Improving the mental health of Indigenous youths with the AIMHI-Y for youth app


Menzies School of Health Research wanted our help to develop a fun Android app that encourages improvement in the wellbeing of Indigenous youth through gamification, sounds, colour and an emotional connection with relatable characters.


OOUX Workshop
Content Strategy
Design System
App Design
App Development

An agile approach

After we understood everything Menzies wanted in the app, we created a backlog of tasks that we could action. We were working with an exceptionally big backlog and a tight deadline, so we collaborated with the AIMhi-Y team to prioritise the different functionalities.

Because we were working agile, the AIMhi-Y team were able to change priorities throughout the design and development process to make sure that we were providing the highest value product to the audience.

Functionality First

Because this app had so many moving parts and possibilities, the team spent many hours wireframing how this app would work. Wireframing is a visual process that helps us to understand what information will be displayed on each page and how each page links to another.

We started with paper prototypes and then moved to Adobe Xd to create a polished prototype for the AIMhi-Y team to test themselves.

Look and feel

We worked hard to ensure that the colours used, images, icons and overall style would resonate with the target demographic.

The AIMhi-Y team helped us fine tweak the look and feel by providing feedback throughout the design phase.

Creating a design system

To make the development cycle smoother, Haydon created a design system that could be built onto throughout the project. In this creation phase, we decide on fonts and colours that suit the demographic we’re creating the app for.

Having a design system allows our developer, David, to create parts of the app with the modules in the design system, instead of having to wait for someone to design each screen individually. This makes for a more consistent product and a quicker development time.

Indigenous youth reference group

The AIMhi-Y team had access to an Indigenous Youth Reference Group who happily acted as test users for incremental releases of the app.

Having access to the intended audience is the best way to ensure we’re creating the best possible user experience. Their feedback during this process was invaluable!

I think the app's looking really good at the moment, it’s carrying same message that I thought it would but looks better than I thought

Indigenous youth reference group / Menzies

It’s a good app because you mob got short temper so this will talk to you

Indigenous youth reference group / Menzies

I helped build that app!

Indigenous youth reference group / Menzies

Relaxation through gamification

The AIMhi-Y team wanted to include calming activities in their app that would help users practice mindfulness without realising it. They came up with a few game concepts including fishing, flicking a football through goalposts, identifying animal sounds in nature and popping bubbles.

Completing the games unlock further levels which provides an incentive to play, but the user can also choose to continue playing the game for as long as they’d like after reaching the set target.

Speedy development velocity

During development, David put “code reusability” as his highest priority to allow for quick iterations and fast development!

Using this strategy allowed him to get through more work within a shorter timeframe by keeping the approach to functionality cohesive and modular. This meant we were only ever moving forward with development, never sideways or backwards.

The Aimhi-y app

Meet the AIMhi-Y App! Helping to improve the mental health of Indigenous Youths.

With its vibrant colours and relaxing games, we’re confident the AIMhi-Y app will be a hit among Indigenous Australian Youth.


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