The Prism team collaborated with Million Dollar Teacher Project (MDTProject), a local nonprofit, in the Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge. The goal of the Challenge was to help local nonprofits achieve their mission through the power of design and technology. By volunteering for the 24 hours straight website challenge, Prism gave MDTProject (the local nonprofit) access to UX, Visual Design, Content Strategy, and Web Development expertise to create a better experience on their website.

To bring the challenge together, there were awards to be won for People’s Choice, Best Design, Best Functionality, and Biggest Impact. Prism was a big winner, taking home People’s Choice, Best Design, and tied for Biggest Impact. Although we are very proud of these awards, the greatest awards was working with MDT Project and helping them get one step closer to completing their mission.

Key Takeaways
As for every project we take on, there’s retrospective that follows. Here are some of the key takeaways we found to be especially helpful.

Under promise and deliver—Your effectiveness as a designer/developer/strategist decreases immensely at exactly 8 hours, 42 minutes, and 28 seconds. We tracked it. Make sure you get the heavy lifting out of the way before that.

Cover all bases—Make sure you have every role covered, even back-end. Apparently, our GoDaddy server was not happy when 5 people were working simultaneously on the same WordPress app. (Amazon to the rescue!)

Drink more water than energy drinks/coffee—The boost is great, but the crash is brutal.

Fail fast—We crashed our server more times than we really want to admit installing plugins and playing around with WordPress settings. Luckily, this was when we were less than 4 hours into the challenge.

Take a break!—There are a lot of challenges to meet a 24 hour deadline, but the last thing you need is conflict within the team. We took ice cream breaks to combat the pressure, sleep deprivation, and frustration.

Have fun—This shouldn’t be a chore. There will be challenges, but it’s not the end of the world if you can’t get the events list to automatically update on the homepage.

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Also, keep an eye out for the redesign of the Prism website rolling out in the next two weeks, www.prismstudios.io.

Thanks to Cameron Gutierrez.