About Sam Weller

Lead Designer @ realestate.com.au. Passionate about UX, UI and delivering lovable products quickly to consumers #GSD Run Hack Day @ REA and yell a lot on Twitter via @samwe11er

Hack it Forward: Time to give back. Again

In August we held our 2nd ever community and charity based Hack Day at REA: Hack it Forward.

More than 110 people in our Melbourne and Xi’an offices spent two days hacking for social causes, non-profit organisations and helping people in need. This year we partnered with more fantastic groups including:

Yet another wonderful event with 25 projects being tackled in 48 hours by smart, passionate people.

Best of all we captured it all in this little video. Enjoy 🙂

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Hack Day 101 (and why it’s essential for your business)

Employee led innovation is nothing new.

Google 20% time is acknowledged for producing a number of key product innovations like Gmail and Docs (although it’s understood they have officially killed off that perk). Over at Facebook, founder Mark Zuckerberg spoke extensively of “The Hacker Way” in their IPO filing to the SEC.

What is not as widely known is that employee time can be traced all the way back to Post-WW2 in the United States. It was 1948 and multinational manufacturer 3M instigated “15% time“. In 1974 an employee by the name of Art Fry used this time to develop a means of applying an adhesive to the back of a piece of paper and the post-it note was born.

In addition to the Silicon Valley titans, several companies have embraced employee time to foster innovation, all with pretty cool names: BlueSky (Apple), [in]Cubator (LinkedIn), Hackweek (Dropbox), The Garage (Microsoft), ShipIt (Atlassian).

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Hack it Forward: Time to Give Back

In October 2014 we ran our 17th Hack Day event at REA, this time focusing on social issues and hacking on outcomes to benefit the wider community. We partnered primarily with 4 charitable organisations:

In addition, participants were encouraged to collaborate with other community groups or charities on a project of their choice. 10 teams were formed in total with a focus on delivering real value to people in need.

How did we go? See for yourself:

We blogged the entire two day experience via Storify:
https://storify.com/REA_Group/hack-it-forward-oct-2-3-2014

Are you responsive to your users?

Responsive web design has been pretty hot for a few years now. As online products and services jostle for our attention it’s imperative that your digital wares are available whenever and wherever your customers want.

But is responsive the golden hammer? The utopian solution for every single website?

There is no single perfect solution, it ultimately comes down to your particular requirements.

REA has an award winning iOS app. We have an incredible mobile optimised website. We have one of Australia’s most visited websites in our flagship ‘desktop’ site.

We have also embraced responsive on a few sites including our careers portal, the all new retirement living section and the share accommodation sites which now provide a multi screen experience in a single application.

There are a few key things to evaluate when deciding between a dedicated mobile experience versus a responsive, single application.

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