Portable wins gold and silver at the Melbourne Design Awards 2020

We believe design and technology have the potential for real impact on the biggest challenges we face today. Our work on YourCase, a tool to help family violence victim-survivors navigate court, and our work on #chatsafe with Orygen, a campaign to help change the conversation about suicide, makes that potential a reality. We are delighted to announce that our work on these projects has been awarded gold and silver at the 2020 Melbourne Design Awards.

As an accredited B Corp and an ethical digital design agency, all our work is guided by our purpose. We make an impact across many areas of need, from the systems and services that support mental health, to access to justice, to death and ageing and beyond. We do this by partnering with organisations and change-makers across sectors, and through our own self-initiated research and development. 

We approach these areas of need with a human-centered approach, which means that we design and build from a place of empathy and understanding for the people we’re solving problems for, and nowhere is this more apparent than our work on these two award-winning projects. 

For #chatsafe, an initiative run by Orygen, we partnered with young people and mental health experts to co-design a social media campaign and web presence that brings to life a set of guidelines designed to help young people have safer conversations. For YourCase, we proactively researched, co-designed and developed a new product that will improve the experience people have when attending court. These are both prime examples of our value-driven work in action.

YourCase is a digital tool that provides a better experience for family violence victim-survivors attending court. Several years ago, we began proactively exploring how we might improve the experience of victim-survivors in the lead up to their day at court and beyond. In recognition of this work, we obtained funding support from the Public Sector Innovation Fund to continue our work on the project. After several years of research and active collaboration with a broad range of sector stakeholders, including co-designing with Nicole Lee, an anti-violence campaigner with lived experience of family violence and the court process, we designed and developed YourCase, which we were proud to launch earlier this year for a pilot. You can hear more from Nicole about her involvement in this project in this video interview.

This pilot was recently evaluated by the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at Victoria University. The evaluation report found that all YourCase objectives have been achieved, or are on track to being achieved, and that YourCase’s design and the results of the pilot phase provide useful learnings for developing similar tools to support access to justice for vulnerable users in other jurisdictions.

YourCase was recently awarded gold at the 2020 GOV Design Awards, and it has now been awarded gold at the 2020 Melbourne Design Awards in the category of ‘Service - Community' by DrivenxDesign. We couldn’t be more proud of the work that our team, the project partners, and Nicole put into making YourCase a reality. 

The Melbourne Design Award panel states that for this category:

“This award celebrates creative and innovative solution design for the successful delivery and provision of services. Consideration given to system integration, user experience, product design.”

Our work bringing the #chatsafe guidelines to life has also been awarded silver at the 2020 Melbourne Design Awards in the category of ‘Graphic Design - Identity and Branding - Health.’

The success of this project has been made possible through our long-running partnership with Orygen, specifically from Associate Professor, Jo Robinson, the Orygen Suicide Prevention team and the Orygen Communications team.

The Melbourne Design Award panel states that for this category:

“This award celebrates creative and innovative design in the traditional or digital visual representation of ideas and messages. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching information style to audience.”

#chatsafe: a young person’s guide for communicating safely online about suicide, provides tools and tips to help young people have safe conversations online about suicide. Portable initially worked with Orygen to conduct a research project in collaboration with the University of Melbourne. The research investigated how we could work with young people to co-design ways of distributing Orygen’s #chatsafe guidelines and getting young people to engage with them. We took a deep dive into understanding the process of how young people talk online about suicide-related topics and mental health. Together with young people, we co-designed possible solutions for what an online space to host the guidelines might look like, what kind of tools could help, and how best to approach a national campaign to disseminate the guidelines.

Based on what we learned from young people, our design team created the #chatsafe brand including the logo, visual assets and illustrations used to produce the official #chatsafe guidelines, website and national social media campaign. 

We also provided digital communications guidance for reaching key audiences of young people and managed the deployment of the campaign content across all social media channels for the life cycle of the campaign. Through the #chatsafe campaign, we were able to reach well over 1.4 million individuals, and our content was shown almost 4 million times between October 2019 and January 2020.

Orygen are now taking #chatsafe global! We recently launched campaigns with the support of international partner organisations in the UK, Nigeria, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Norway and Finland. We have been providing support in illustration design, animation development, content creation, content management and branding for the launch of #chatsafe in each of these countries. 

Being recognised at the Melbourne Design Awards inspires us to continue working hard in our areas of impact, developing new services and platforms alongside people in the community.

We actively seek to make change and promote healthy conversations around suicide prevention and harm reduction amongst young people here in Australia, and around the world. And we get the same boost of inspiration from our double gold award for YourCase, which represents a great affirmation of our leadership in bringing digital, user-centred design to the justice sector. We’ve been on a long journey with many partners in the sector over the last ten years, and we look forward to working with them and new partners over the next ten years to improve access to justice for everyone.

Download our guide to co-designing with purpose

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