start logging!

Why should I track my food?

We didn’t decide to build the food diary on a whim. In addition to getting direct feedback from your mentor, research has shown that monitoring your own behaviour can lead to increased self-awareness. Tracking your food can help you understand your own eating patterns and identify moments that trigger you to go back to old habits. Having this self-understanding can help to maintain the changes you’ve worked hard to make over the long term.

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