Alcohol & Drug Foundation
A pathway to help for friends and family
- What we did
- UX & UI
- Web Development
Longtime client and collaborator, The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF), asked Liquorice to design and develop two resources to help friends and family of people using alcohol and drugs to find support and tools.
The aims of this Federal Government-funded project (known as the Information Services and Support [or ISS] project) were to increase awareness of alcohol and drug-related harm, reduce stigma and strengthen the ADF's capacity to provide relevant support and tools to these key groups.
The ISS project consisted of 2 key elements:
- The Path2Help tool, and
- The Help & Support Directory
Path2Help began as a questionnaire to enable people using alcohol and drugs to assess their risk of harm, but the ADF team recognised the potential to broaden the scope. Including friends and family who might be concerned about a loved one, and even GPs seeking information and resources, the Path2Help would give the broader community the ability to engage with the issue.
Talking about the tool with Liquorice, it was decided that two unique user journeys should be developed: one for self-assessment, and one to assess others. That's why the first question in the tool is a fork in the road, one designed to set users on the right path.
From there, users are guided through one of two similar surveys on alcohol and drug use and its impact on the lives of people who use them. Images of alcohol and drugs and their slang terms are used throughout to make each type as identifiable as possible, regardless of the user's level of knowledge.
From a backend perspective, the survey was design to trigger additional questions in response to some answers, creating more in-depth results later. A red bar indicates how much of the survey is complete, so users can keep track of their progress.
Designing for real people
The results (which look slightly different depending on which survey path you took) indicate an approximate level of risk (low, medium or high) and offer services and resources to people who are using alcohol and drugs, but also to their friends and family. This ensures that everyone who is impacted by the use of alcohol and drugs can access support. These resources are pulled from the ADF's own extensive database of tools.
We tested the tool with people who had direct experience with alcohol and drug-related harm, including those who use alcohol and drugs, friends and family, and GPs. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
The Help & Support Directory
The ADF recognised that their existing directory could be so much more than simply a list of support services for people using alcohol and drugs, and they decided to team up with Infoxchange. A not-for-profit social enterprise, Infoxchange uses technology to make community services more efficient and more well-coordinated, empowering people experiencing disadvantage, driving social inclusion and creating stronger communities.
The ADF was able to harness Infoxchange's massive database and work together to create a custom, filterable help and support directory. This alone was a huge job, involving a lot of reformatting of data to ensure it was as relevant and useful to the ADF community as possible.
Design and user experience
Liquorice stepped in to redesign this powerful new database, applying sophisticated filtering to create an exceptional user experience and a clean, uncluttered look. We also designed every individual result card. Each card represents a service, and include:
- the service title
- an introduction
- the service categories and types they offer
- the kind of referral they require, and
- the distance from the user conducting the search.
The result is a deceptively simple directory that uses multiple categories of filters (applicable at different stages of the search) to produce appropriate, specific, location-based support services.
Some of the categories include rehabilitation, counselling and support groups, while service types describe the delivery method or audience; whether it's an inpatient or outpatient service, online or in person etc.
Visually, the directory and the Path2Help tool were both designed to fit in seamlessly with the rest of the ADF site. The user interface is simple, the journey approachable and digestible and highly functional. In short, everything just works.
The final touch was a call-to-action that leads to the Path2Help tool (and vice versa), creating an open pathway for users to navigate back and forth, exploring options for support and tools.
Work that matters
The Liquorice team was particularly passionate about this project because it represented so much of what we love most about our work – using design and technology to create a real, tangible change, and to positively impact the lives of people who need it most.
If you have a project you'd like to discuss with our team, get in touch.