Joy Ng, UX Designer, GovTech, Singapore

By Medha Basu

Women in GovTech Special Report 2020.

How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.

Before COVID-19, I was working on a Personal Alert Button which allows vulnerable elderly to call for emergency help. In extraordinary times like now, I am privileged to work with various GovTech teams and other government agencies on a multitude of projects such as the maskgowhere website, flugowhere website and tokengowhere website, to ensure that COVID-19 related information is easily accessible to citizens.

What was the most impactful project you worked on this year?

The most impactful project will be the Personal Alert Button. It is more than a button; it is a system. The complicated part is not the button design or the operator’s user interface (UI). The technology is rather straightforward. Instead, we spent most of the time sorting out the intricate emergency response model. We ran two trials with a total of 100 elderly before incrementally implementing the PAB system in a project with the housing authorities. Our system has helped with more than 140 emergencies cases. But what is more heartening is that my colleagues and I have forged friendships with some of the elderly in the earlier trials.

What is one unexpected learning from 2020?

Burnout can hit you without warning signs. I thought I was coping well as I was able to recognise and rationalise the signs and effects. But, it’s not enough. More than ever in unpredictable times like now, it’s important to cut ourselves some slack and be more in love with ourselves.

What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2021?

Automatic web accessibility solutions that claim to transform websites into accessible ones automatically. And, AI-based writing tools that help to suggest copy – including even your Instagram caption!

What are your priorities for 2021?

My life priority will be to live well. My work priority will be to scale and optimise the design and research operations for my UX team.

What advice would you give to women looking to start a career in GovTech?

We imbue purpose into our work at GovTech. So, start getting involved to find that purpose! To start or have a career in GovTech, you have to focus not on the success, but the process. Do your best in all the tasks and success will eventually come.

Write a message for your future self.

“Told you, all is well.”