March 1, 2021

Castlight Hackathon 24: Smoothing Out Our Castlight Kinks

Just like a pebble in a shoe, some irritants cause annoyance far greater than their seeming size. That’s why, for Hackathon 24, we focused on improving our app or business processes by resolving some of the smaller issues we encounter on a regular basis. By solving some of these more minor frustrations, we can better serve our customers.

In late January, Castlight employees spent a Thursday afternoon pitching project ideas and forming teams anyone from the organization could join. That Friday, the project teams worked all day to turn their ideas into demonstrable features, UI mockups, and user journeys. The following Monday, February 1, they presented their progress to the entire Castlight team for company-wide voting.

Ultimately, 17 teams presented final projects and more than 45 Castlighters participated. Though all of the ideas were quite commendable, we narrowed the list to the following top three winners, and each team chose a charity for Castlight to donate to. In addition, as Castlight moves forward with planning, all three of these projects will be seriously considered.

Scheduled Mass Direct Push led by Jack Lin from the Engineering team

Currently, some customer configuration changes require a Castlighter be online at the exact time a change needs to go live. If that change is tied to the start of a day, the Castlighter would have to be logged on and ready to go late at night. To remedy this, this Hackathon 24 team modified our configuration tool and did an entertaining live demo of the capability to schedule configuration changes ahead of time, as well as cancel changes that are no longer needed. This improvement reduces the risk of delay in case a particular employee isn’t available at the required time and increases flexibility for many Castlighters.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to the Mental Health Association for Chinese Communities (MHACC), which provides advocacy, education, research, support, and other services to Chinese individuals and families affected by mental illness.

Jack Lin, Rujuta Phalak, and Katie Trotter meet to work on their Hackathon 24 project.[/caption]

Integrated Community Resource Directory led by Pamela Koelbel of the Care Guides team

As proven by Castlight’s Test Site Finder, Castlight has the experience and expertise in building a high-quality searchable database. Using this knowledge, Pamela Koelbel, a member of the Care Guides team (our highly trained benefits and clinical experts), enlisted a few colleagues to develop a searchable community resource database directly within the Castlight app. With this feature, Castlight users would be able to connect with long-term sustainable resources — such as publications, support groups, blogs, government and public health programs, charity or non-profit organizations, religious orders, and more — within their community.

Community resources can powerfully complement medical resources in order to care for the whole human. Capitalizing on the caring power of the community and low-cost or free resources has the potential to reduce medical costs and improve health outcomes. In addition, community resources can play a critical role in addressing the socio economic needs of a population.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to Loved Ones Suicide Survivors (LOSS), a free peer-led support group for those who have lost someone they love to suicide.

UMC Program Activity Re-work led by Renee Hamilton of the Client Services team

Castlight’s Professional Services team uses UMC (unified mission control) to configure our customer and ecosystem programs. Currently, when building new activities, there needs to be a configuration for each variation of reward frequency. For example, let’s say a member can earn a different amount of points for watching a healthy cooking video daily, weekly, or monthly. In order to support this, three separate but almost identical activities need to be created. This Hackathon 24 team designed an alternative solution to configure all frequency options within a single activity, thus removing the need to create multiples and reducing the potential for error.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to La Casa de Las Madres, an organization that provides critical 24/7 support for victims of domestic violence and also seeks to prevent future violence via community education and more.

Other project ideas included improvements to the password reset flow, a quick reference section for customer policies, a health score based on user activities, a weekly habit tracker, an expansion of integrations through third parties, the ability for users to customize the timing of in-app notifications, creation of helpdesk tickets from within Slack, the ability to quickly compare changes to our search algorithms, and more.

Smoothing Out the Kinks was Castlight’s 24th hackathon since launching our first one in 2013. Hackathons are a great opportunity for employees across the entire organization to come together, brainstorm ideas, and collaborate on bringing those ideas to life. We are continuously impressed by the degree of enthusiasm, creativity, and teamwork Castlighters display during these fun events.

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