May 30, 2021 2021 Design Month Recap

The fifth annual Design Month has come to an end. This year, we officially named the month Gh3ablo’s Design Month in the memory of our dear friend Gh3ablo who passed away last year. You can read more about him and his designs here.  

This month was filled with many challenges, workshops, prizes and tournaments. It was a lot of fun for our designers. 


In our first Workshop Wednesday, we held the Design Month kickoff where adroc, jmpld40 and DaraK gave an introduction to everything planned for the month. They explained how Gh3ablo’s Rapid UI Design Bracket Tournament, Jessie’s Design Month Dash, and Topcoder Figma Skillbuilder challenges would work plus everything needed for members to have a good understanding of what was coming.

In the second Workshop Wednesday, we talked about using Figma and its features compared to other tools such as XD or Sketch. We had two special guests, yoki and starck181995, that gave us lots of details about Figma and even showed us a live demonstration of how easy it is to use. Following this event we had the first Topcoder Skill Builder challenge which was focused on learning Figma from basic to advanced level.

For our third Workshop Wednesday, we hosted the CEO and co-founder of Marvel, Murat Mutlu, who talked about his journey from building a side-project to a startup, how they got users with no money and some of the design decisions that helped make the brand stick.

In our fourth Workshop Wednesday, we talked about how designers and developers work together and how some designers transitioned to become developers. Our special guests were lunarkid, picachui, hi4sandy and kiril.kartunov who shared with us how Marvel Handoff has helped them work better in their field among many other things.


We have run many challenges during Design Month but one of the most loved ones every year is Jessie’s Design Month Dash challenge. This year we focused on designing NFT trading cards during all three design rounds. Each round consisted of a number of challenges with heats/groups. Each heat was given a color scheme to be used in the design, a theme and specific photos. The awesome results can be seen below. For the final round we had designers create an NFT card which was adroc inspired, used the movie theme and three colors: blue, yellow and green. 

Congratulations to the winners of this challenge! Our first place winner this year, oninkxronda, was last year’s winner as well.

1st place: oninkxronda

2nd place: aditm17

3rd place: iamtong

4th place: arcnajib

Gh3ablo’s Rapid UI Design Bracket Tournament is a 1-1 tournament in which designers had to face each other in short, thirty-minute competitions to win and advance further. The format was a double elimination tournament which we ran in three rounds for a total of seven challenges.

To keep things more engaging for the viewers we used an online tool to show the winners in real time as they advanced for the entirety of the brackets. You can see the winners of each round here.

The problems we ran were focused on topics like a career change recommender tool, an overlanding application to provide you with data needed when travelling, a pill taker reminder, or a fitness application which would help a user figure out the best training method based on preferences, health issues, etc. The designers had to focus on many types of applications from responsive design to Android and iOS native applications and even tablet design.

The semifinal problem focused on creating a simple application that would help users generate a strong password on the go, which should be fun and exciting. Our final four designers were rajeshrathood VS iamtong and ToxicPixel VS iqbalhood.

For the championship round the two finalists, iamtong and ToxicPixel, had to design how they envisioned an application where a medical doctor is needed in an emergency situation, but is difficult to reach. The application would allow the user to quickly trigger help from an available doctor that could guide an untrained person to provide first aid.

Congratulations to iamtong who defeated andiirawanart, aditm17, iqbalhood, rajeshrathod and ToxicPixel on his way to become the champion. Hats off to ToxicPixel as this was his first bracket tournament. He managed to handle the adrenaline of competition and come up with creative ideas so that he ended up in second place.


This month we had the opportunity to launch the first ever Topcoder Skillbuilder challenge which was dedicated to learning Figma. We had easy, medium and hard levels of problems in which our members got the chance to learn about working with components and constraints, creating styles for texts and colors, designing with responsivity in mind, creating simple and advanced prototyping and much more. The challenges included tutorials on how to design with a required feature in mind. Our members did an excellent job with these challenges.  

The Skillbuilder winners were: iaminfinite, herlansyahs, cardiboy, skr-suyash, Sushmitha_S02, jivkoss, yanwarpro, belladwi, d.fachri and kreasindo.


At the end of Design Month we organized a design party, where Hector Noval from Designit studio of Tokyo was our guest, who talked to us about his journey. Then, the last round of the bracket tournament took place in which the semifinal and final challenges occurred. Next came the time for awards and sharing some fun memes from our challenge that ran during the event:

The winner was khusnunirawan who created a meme with Ravijune

After a lot of laughs from the memes, came the time for some prizes: The Brackets Club awarded a $1,000 scholarship to student Hari_Om_Pandey, one of our Topcoder members with interests in various fields such as algorithm and design who is looking forward to finishing school. This scholarship will help him on his way to being the best he can be.

Next it was time to award the winners of Jessie’s Design Month Dash, the Topcoder Skill Builder challenge, and Gh3ablo’s Rapid UI Design Bracket Tournament, which brought a lot of points and prizes to our winners.

This year we had two leaderboards: one for regular members and one for veterans. Each challenge we ran had a number of points that added to the leaderboard. The first place winner on the veteran leaderboard, iamtong, won a trip to TCO21, and as he’s already qualified as a design finalist, he will receive the monetary value. The first place winner for the newbie leaderboard was buntysagers who won $250 and a private design workshop with adroc. You can check out the entire leaderboard here.

Big congratulations to all winners of the Design Month challenges!


All the events this month would not have been possible without adroc and jmpld40, who led the entire month’s projects. Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make this month happen: hmehta, all our copilots who helped run Design Month challenges, fajar.mln, idblack, chekspir, mosaixel, DrHarrisonWells, systic, mahestro, grv.ashu, PereViki, quesks, all the Workshop Wednesday guests (Murat from Marvel and others), tonyj and the Topcoder support team for helping us with the system issues, yoki who helped us run the Skillbuilder challenges, chekspir and mahestro for helping with problem writing for Gh3ablo’s Rapid UI Design Bracket Tournament, as well as our Design Month guest Hector from DesignIT, and nick.castillo and jcori who ran the trivia for us during the Design Month party. Last but not least a special mention and thanks go to Gh3ablo’s family – this year, we were glad to see his wife Elena attending some of our live events as a guest.

Thank you all for participating and see you next year!


Guest Blogger

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