Technology for social justice
Women sitting on park bench holding phone

Co-design insights from Ask Izzy's family violence project

Ask Izzy Help at Hand is a project funded by the NAB Foundation to make Ask Izzy safer and easier to use for people at risk of or experiencing family violence.

As part of the project, we recently conducted a series of co-design research workshops and interviews with organisations delivering family violence services, as well as survivors of family violence.

The co-design research focused on:

  • ways people are using internet and technology to seek help
  • knowledge of staying safe on-line
  • hands on activities to design and prototype the future Ask Izzy.

Close to 40 participants took part in the workshops and interviews took place across Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.

Key insights

Some of the key insights we gathered from the co-design process include:

  • People often don’t understand they’re experiencing family violence, but they know they’re frightened and want help.
  • People utilise the internet to access information about services, but find it challenging to find relevant and clear information.
  • People continue to get lost in the service sector, and lack understanding about what services are available and how to access them.
  • People with limited English literacy find it difficult to access information.
  • Finding services for men experiencing or using violence is difficult.
  • Parents experiencing family violence consider their children to be their number one concern – and although they want to know how to get support, they are often worried about child protection and welfare.

Co-design prototypes

A core element of our co-design process was gathering participants’ input into the type of service they would like to see and use.

Participants used paper to create their own version, or prototype, of what Ask Izzy could include. These prototypes included a family violence category, integrated online chat with family violence counsellors, language translation and soft/engaging language.

Ask Izzy workshop


What does this mean for Ask Izzy?

This co-design research will inform our changes to Ask Izzy, with the aim of making the site a ‘one stop shop’ for the services people need when navigating the family violence journey.

These changes include:

  • Trauma-informed and strengths-based approaches embedded into the site.
  • Reinforcement of current family violence referral pathways.
  • Separation of different services e.g. specialist workers, private counselling etc.
  • Soft and engaging language.
  • Multiple pathways through categories to family violence services.
  • Ability to filter for specific services for audiences including migrant/refugee and LGBTIQA+.
  • Information and resources on digital literacy and safety.

What’s next?

In the coming months the Ask Izzy team will be working closely with our developers and database team to make the insights and prototypes become a reality.

We will be doing user testing later this year, so if you didn’t have a chance to be part of co-design we would love to test run the updated website with you before launch.

We would like to thank all those who participated in the co-design sessions and interviews, and for helping us to improve and enhance Ask Izzy.

Get involved

If you would like to take part in our upcoming user testing, or would like know more about the Ask Izzy Help at Hand project, please get in touch.

To keep up-to-date with the latest Ask Izzy stories, projects, events and upcoming launches, sign up to our Ask Izzy Updates quarterly enewsletter and follow us on Facebook.

If you or someone you know is experiencing family or domestic violence, or concerned about a relationship, you can call 1800Respect (1800 737 732) 24 hours a day seven days a week and speak with a qualified counsellor.

Filed in: Women, youth and families | Tagged as: Ask Izzy

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