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Eater Hack Week Day 4: Unlimited Apps and Surprises Galore

Team Eater, hacking away
Team Eater, hacking away
Greg Morabito

By now, you've probably read about the amazing stuff that happened on days one, two, and three of Eater's already-legendary Hack Week 2015. Here's the TL;DR for day four:

Apps, Apps, Apps:

  • The restaurant letter grade app — a project that Ryan [Eater NY], Dylan [Product], and Casey [Product] are working on — is nearing completion after running into some new twists and turns on the data side. The layout is looking great.

Vine Tool

Vine Tool

  • The Vine tool is almost done, too. Kelsey [Product] finished the template, and built out a test post. Greg [Eater] is working on some more tests and a guide to how editors can create their own Vine posts.
  • Today, Devra [Eater NY] and the Product team worked to develop an app that will recommend restaurants based on neighborhoods.
  • Hillary and Erin [the Eater Reports team] worked with Casey [Product], Kelsey, and Dylan on the layout for a post about James Beard Award predictions.
  • Jody [Product] developed animation and other bells and whistles for Eater feature layout.
  • Jarret, Sonia [Eater], and Dz [Product] made a functionality that allows editors to ban commenters with one less step in Chorus.


  • Khushbu [Eater] and Dylan [Product] worked on a chart about carbon emissions. This is original artwork that Team Eater can continue to use.
  • The drinks generator — a joint project from Kelsey, and Eater editorial superstars Amanda, Kat, Helen, and Sonia — is really taking shape. You can select the various components with buttons, which have original artwork from Dylan. The next step is adding recipes and testing it out.


  • Helen Rosner [Eater] showed the teams how to shoot food on iPhones.

Food photography

For more food shots, check out #eaterhackweek on Instagram.


  • Dion [Eater video] showed the team how she creates motion graphics and animation for Eater's videos.
  • Chao [Product] gave a demonstration about how to create emojis in Slack.
  • And Scott [Product] showed the teams how to edit photos in Preview.

Hack Week Sound Bites

Here are some quotes from Eater editors and Product team members about what they worked on:

Hillary Dixler: "We had been working with Dz to make a more interactive poll for a James Beard Awards post that would allow multiple polls per posts, however, there was a deploy moratorium through the weekend, to protect SB Nation [which will be covering a number of major sports events over the weekend]. So, once we learned that we wouldn't have it in time, we met up with designer Kelsey to find a fun visual way to present it not as a poll. It will let you compare what you voted for with what Eater recommends. It's a way of making a list of names visually engaging. The Reports team also worked with Illustration, and the end result of it was available to us today, it's a fun way of understanding the impact certain ingredients' carbon footprint on the environment.

"I think we made the most of being in the same room with the Product team because we went from working on one project with them to working on a different one."

Ryan Sutton: "I've been continuing to work with Casey and Dylan on our search function that lets Eater users find out Department of Health grades through the Eater site, in a way that's more intuitive to the reader than the DOH site. The obstacle that we encountered was that there can be multiple inspections through a year. So, how should we express a grade if there are multiple grades within a year? The way around it is that we're showing the low grade for that year. It's our narrative, and it's the story that we're telling."

Dylan Lathrop: "The letter grade app is really workable. It's a full app experience, and there's a lot of fast learning that we did on this that's really beneficial. Casey's been learning how to parse really detailed data, and rework that into a strong narrative. And then on the design side, we're learning how to make that a seamless but worthwhile experience. So surfacing the letter grades...that's all new territories We haven't made any tools that do the specific things that this does."

Devra: "I'm working on something that we're tentatively calling 'neighborhood essentials.' It will ultimately be an app or part of the site that will have a map for the neighborhood — a great place for a cup of coffee, a great place for a drink, a great place for a casual meal, etc. I'm working on the first of those posts, which we will roll out not this coming weekend, but the following weekend. The first one will probably cover Carroll Gardens, which is where I live. Eventually, we'll have different writers on the Eater team write up their neighborhoods."