Industry pharmacist, technology expert

User Experience

It took a trip to Canada, but Danielle Bancroft MPS went from community pharmacist to Product Manager and User Experience (UX) Designer at Fred IT Group. We spoke to the self-described ‘tech ninja’ about her unconventional career pathway.

You hold a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science and a Masters of Pharmacy. How did you end up in the tech world?

After university I was working as a locum pharmacist and my brother and I were discussing moving to Canada. So I did the qualification exam to work there as a pharmacist, but then I was short on money. I thought I’d get some extra cash working part time and saw an advertisement for a software company support team role for people with healthcare industry experience. During the interview they put a piece of XML (a computer and website coding language) in front of me. I had never studied technology but I noticed the pattern looked like a prescription. That got me the role!

On my first day I discovered we were working on a new e-prescriptions program.

At what point did you decide to pursue UX more seriously?

I worked at that software company for three years and then I got a role at FRED, where I worked in the eRx script exchange team as a product specialist. But I wanted to understand more about the software we were building, not just the business side, so I decided to do a diploma of software development. Through that I got to understand more about UX design – where you actually look at how a user interacts with your products – and human-centred design. I really grew a passion for it.

You’ve been at FRED seven years now. What has satisfied you the most?

Being involved in delivering real-time prescription monitoring in Victoria through SafeScript. It’s really satisfying not only to see my workflows in design and production, but also to hear feedback from practitioners and the community that this product actually does save lives.

What’s the most challenging thing you face day-to-day?

The software industry is undergoing continual change and improvement. So the biggest challenge is making sure you’re not only planning for what’s next, but you’re making sure you don’t lose sight of continually evolving and improving current products and customer experience.

What do you wish you’d known earlier in your career?

That you don’t need to have technology knowledge, or be some super computer nerd, to be successful in this industry. As pharmacists, you already have the core soft skills – you analyse on a daily basis, problem solve, you’re constantly looking at outcomes and how to better improve them.

of Danielle Bancroft MPS, Product Manager and User Experience Designer
Fred IT Group, Victoria

8.30 am: The working day begins

Arrive at work at the office in Abbotsford, consume first coffee of the day, go through emails.

9.00 am: Where it’s at

Attend daily product stand-ups with development team. Stand-ups are progress meetings – they’re a good opportunity to hear what everyone is working on and if there are any blockers or issues.

10.30 am: Teamwork, teamwork

Then it’s teleconferences or status meetings with external customers, project teams or internal project teams. We discuss where the current work is at, any new requirements, upcoming workshops, and demonstrate work and functionality of projects we’ve built so far. Consume second coffee!

12.00 pm: Head down

Time to concentrate on design. I work through user experience research and customer journeys, translate user workflows and mock up potential screen designs. More emails. Third coffee.

2.00 pm: Go with the flow

I either attend various internal and external meetings, head out on site to review prototypes, gather new ideas and feedback, or attend workshops with customers and stakeholders. When not in meetings, I prioritise product backlogs, ensure the team is on track to deliver work, and keep product roadmaps up to date.

5.00 pm: Getting it done

If there’s urgent work I like to stay back. Otherwise I often head out to a design meetup or an industry-related workgroup.

Further resources

Want to find out more about different career pathways for pharmacists? Contact PSA at

Photography: Julian Kingma