Finalist 2022

Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia website

kidyounot / PANDA

Reimagining new pathways for parents to seek help for perinatal mental illness online.

Perinatal anxiety and depression are serious illnesses that affect up to one in five expecting or new mums and one in ten expecting or new dads. PANDA strives for a community where perinatal mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, are recognised and the impact on parents and children are minimised through early detection, support and education. We utilised a collaborative service design approach to reimagine new pathways for parents to seek help online. This included an entire redesign of the PANDA website and digital experience.

Design Brief:

PANDA strives for a community where perinatal mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, are recognised and the impact on parents and children are minimised through early detection, support and education. PANDA operates Australia’s only national helpline for individuals and their families which provides access to counselling and information to assist with perinatal anxiety and depression recovery. Due to high demand the helpline was consistently being overwhelmed with calls.

This was due to people calling in who urgently needed support, but also, those who were in relatively good mental health but believe themselves to be ill or likely to get ill based on a current circumstance. These “worried well” were limiting the ability of the helpline to service those in need of immediate help.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

We utilised a collaborative service design approach to reimagine new pathways for parents to seek help online in addition to the helpline. This included an entire redesign of the PANDA website and digital experience. We adopted a human-centred design approach that took in user research, iterative user experience design and multiple rounds of interactive audience testing.

Through this process we developed and designed a new website that reorganised all information around parental segments and the symptoms they are experiencing as pathways for exploring content, resources, services and seeking help. It quickly became apparent that the existing brand identity was an obstacle to achieving the desired goals and outcomes for parents.

The organisation had an existing logo that needed to be retained, but the rest of the brand identity needed to be refreshed to deliver the type of experience needed for users. A refreshed brand identity was prototyped through the design and development of the new website. The new identity was driven by two guiding principles: to invite harmony and diffuse anxiety and increase accessibility and inclusivity.

All design elements including typefaces and colour choices were selected to achieve this outcome. The website has successfully achieved globally recognised accessible design WCAG 2.1 & ADA compliance. This new brand identity was created hand-in-hand with the digital design system to create a seamless experience across the site and continues to be rolled out across the organisation offline. The digital design system has been built to foster a shared language which is consistent, predictable, learnable and ultimately engaging to as broad cross-section of the community as possible.

Design Excellence

For websites, people need to be able to find what they need, understand what they find, and use that to accomplish tasks. To achieve this all website content was re-written to enhance accessibility to vulnerable and economically challenged socio-economic parents.

The content across the site is written and tested to the Flesch-Kincaid level 8 reading ease, effectively a high school year 8 level of literacy. To support parents for whom English is a second language core resources have been translated into 40 different languages with a suite of materials including videos available on the website. Each of the 40 languages has been carefully integrated into the website so as to respect each language and its unique characteristics.

Design Innovation

At the heart of the website is a mental health checklist which enables users to better understand the severity of their symptoms and promotes care pathways beyond the helpline. Checklists have been medically verified for 5 key audience groups:

  • Expecting mums
  • Expecting dads
  • New mums
  • New dads
  • Partners and carers.

At the end of the checklist journey, users have the option to be emailed or anonymously download their results together with a page of curated content, information, articles and recovery stories based on the symptoms present in their checklist responses.

Design Impact

Whilst the new website was only launched in March 2022, the result is an intuitive, differentiated online experience that is already positively impacting families and access to the helpline.

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