How can we create a safe digital environment for kiwi youth to freely express their feelings through art therapy techniques?
Bronz best award
Project background
Art. It’s a relaxing and inspiring activity for people of all ages. Whether you’re creating it or admiring the work of others, it’s benefits speak volumes. Studies show that art therapy is a valuable tool in supporting mental wellbeing. It can even aid in treating anxiety, depression and PTSD. It’s the expression of emotions where words simply aren’t enough.

ALLAY was inspired by this art therapy process. It’s a social media app with the aim of supporting mental wellbeing, and provides its users with a safe platform to share and express themselves and their emotions through art. ALLAY also features simple activities and mindfulness exercises to promote a healthy mind-set.
Visualise your anxiety art therapy activity
“ Visualise your anxiety art therapy activity ”
79,000 young kiwis are affected by mental distress. That’s according to the Ministry of Health report in 2017. There’s little support for the growing number of young kiwis who are battling with mental health issues. ALLAY was developed to create this support through the use of social media.
Youth mental health statistics
“ Youth mental health statistics ”
ALLAY aims to build a support network of young creatives, connected through their individual expression and shared experience. The target audience for this project is kiwis aged 17-20, so the approach is very human-centric. ALLAY uses the social media platform as a way to remove the stigma around mental health and encourage people to get help through art therapy and express their feelings.
App screens
Design thinking process

“Expressive art is a tool to explore, develop and practice creativity as a means to wellness.” ~ Wellarts Association

Workflow and low fidelity wireframes
“ Workflow and low fidelity wireframes ”
After logging in, users can navigate through the home screen to comment on their peer’s art before beginning work on their own. The concept of ALLAY is for the expressive methods to encourage users in creating artwork through simple, time based activities.
These activities are supported by relaxation and visualisation techniques, inspired by art therapy methods. After the activities are completed, users are encouraged to share their artwork through the ALLAY social media community, encouraging others to comment, and support their artwork.
Art therapy activities
“ Art therapy activities ”
Inner you art therapy activity
“ Inner you art therapy activity ”
Visualise your anxiety art therapy activity
“ Visualise your anxiety art therapy activity ”
User Interface
The UI is based on a minimalist design, with clear and simple visual elements that allow users to navigate through the app quickly. The UI has been designed to increase the chance of engagement by minimising distractions.
Kiwi Youth Artworks
“ Kiwi youth Artworks ”
Sharing the artworks
“ Sharing the artworks ”
Engaging with peers artworks
“ Engaging with peers artworks ”
Tone of Voice
The brand tone of voice was inspired by expressionist artists who use swirling, swaying and exaggerated brushstrokes. These techniques are meant to express the emotional state of the artist reacting to the anxieties of the world.
Allay Values

Featured On:

Allay Link
How creatives are tackling New Zealand's mental health problem
Allay Link
How New Zealand's mental health problem is affecting the creative industries
Let’s chat about how we can work together!
Say hello:

NEXT: Human Centric Design

(Smartly) How can we utilise the user testing method in an agile sprint project to achieve human-centric results?