Government’s mental health website wins Australian Good Design Award

By Shannon Jenkins

Friday July 12, 2019

Head to Health has been recognised as one of Australia’s most successful digital co-design projects.

A collaboration between the Department of Health, Liquid Interactive and the Head to Health Core Community Group, the digital gateway won Best in Class at the Australian Good Design Awards on Thursday night.

The project was initiated following the 2014 national review of mental health programs and services.

In light of the findings, the government set out to deliver a website that helps Australians navigate the mental health service landscape and find digital supports suited to their needs.

National Mental Health Commissioner, the late Jackie Crowe, assembled nearly 50 people with a range of lived experiences including mental health issues, diverse cultural backgrounds and regional locations. They played a central role in the project’s design.

Additional groups were created for mental health professionals, mental health service providers and government staff.

Brisbane-based digital agency Liquid Interactive led the design process. They combined ideas from the co-design participants and numerous stakeholder reviews to deliver a simple, innovative digital service.

READ MORE: Inquiring into mental health

The Head to Health website is well-regarded by professionals, consumers and carers, and currently serves around 25,000 unique users per month, according to Liquid Interactive.

 The Good Design Awards Jury said they were impressed by the website’s storytelling devices, resources, and its ability to “beautifully” execute a “sensitive and challenging topic”.

“It is great to see content that is specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sensitivities and culture. Effective navigation tells a story of the content on offer in the site really well,” they said.

“The Head to Health solution brings all this information together well and offers helpful suggestions in taking next steps.”

Good Design Australia’s CEO, Dr. Brandon Gien, said receiving the award is a significant achievement in more ways than one.

“Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence, it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately improve our quality of life,” he said.

A web and mobile application initiated by the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet also took home a Good Design Award in the Web Design and Development category.

A collaborative effort between design company Today and Mapping and Geographic Information Systems specialists Geoplex, the My Victoria product helps small businesses better understand their local area, according to Geoplex CEO, Adam Smith.

The product aims to improve planning and decision-making for businesses by allowing them (and the public) to easily explore open data sets published by the state government.

My Victoria uses human-centred design principles and geospatial technology to deliver a product that “functions intuitively”.

“My Victoria has made government data accessible and actionable via an easy to use web and mobile application, allowing users without data processing expertise to gain value from the data,” Smith said.

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