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Solving the Need for Innovation Speed: [topcoder] talent on display at IBM Innovate

By cloudspokes In Uncategorized

Posted June 4th, 2014

86,399 seconds, how about 1,439 minutes… ring a bell? Maybe, just under 24-hours or better still, why don’t we call it what it truly is; amazing digital innovation, in less than one day. Earlier this week at the IBM Innovate conference, our team from [topcoder] showed the audience what true velocity in digital innovation should look like.

Perched in this cool area of the IBM event show-floor dubbed the ‘Pitstop’ our team had the opportunity to ask attendees a short series of what appeared to be hopelessly obtuse and non-related questions. Little did the audience know – at that time – that their answers were helping to shape a LUX (Live UX) mobile design challenge we were about to launch on [topcoder]. The survey takers had no idea that their answers of Prince, Peter Parker, or Pac-Man were actually helping us decide key inputs that were going to be included in the specification for this live, less than one day, LUX design challenge. So what did these questions and answers help us determine? Let’s have a look:

First, we asked the attendees to get a wee bit nostalgic with this opening query:


The participants didn’t realize it then, but the most popular answer was to be the inspiration for the logo design used in the application. With Pac-Man winning, we were all wondering how the community would use the iconic video-game hero within their designs.

Next, we asked the IBM event goers who they’d most likely be rocking out to in the form of this question below:


Green Day took the cake, and this question helped us determine the color scheme the application would need to be designed in. Since Green Day won, the color scheme needed to be based in, well, you guessed it, green! (And the complimentary colors associated with the hue.)

Finally, you’ve got to know your end users, so we thought this whimsical question would help define what type of user personality we’d ask our community to design for:


With Clark Kent winning the superhero battle, it meant we’d need to instruct our community to design an app that was uniform, in order, and “super” easy to use.

What mobile application would we ask the community to design?

For this challenge we asked our [topcoder] community to design a brand new mobile user experience for an existing Twitter sentiment analysis tool (powered by IBM BlueMix). The existing interface was overly simple, and by all admission, rudimentary. However, the tool itself and its ability to showcase real-time sentiment analysis of any given topic the world over – based on the most current tweets tied to that topic – certainly had promise to evolve into a very unique, and useful application.

Here is the current, emoticon-heavy interface design that existed prior to this challenge:


With a focus on creating beautiful visualizations and showcasing various features a user might find exceptionally useful (tied to real-time twitter sentiment analysis), we launched the 23-Hour IBM Innovate LUX Mobile Design Challenge.

Innovating with Extreme Velocity

Keeping in mind the theme for the entire IBM event was “Innovate @ Speed”, we’d encourage you to take a look at just some of the amazing solutions that were delivered via [topcoder] community members, all within 24 hours, or again, perhaps more powerfully stated, all happening within one day. Along with the incredible velocity, it’s important to note this LUX design challenge saw 18 submissions, which represented 6 different countries participating from around the globe.

*Small sampling of the design submissions, winners will be chosen soon!

We ended our journey at IBM Innovate by suggesting to our audience that it is time they re-imagine what true velocity can look like in digital innovation. As always, we couldn’t demonstrate this extreme value without our community members who never cease to amaze us through their creativity, passion, and drive to compete – thank you!