SINGAPORE - The TraceTogether team and OCBC Bank won top accolades at this year’s Singapore Good Design Award (SG Mark).
Out of more than 160 entries, 90 were awarded the SG Mark, which sets the benchmark for good quality and design.
Ten of them won top accolades: one got a platinum award, five got gold and four received special mention awards.
The winners were announced at the Cloud9 Piazza in Jewel Changi Airport on Thursday (Aug 25).
The TraceTogether team, which bagged the platinum award, was lauded for its community-driven mobile app, which was designed to ensure faster and more accurate contact tracing, safeguarding Singaporeans' health and supporting front-line workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Joycelyn Chua, the team's design lead, said: "We wanted to rally people together. At the time, everyone was very anxious. Designing the app was something tangible we could do to help our healthcare workers."
She added that the main challenge the team faced was gaining the trust of users, which it tackled by being clear and transparent in the app's design. The team also published the app's code online to demonstrate full transparency about its inner workings.
OCBC's mobile app, which won the gold award, simplifies insurance policies for customers, removing jargon and providing relevant information in a simple format.
Mr Yoon Chee Ho, who works in OCBC's customer experience sector, said the team conducted several studies to find a "sweet spot" where customers get just the right amount of information to feel confident in buying insurance policies.
The annual awards, launched in 2013 by the Design Business Chamber Singapore (DBCS) in partnership with the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, recognise exceptional design quality that impacts businesses and communities in Singapore and beyond.
Mr Hong Khai Seng, the SG Mark Committee chairman and vice-president of DBCS, said: "This year's winning designs displayed the key values of SG Mark, primarily sustainability and value, which impact the way we live and work.
"Not only was the design (of the TraceTogether app) exemplary, the character, empathy and user-centricity which the team showed were above and beyond (expectations) as well."
Since 2018, a new award category is created for every year of the SG Mark.
This year's new category, Virtually Unlimited, recognises innovative design solutions borne out of the pandemic. It joins seven existing categories - product, architecture, interior design, experience design, digital solutions, branding and sustainable design.
Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment, and Ms Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and National Development, were the guests of honour at the event.
Speaking on the importance of design in Singapore's nation-building, Ms Fu said: "The green and liveable home we enjoy in Singapore today was made possible by deliberate design, to carefully balance our needs for economic development while ensuring environmental protection and social inclusion."