City parking simplified

The results of a 3-day hackathon, cobbl clarifies the parking rules in Toronto, which are often very confusing.

Three friends and I signed up for the AngelHack hackathon on Toronto in June 2018. A back-end dev, a front-end dev, and two UX Designers and three days to build a functional prototype from scratch and present it to a panel of judges.

We took a problem that we had experienced ourselves, so we were our own target group for lack of time to research with other users. We focussed on hashing out the available data for the back-end so we could build a functional prototype. Then the other UX Designer and I set out to determine functionality and features, and prioritised the core functionality of the app: to simplify the street parking rules by visualising them in a clear and understandable way.

As this app would primarily be used by people while driving, the obvious device choice was smartphone as most people use their smartphone for navigation anyway. We built our product on the Google Maps API, and expected users would use it in a similar way: turning it on before driving off, so the app does not encourage to use a mobile phone while driving.

By the third day, we had a somewhat functioning prototype to show how our code would work. We also had a clearly thought out product development plan including hi-fi mockups of the first version and expansion plans for the future. I pitched cobbl to the judges and the audience of other hackathon participants, and WE WON! :) 

As winners, we were enrolled in AngelHack's accelerator program alongside the winners of the other AngelHack hackathons around the world that season. We got weekly business coaching for several months and expanded our team with another developer. Eventually our back-end dev and I dropped out due to other obligations, but it was a great learning experience.

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