On Friday the Plank team assembled for our third Hack Day. If you want to know more about our Hack Day process you can read Steve's excellent post about the first hack day.

This time around we had 5 teams, all focused on digital projects:

Team Food Truck

With the City of Montreal finally allowing food trucks in the city this summer, there is growing demand for a simple site that can provide the locations of the various trucks, and Team FT (John H and Sean) wanted to try and meet this demand. They were able to find ways to parse tweets and keywords, and translate them to locations on the map, but the major challenge they came up against was finding that the trucks are less than consistent in sharing their location. Some tweet their upcoming schedules, but not all do. Plus many do not have geo-location enabled on their tweets. The ideal solution would be to find a way for trucks to submit their information for use by the site, such as using a hashtag that the trucks could use when tweeting their schedule. We could then use this information to display location, and eventually even develop an API that others could use.

Team Documentary


With backgrounds in editorial, graphic design and integration, Team D wanted to investigate making an interactive documentary layout using the newest front-end techniques. Choosing an exciting subject was the first hurdle, but once the story had been chosen, the team worked in stages, making a plan, before writing sections of copy to pass to design then integration. The main challenge was trying to master experimental CSS techniques quickly enough to create some of the effects and interactions we wanted. At the end of the day we had copy and layout done, and a number of sections integrated, which showed how quickly a task can be accomplished with effective teamwork.

Team Baseball

Anyone that knows Warren knows about his love of baseball. For hack day, Warren along with Jenn and Geoff wanted to re-imagine how baseball stats are displayed on sites such ashttp://www.baseball-reference.com. Baseball fans love their stats, but with so much information on the page the information can be a little overwhelming. Team B worked to make the data more visual, introducing photo comparisons and coloured charts so the information is easier to digest. Streamlining the site’s appearance and adding in some stylish design elements along the way, team B managed to make quite a difference in a short time.

Team Pat-man

Having spent the last 2 hack days working on back-end code for the Dashboard prototype, Patrick used the opportunity to step outside of his normal role and tackle some advanced Javascript on the front-end. His aim was to build a leaderboard web app for our hotly contested office arcade table using Angular.js.He came quite far in a day, tackling the baseline features that allow for high-scores to be entered with optional photographic proof, plus the ability to endorse or even contest the score if anyone else thinks it’s just too good to be true. Plus the site is fully responsive right from the get-go (thanks in part to Foundation), so we can add our scores (and the all-important photo proof) right from our phones.

Team Loyalty

Team Loyalty (AKA Business Development Director John B) wanted to explore the idea of the increasing number of customer loyalty programs that are transitioning online. The major question to address was how to make the transaction at the point of sale easier for customers and staff alike, to make sure that a) customers want to use the program, and b) staff enter the correct information. JB spent the day working on documenting how the programs currently work, and thinking of better ways to approach the topic. Plenty of food for thought for the future!

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