CanEco 🍺

A challenge about making a change.

Being a bit apprehensive after my first mini challenge reflection, I am very glad to say that I've had a delightful experience working on my second one.

The first thing that comes to mind when I try to remember the beginning of this challenge is clear communication. From day 1, everyone was very open about what each one wanted to do, and we kept this respectfully until the last day. We all had our goals in mind, as well as our past mistakes — from which I guarantee we all have learned.

Engage

We had brainstorming sessions, discussed many options, and at first we were trying to decide between sustainablity, literacy and avoiding online crimes. None of those topics engaged all of us, though, so we started over and ended up with the topic microrrevolutions.

Investigate

At this stage, we faced an issue: our big idea did not really exist. Apparently, even though we were all familiar with the concept of microrrevolutions, it was not an official term, and we could not find much material to do our research. On this challenge we were meant to do etnographic research as well as desk, so not knowing what to look for made the process a little more complicated.

However, with hard work from all parts, we were able to gather a lot of information, visiting websites, translating different studies, joining facebook groups and interviewing people who we knew practiced our so called microrrevolutions. Since talking to potential users the term made sense with the context of what was becoming our solution, we've decided to keep the name microrrevolution.

… but what are microrrevolutions, though?

Microrrevolutions are small, individual actions (which can also be performed in groups, but moving from the intention of invididual change) concerning a better life, a better environment, that end up having a positive impact on the world we live in.

We made CSD matrixes, a value proposition canvas, we wrote down literally everything we could think of — what we knew, what we did not know, our suppositions, insights and iniciatives. Together with great team work, we had a solid base to start our Act.

Act

On the first day, we noticed our group was formed by three designers, one developer and a member who did not formally study any of the areas, but is an amazing illustrator, is always willing to learn and join different opportunities. Even though we planned on dividing the team in two subgroups, designers and developers (since I wanted to practice only coding in this challenge), from the Engage until the almost-final version of our prototype, we worked together.

We all had different styles of work, different ways of looking at things, which all connected somehow. We gave priority to emotional intelligence and respect, so we always ended on the same page. It always felt like everyone had everyone's back.

our low fidelity prototypes

At this point, we were thinking big. Too big, actually. Thankfully, our amazing mentor pointed out perhaps it'd be a better idea to have a more realistic scope. Did it bum us out at first? Yes. But we were extremely thankful by the end of the challenge. Having a well defined scope was key to prioritizing the right things, and led us to the opportunity of having extra time to implement some of those extra ideas we had in mind at first.

Developing

When we were done with the high-fidelity prototypes, we started splitting into groups to fit our schedule. I was extremelly pleased to work with Marco. It wasn't my first experience working with him, since he'd helped me in my past challenge, but it was the first time working on a larger scale project, for a longer period of time.

I am a bit of a control freak, and I really like organizing and planning things. So, when we started working and he started planning stuff before even opening XCode I just took that relief-breath. (thank you, really)

My Macbook had to be repaired back then, so when we started we only had his XCode working. Looking back, I'm kinda glad things went "wrong", because this showed us working literally together, commenting every single line we were typing led us to learning a lot. He has fairly more knowledge than I do when it comes to coding, but I still felt like I was able to share stuff I knew, instead of only learning all the time. (not complaining — I did, by the way, learn a lot, from Marco and from the mentors who helped us throught the challenge).

I admit I kept wondering the whole time when the calm pace of the challenge would turn into a storm. It was the first project in a very long time in which I did not get stressed out, did not feel overwhelmed at any point, and did not feel like everything was about to explode. Surprisingly, it never did: we kept the same nice flow from beginning to end.

I am the kind of person who always likes seeing negative sides of things. I have a very hard time finding happiness in my accomplishments, and this time was no different (at least, not at first). On the weekend before presentation I looked at our app and saw something I was proud of, but kept seeing its flaws.

I brought this up to Marco, who gave me some very sweet words and helped me see how far we'd come. I did run after fixing some small bugs that were bothering me, it's still me, afterall. But, this time, when we presented, I felt joyful. (I guess I also looked joyful, considering a friend literally took a screenshot of my face by the end of the presentation mentioning how happy I looked).

This is the project I'm the most proud of so far. It envolves sustainability and individual change, two things I really care about. It was made in a very healthy environment, with a lot of companionship. It was the first time I really trusted the process and the people I was working with, and really did my job delegating instead of trying to solve all the problems by myself. I honestly could not be happier.

Thank you Alis, Barbra, Lari, Marco and Veloso for making this challenge what it was. :) ❤

25y - designer in the making, photographer, addicted to reading and talking