Finalist 2023

To Future Me

Kids First Australia / Curio

Co-designed with Year 8’s and clinical staff, this learning platform delves into consent, grooming, pornography and gender and sexual identity.

To Future Me is a self-paced, e-learning platform co-designed with year 8 students and clinical experts. It is designed to help provide awareness and confidence so that students can navigate their personal relationships. Covering topics of consent, respectful relationships, grooming, gender and sexual identity and porn, To Future Me bridges the gap between existing sex education resources and online safety programs and explores what healthy relationships look like – and what they don’t look like.

Design Brief:

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported in 2020 that almost 2 million Australian adults have experienced at least 1 sexual assault since the age of 15. Surveys have shown up to 40% of young people have used their phones to send a sexual picture.

For young people living in this digital age, there is a proliferation of misinformation on issues like consent, gender identity, and pornography. Our clinical team identified a need to develop age-appropriate, aligned education specifically for 13-14 year olds, to enable Australian teens to feel confident and empowered about their ability to identify and navigate respectful relationships.

The problem we were required to resolve was how to design a preventative, curriculum aligned, digital platform which was both engaging and educational for 13-14 year olds to help guide them in having safe and respectful relationships.

This project was developed by:

Design Process

At Kids First Australia, our in-house Innovation and Design team are incredibly passionate in following a human centred design process where we put the person we’re designing for at the centre of the product or service we're developing.

Within our design process, we follow the below phases:

Identify: Our Sexual Assault Counselling and Prevention Program clinicians noted a rise in challenges faced by 13 & 14 year olds around the topics of consent and grooming. They created a face to face program that worked well, however, we knew we needed to achieve scale. We applied for Westpac’s Safer Children, Safer Communities Funding to turn it into a digital, scalable product.

Deep Dive: We kicked off co-design with young people and learning design agency Curio to identify what topics were important to them and how to keep them digitally engaged. The 24 young people we spoke to identified consent and grooming were important, but they were needing more information on pornography and it’s effects; gender and sexual identity and clarity on where or who to turn to for help.

Envision: Working with clinical and education experts, we aligned content with the Victorian curriculum and sexual assault prevention research. We co-designed the brand and digital experience with young Victorians, who told us our original name “sounded like old people had come up with it” and thus, To Future Me was born!

Assess: Multiple prototypes were tested with Yr 8 students, leading to valuable feedback and iterations for a more engaging experience.

Scale: We completed our final round of user testing on our platform with fantastic feedback!
We're now in the process of scaling To Future Me to be launched in schools nationally next year where we envision a future where sexual relationships are consent-led, safe and respectful for all.

Design Excellence

This project has been led by the feedback, ideas and input of our users - our co-design workshops helped us to ensure our platform fit their needs. Insights from our research, co-design workshops and user experience testing have significantly shaped the final product.

Young people told us that video and quiz content should be representative of the diversity of Australian voices. We had initially imbedded pre-existing international videos. This insight led us to create 6 of our own custom videos for the platforms, using Australian voices to bring them to life. Students who tested the platform loved the videos as evidenced by this testimonial: “The animations were pretty cool in the videos. It was a good way of actually expressing it.”.

They told us the design should be modern, simple and bright. They gave us benchmarks of their favourite digital experiences and we presented our 3 brand designs to young people who selected our final choice.

They told us the platform should be anonymous, interactive and be able to be personalised and so To Future Me is anonymous, full of quizzes and interactive clickable activities and videos and each participant adds the name of their trusted adult and trusted friend to personalise the content.

By combining Kids First Australia’s clinical expertise and Innovation processes with the digital development and learning platform expertise of Curio – all led by what young Victorians have told us – we have created one of the first digital consent education experiences in Australian. The platform is not only a showcase of excellent Victorian design, but will truly make an impact on young Australians, helping to educate them to protect themselves and those around them.

Design Innovation

Findings from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children research showed that, in 2016, among young people aged 16–17, 1 in 2 females (49%) and 1 in 3 males (31%) reported having experienced some form of unwanted sexual behaviour in the past 12 months. By educating 13 & 14 year old Victorians, we are giving them a toolkit to help prevent, seek help for and identify when this may occur.

To Future Me builds on the Victorian Respectful Relationships curriculum to enhance what they are learning in schools. We have created a digital platform which not only builds on what they have learnt, but does it in a young-person led way. We leveraged our subject matter experts in house who have the knowledge and expertise to combine 13 and 14 year olds developmental needs with clinical insight. Kids First has a legacy of more than 30 years in preventing harmful sexual behaviour through both direct therapeutic work and education groups, programs and sessions across Victorian primary and secondary schools.

Design Impact

In 2020 Chanel Contos built a platform for young people to share their experiences with sexual abuse - through these anonymous disclosures, we were able to see a significant amount of young women sharing stories of sexual harassment and assault they had experienced through their teen years. She then launched an online petition for schools nation-wide to educate their students on sexual consent from an early age. Concurrently, we were seeing similar themes through our client work and a need for information to reach young Victorians.

This program is the first of its kind in Australia, designed by one of Victoria’s oldest independent child and family service organisations, by a Victorian team and by listening to what young people want out of a e-learning platform.
To be launched in schools nationally in 2024, To Future Me will empower students with knowledge which better equips them to successfully navigate sensitive topics around gender identity and consent. It also assists them to identify warning signs of predatory behaviour associated with grooming and pornography and encourages them to seek out a safe person whenever they feel uncomfortable. It is our belief that this targeted, age specific education, will play a critical role in helping to prevent young people from being engaged in sexually abusive behaviours.

We will be actively measuring the impact of the modules by conducting both pre and post surveys with the students to not only understand what they learnt, but most critically to discover what content they want more of. Reflecting ongoing changes in society, we will be actively updating the content to ensure the students are engaging and learning about topics which reflect their wants and needs.

Circular Design and Sustainability Features

By developing To Future Me as a digital platform, so that it can be accessed by students anywhere in Australia, we are aiming to reduce our carbon footprint by eliminating the need with existing face to face programs to travel around Victoria to deliver them.

Additionally, we have built the platform on Wordpress so that we have flexibility to adapt and grow the program content in the future to ensure it is relevant, accurate and current and do this in a sustainable and affordable way.

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