Elevating UX design and digital product management for Hackathon win


Zacary Tan

HEALTH-I HACKATHON Champion (2023)
Completed SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme in UX Design and Digital Product Management
We are honored to introduce one of our distinguished learners from our SCTP programme, shining a spotlight on his exceptional commitment and skills. This talented learner achieved a remarkable win in the HEALTH-I HACKATHON, jointly organised by SingHealth Polyclinics, GP+, and AstraZeneca, alongside his team members. It's important to highlight that this accomplishment was attained while actively engaging in our SCTP programme. His experience clearly exemplifies the limitless possibilities our programme fosters, emphasising the significant impact of steadfast dedication and hands-on expertise.

Please share your experience of participating in the hackathon with us.

It was my first hackathon experience. Initially, I was hesitant to join as I thought I hadn’t developed my skills enough yet. On the other hand, the theme - Asthma - was something I had personal experience with and was meaningful to me. In the end, I took the leap with the main goal of building up my portfolio.

The actual day was hectic. I had to constantly remind myself to take snack breaks. Also, to have fun, meet people, and have meaningful conversations with the healthcare professionals and patients. It was eye-opening to meet teams from many different backgrounds - a few others from career transition programmes, many students from medicine, computer science, etc.

It was an encouraging reminder that the experiences and knowledge we brought together as a team, and as individuals from various paths in life, have value, both within the hackathon and in our career journeys. This mindset shift and feeling of overcoming self-doubt are something I’ll definitely carry along into the future.

Please share with us your professional life’s journey and at which point in your career did you aspire to pursue this programme?

I studied engineering and architecture at school, where I enjoyed learning about the design of physical spaces. After a few years in this industry, I wanted to try my hand with a very different medium, but still working towards creating usability and delight for users. Moreover, with the rise of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse, I hope that the design of virtual spaces and interfaces will be an important skill to possess in the near future.

How was your learning experience with this programme?

In addition to User Interface (UI) design and principles, we also learned a lot about Design Thinking, Research, and User Experience (UX) methodologies, as well as product management from Josh and other trainers.

It was heartening to find out that I had already applied some of these practices during my time in school and at work, whether intentionally or organically. Nevertheless, it was nice to view these past experiences through a structured framework, providing labels and structure to them. This allowed me to identify my existing skill set and, more importantly, to recognise the areas in which I can further develop and grow.

The Career Coaching sessions by Justus were also well-inspired and made me feel well equipped to go out and take charge of my future.

Which aspect of this programme did you like the most?

The lessons gave me a better appreciation of the UX and Digital space, and opened my eyes to previously unnoticed design moments in my everyday life in both the digital and physical world. For example, the rigorous processes, considerations, and effort needed to create effortless, sleek, and user-centric products for people.

Another highlight was getting to spend 4 months learning with and from course mates from such varied backgrounds, all working towards similar goals. I cherished the sense of togetherness in trying to make sense of a career and of life.

What were the challenges you faced when trying to complete this programme?

Even with the wide range of content and resources provided during the course such as industry mentorship, career guidance, guidance for hackathons, etc, we were not simply spoon-fed this knowledge.

Definitely, what you put in is what you will get out! There were times when I ended up lagging in coursework because of life. Thankfully, I had encouraging trainers and course mates who helped me catch up and complete the coursework.

What I’ve come to learn is that even after the course has ended, the work and learning are never done. There is a lot more to do and explore, and I will definitely continue building up my portfolio. I would say that this SCTP programme opened up my horizons and provided a good stepping stone in this continuous journey.