Designathon Vietnam 2023: An overwhelming first-time experience!

Posted on  30 October, 2023

Designathon is a popular Design Hackathon organized by Lollypop Design Studio since 2019. After 3 successful Designathon seasons in India, we were thrilled to extend the excitement to our UI UX Agency in Vietnam and the Design community here! 

Despite being the first-time event in Vietnam, Lollypop Designathon Vietnam 2023 – A Design Hackathon during 12 hours – garnered significant attention from designers nationwide, offering a great platform for young UI UX designers to immerse themselves in problem solving through design & unleash their creative potential.

In the post-event evaluation, we’ve compiled a collection of remarkable statistics that highlight the impact of Designathon 2023. Let’s check through the numbers and explore what happens at Designathon Vietnam 2023 as below!

The Participants of Designathon

The Participants 

The participants of Designathon 2023 had to be Freshers, Junior Designers with less than 1 year of working experience, or Students of Universities, Colleges, Institutes, and Centers in Vietnam and were required to submit CVs/ portfolios for evaluation. The selection process will be based on meeting Lollypop‘s criteria for UX/UI design capabilities and demonstrating outstanding performance compared to other applicants.

After a short period of opening for registration, Lollypop received over 120 applications across 3 big cities: Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Danang. Following a rigorous selection process, 50 exceptional participants were chosen and classified into 10 teams based on each person’s strengths to create a fair and engaging competition.

Preparation Process

Lollypop Preparation Process

Before the event, team members had around a week to get to know each other. One buddy – UI UX designer from Lollypop Vietnam – was assigned to each team to foster team engagement, address inquiries, and facilitate the selection of team leaders. These buddies also provided support on the Designathon day, ensuring everyone understood the brief and stayed on track with the timeline.

Lollypop hosted an Online Workshop

Lollypop hosted an Online Workshop featuring two UI/UX experts in the UI/UX design industry:

  1. Mr. Duong Vu – UI/UX Manager at Trusting Social
  2. Mr. Quintus Duong – UI Design Lead at Lollypop Design Studio Vietnam

The workshop covered two topics:

  • Topic 1: Problem solving skills – From problem to solution
  • Topic 2: How to manage practical projects and lead teams effectively

At the end of the workshop, a dedicated Q&A session was held, providing participants with an opportunity to engage directly with the experts and delve deeper into the topics covered, as well as any related inquiries about the Designathon event. 

Design Challenge

Design Challenge of the event

The topic of Designathon 2023 was website design! Specifically, participants were required to optimize the user experience for a website page of our Designathon sponsor, Arena Multimedia – the Leader in Animation & Multimedia education globally. With more than 27 years of experience, they desire to become the top choice for those willing to improve and pursue a career as a professional designer. 

Regarding Arena Multimedia’s website, the “Featured Projects” page is a source of pride, showcasing the impressive output projects created by students and demonstrating their esteemed reputation and commitment to delivering high-quality education.

However, ensuring a seamless user experience that is not restricted by the project’s output format poses a significant challenge. The reason being that there are currently 5 semesters at Arena Multimedia, each covering a diverse range of subjects and featuring different project outputs, including images, videos, 3D models, and PDF documents.

Therefore, the requirement for 10 teams of Designathon 2023 was to craft a solution that provides a more visually impressive experience with a clearer information structure for the page. The goal is to:

  • Increase the registration rate of prospective students.
  • Provide easier access for students to showcase their work to potential employers.

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways of Designathon

Excluding the time allocated for the event opening and solution presentation, each team had only 8 hours to ideate, conduct research, and deliver their design outcomes. Despite the tight timeframe, all ten teams have proposed impressive work regarding user experience and aesthetics. Let’s explore the best practices as below:

1. Research is a must! 

In order to solve design challenges, it is a must for designers to deep dive into UX research to empathize with users, break out the pain points, and define their actual needs. The judges at Designathon 2023 paid great attention to the research process of the teams and highly appreciated those investing great effort in this stage. 

One of the best solutions derived from the team’s research efforts was to create a Search Bar / Filter. Currently, projects are solely categorized by semester, which poses challenges for viewers to delve into specific areas of interest. By incorporating a search bar or filter features, they can easily navigate and explore projects that were conducted based on specific teachers or domains, enhancing their overall browsing experience.

2. Consider potential constraints

Keep in mind that the most creative idea doesn’t always guarantee usability! There are certain constraints that designers need to consider to come up with suitable solutions. This might include the platform format or availability of business technologies.

In addition, the time constraint also needs to be taken into account! Excluding the time allocated for event opening and solution presentation, each team of Designathon 2023 had only 8 hours to ideate, conduct research, and deliver their design outcomes. Therefore, setting a well-defined timeline for each stage of implementation and effectively assigning tasks is crucial to ensure teams can meet deadlines and deliver their work promptly.

3. Know your teammates

Team members should prioritize investing time in getting to know one another during the week before Designathon Day. This fosters a deeper understanding of individual strengths and weaknesses, enabling teams to establish timelines and assign tasks effectively. 

In addition, teams can utilize this time to designate team leaders and pre-define clear ground rules. By doing so, teams can avoid potential conflicts and optimize team performance during the implementation phase.

Check out this video to feel the special vibe at Lollypop Designathon Vietnam 2023!

Final thoughts

Designathon 2023 sponsored by Arena Multimedia

Designathon 2023, sponsored by Arena Multimedia was an unforgettable experience for young designers in Vietnam. To participants of Designathon 2023, thank you for joining, devoting all your enthusiasm throughout the event, and making it such a huge success! Lollypop Design Studio Vietnam hopes you have had a great opportunity not only to improve your skills and understand the process of solving a design brief from start to finish, but also to connect with new friends in the industry.

We also want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our amazing judges, including Mr. Duong Vu – UI/UX Manager at Trusting Social; Ph.D. Duy Lê – Head of HCI Research Division at VNU-HCM University of Science; and Mr. Trung Phan – Design Instructor at Arena Multimedia. Your expertise has been a testament to the quality and prestige of Designathon 2023!

Given the positive results above, we can’t wait for Designathon 2024, which will only be a bigger and even more spectacular design event ever for the Design community in Vietnam! To our Vietnamese design geeks, let’s keep your eagerness and be prepared for the explosion of Season 2 of Designathon Vietnam! We believe that would not disappoint your expectations!