Designing and building an online booking system for headspace

Working with headspace to revolutionise how young people access their services and support, minimising the time and resources needed while centring the experience of the end user.

The headspace work and study program

headspace, an organisation dedicated to supporting young people with their mental health and wellbeing, includes the Work & Study program as part of its commitment to assist young people. The program supports young people in finding suitable employment pathways through mentorship, resources, and 1-1 support. Originally the system worked with the young person needed to call a phone number and talk to an intake officer in order to connect to the service, with no online self-booking mechanism.

This piece of work with headspace came out of the need to streamline the process for young people to access the services they provide, specifically aiming to reduce the workload on intake officers by enabling clients to book their own appointments and helping young people find the appropriate service tailored to their needs.

The project kicked off with a Discovery Phase to unpack our understanding of the process and identify the gaps. We built on this research through a period of prototyping and testing with people who would be eligible for the Work and Study service, eventually leading to a sprint-based delivery approach focused on achieving high-impact, quick wins such as enhancing the variety of appointment types available in the booking flow and connecting Indigenous young people with Indigenous clinicians. This structured approach not only supports headspace's overarching goal of aiding young people seeking employment or study opportunities, but also underscores the importance of prioritising and roadmap new phases of work.

Project Challenge

We worked with headspace to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) for an online booking system, which had to be executed within a very short delivery timeline. This system was not only required to provide immediate value by creating appointment scheduling for young people but also needed to be scalable and adaptable for future enhancements beyond the MVP stage. The deliverables were clearly defined to include a functional and user-friendly booking interface that could later be expanded to incorporate more sophisticated features and integrations. This approach ensured that while the initial product was simplified to meet the pressing deadline, it was also designed with a robust framework to support subsequent improvements, aligning with headspace’s long-term vision for a comprehensive support system.


  • By delivering a streamlined booking system, young people can now independently schedule their initial appointments with the Work & Study program, fostering a sense of autonomy and ease in accessing the necessary support. This self-service functionality not only enhances user engagement, but also aligns perfectly with the project's focus on empowering young individuals in their career and study endeavours.
  • Additionally, the creation of a prioritised roadmap of future enhancements has laid a solid foundation for continuous improvement and growth of the booking system. The roadmap is critical as it outlines the steps for building upon the initial work, ensuring that the platform remains responsive to the evolving needs of the users and the organisation.
  • The launch day of the service saw immediate success with users actively making bookings, affirming the system's effectiveness and the project's immediate impact. The ongoing collaboration between our team and headspace is focused on addressing the next items in the roadmap, reflecting a sustained commitment to enhancing the platform.
  • For the career mentoring subset specifically, the platform supports mentoring for career and study pathways, directly addressing the needs of young people looking for guidance in these areas. This tailored support is crucial in helping them navigate their future educational and career decisions, underscoring the project's alignment with the target audience and its core focus areas.

Interested in finding out how your customers?

Contact the team at

Team members

Ruth Taylor, Technical Lead

Prutha Kothari, Developer

Cristiano Fantasia, Experience Designer

Alexandre Lekic, Experience Design

Luke Thomas, Principal Product Strategist

Danielle Emond, Senior Producer

Madelyn Kinch, Producer & Content Strategist


Karen Fletcher, headspace, National Clinical Manager Vocational Services

“Working with Portable and delivering the online booking system for young people has significantly improved our service. We are now offering a more accessible service that gives young people choice and autonomy when making their first booking. We were also able to support young people to better understand the services being offered so they could make an informed decision about what service was best for them. We had immediate success when the booking system was launched proving that young people engaged well with it. Over one thousand young people have accessed it in the first 6 months, with a higher conversion rate than before the booking system was launched. Working with the Portable team was easy. They listen to our needs and communicated well throughout the process."

Danielle Emond, Senior Producer, Portable

“Working on the work and study project for headspace was an incredibly impactful experience as this project has a direct effect on both the headspace team and the young people themselves. In today's complex world, finding the right kind of guidance at a young age is crucial, yet it’s not always obvious where to get this direction from. This project addressed that gap, making it easier for young people to find an authentic path towards their future.

Joining the project in its final phase, I collaborated closely with the technical team to ensure we successfully launched this initiative. Our collective efforts made a positive difference in such a short time — this is the type of stuff that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.”

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